Churches will ring bells at 9:30 in remembrance of the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook elementary school just a week ago. Hoping for Newtown to be the final in a string of gun-related violent acts, Peter Read, the father of a Virginia Tech Shooting victim stopped by to discuss the change he finally hopes comes.
Though it’s been five years since a lone gunman carried out the deadliest shooting incident in U.S. history, not much has changed to prevent incidents like this from happening. Peter Read’s daughter, Mary Karen Read was one of the victims. He says it is time for President Obama to take action. “I would like to see what many of us have been asking for a long time and people who lost their loved ones to gun violence before me, the things that the president talked about, the things we heard Mayor Bloomberg talk about. The majority of gun owners and NRA owners support, like improving background checks, dealing with the high capacity magazines. It is important to address mental health issues. I’m a huge supporter of that. And it has to be dealt with,” he says.
In a string of mass shootings from Tucson, Aurora, the Wisconsin Sikh temple to now Sandy Hook elementary school, there is a strong call to action from the president. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg painted a picture of what could happen is nothing is done, “if he does nothing during his second term, something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns. That is roughly the number of Americans killed in the whole Vietnam war.”
Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, laid out his organization’s top three targets for tackling gun violence. He said that background checks need to become necessary to anyone trying to own a gun, assault weapons with high capacity magazines need to be regulated better and a federal trafficking statute needs to be imposed with penalties for buying guns for those that are unable to get their own.
Glaze has faith in the American people’s want to end these types of tragedies from happening. He says, “With the escalating and rapidly quickening series of mass shootings, I think the country has reached a point where it recognizes the scope of the problem and is ready, not just to move against the kind of problems that cause mass shootings like this that dominate the headlines, but to deal with the kinds of problems, once the cameras leave, that murder 34 people every day.”