After the untimely tragedy of The Dark Knight Rises movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, the hot topic of gun control has entered the stream of conscious minds of the American people with one governing question.
“How do we prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again?”
According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, one of the strictest advocators for stronger gun control laws in the United States, have declared Colorado as one of the most lenient states in terms of gun control laws. Colorado’s 2011 scorecard boasted a failing score of 15 out of 100. In Florida, where the Trevon Martin shooting occurred, their 2011 score provides an even weaker rating of 3 out of 100.
The score is especially troubling considering that Colorado residents voted in November 2000—just months after the Columbine High School shooting—overwhelmingly in favor of closing so-called gun show loopholes that allow gun show dealers to sell guns without first providing a background check on buyers, a Brady Campaign spokesman said.
Furthermore, Colorado voters, with a 70% to 30% mandate, voiced their desire for tougher gun control, said Brian Malte, director of legislation and mobilization for the Brady Campaign. Colorado’s dismal score on the Brady Campaign scorecard shows that “too many elected officials are doing the bidding of the gun lobby instead of trying to protect its citizens,” Malte told the Los Angeles Times.
The political reality of it all boils down to the fact that tougher gun control laws in the United States are unlikely, especially during a presidential election year—unless the American people start to show united and aggressive concern. President Barack Obama and Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney have both spoken little in regards to gun control in light of the Aurora shootings.
“The president believes that we need to take common-sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights of Americans, while ensuring that those who should not have guns under existing law do not get them,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. “There has been progress in that regard in terms of improving the volume and quality of information in background checks.”
“It’s not one of the issues that either candidate has shown much inclination to discuss,” Don Kettl, dean of the school of public policy at the University of Maryland, said. “There are more downside risks than upside gains in talking about it.”
How much of The Dark Knight Rises film may or may have not had impact on executor 24 year old James Holmes is still left in the air for debate—though cast, crew, and media relations alike have taken measures to respect the victims and their families at the time.
According to TIME congressional correspondent Jay Newton-Small who once covered the Columbine shootings thirteen years ago in anarticle, “And, to be fair, having see The Dark Knight Rises at a Time Warner screening earlier this week, Nolan does not use violence in his movie gratuitously. His message is one of economic disparity and of desperate people driven to desperate acts.”
The NRA, self-proclaimed as “America’s foremost defender of Second Amendment rights,” released a statement Friday suggesting that no one should jump to conclusions: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the community. NRA will not have any further comment until all the facts are known.”
“The common thread that runs through all of these mass shootings … is guns equipped with high-capacity ammunition magazines, either handguns or assault rifles,’’ said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center. ”It appears that this shooter had both.”
“If your focus is on preventing this kind of shooting, you need to ratchet down the firepower available to civilians,’’ she commented in an interview.
For individuals interested in taking against for supporting stricter gun control laws, the Brady Campaign website offers assistance and options in starting up and spreading the word.