In the Bible, Jeremiah 31:15 and Matthew 2:18 both tell the same story: "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more."
In light of the plague of gun massacres sweeping the United States, senators are calling for a new look at gun control laws. So far, fear of the power of the National Rifle Association has muted debate on the issue, but the horror of recent crimes (NOTE: Subscribers can listen to this), most notably the Newton, Connecticut crime, have brought the issue back to the forefront. A fundamental change of public opinion toward more stringent gun control appears to be motivating the change in the debate. In addition, it is being noted that Australia, which banned assault rifles after a massacre in 1996, has not suffered one since.
On the Big Story website, Anne Flaherty quotes Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) as saying that the time for "saying that we can't talk about policy implications of tragedies like this is over."
She quotes Brian Malte, of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, as saying, "If you look at the states with the strongest gun laws in the country, they have some of the lowest gun death rates, and some of the states with the weakest gun laws have some of the highest gun death rates."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) says that the reason Barack Obama and Senate Democrats haven't pushed for new gun controls is because of the power of the National Rifle Association, but Feinstein says she'll propose legislation next year that would ban big clips, drums and strips of more than 10 bullets. Flaherty quotes her as saying, "It can be done." A ban on these that lasted for a decade expired in 2004.
But not everyone agrees that gun control is the answer. Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R-Texas), thinks that the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School, who authorities say died trying to overtake the shooter, should herself have been armed.
Flaherty quotes him as saying, "I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn't have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands. But she takes him (the shooter) out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids."
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois says that it's time for a national discussion that includes school safety. Flaherty quotes him as saying, "This conversation has been dominated in Washington by--you know and I know--gun lobbies that have an agenda. We need people, just ordinary Americans, to come together, and speak out, and to sit down and calmly reflect on how far we go."