No Easy Answers for Gun Woes
Yet as an urban teen, her tragic case is sadly far more typical of the national carnage of gun violence than the mass shootings that have renewed the nation's gun safety debate.
No question that the 15-year-old honor student from
She was talking with friends in a public park after school when a gunman jumped out of a car and opened fire at the group, killing her and wounding two boys.
Police stressed that she and the other teens in the park were not involved in gangs, although the gunman might have mistaken them for rival gang members. It was the 42nd homicide in less than a month in the president's hometown, where more than 500 other homicides occurred last year.
"Just a matter of days after the happiest day of her life, she's gone," Sen.
Yet the death of
Much of the news coverage focused on renewing the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004. I'd like to see the ban restored. Studies by the
But the NRA is also correct when they point out that murderers killed fewer people with rifles, according to FBI statistics, than with knives, hands, feet, clubs or hammers. That's not an argument against regulation of rifles, in my view. It's an argument for regulation of handguns, too.
We can begin with such popular moves as the expansion of computerized, instant background checks before individuals can legally purchase a firearm.
Current federal law requires instant background checks for purchases from federally licensed dealers. But an estimated 40 percent of firearm sales are sold by individuals who are not licensed dealers, President Obama recently said. Critics dispute that number, saying it's too high, but either way, it's a loophole we need to plug.
In fact, that was
But when Sen.
Of course, as Durbin pointed out, getting in the way of criminals who want to purchase guns is the whole point.
No single remedy will fix a problem as complex as gun violence, but we have to start somewhere. And, as
A disproportionate number of gun-related homicides in
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No Easy Answers for Gun Woes | Politics
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