What Must Be Done To Prevent Future School Massacres? [AUDIO]
Following the school massacre in Connecticut, discussion continues across New Jersey and around the nation about how best to try and prevent this kind of tragedy from happening in the future.
Gun control advocates have some very specific suggestions.
Nicola Bocour, the Project Director of Ceasefire New Jersey, says we need to change the culture of guns in this country - and look at who has access to guns, and the type of guns that are available - and we need to have stricter training about how to use guns that are purchased legally.
She says Ceasefire believes, "There are 3 very simple, common-sense steps that need to be taken - that are supported by many gun owners, law enforcement officials and NRA members…One is to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban…the rifles that are used in these mass shootings that are designed for military and law enforcement can no longer be purchased by private citizens- they belong on the battlefield - it's what they're designed for."
Bocour adds, "We also need to ban high capacity magazines, so that a single weapon can no longer be fired over 30, 50 even a hundred times without reloading…high capacity magazines are not needed in hunting or sporting or in self-protection…They are basically allowing the shooter to create as much damage- to shoot as many bullets in the shortest period of time without having to reload."
She also says, "We must close the gun-show loophole, and institute universal, mandatory background checks on every single purchaser. There is absolutely no legitimate reason to not have a background check on every single legal purchaser of a weapon - I believe that it would not only discourage, but would eliminate the ability for many people - including those with mental illness - to obtain a weapon…We may not be able to eliminate all violence, we may not be able to solve all of the world's problems, but there is no excuse for not taking some action to at the very least make it more difficult for these types of events to occur."
She also stresses her organization is not advocating for a ban on all guns, it is not trying to stop people from having a gun for protection or a rifle for hunting.
"What we are talking about is common-sense gun reform that will save lives."
In the past, representatives of the National Rifle Association have stressed that guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Meanwhile Jersey U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg has announced plans to reintroduce his high-capacity magazine ban legislation in January, at the beginning of the 113th Congress.
He says, "In light of yet another horrific shooting tragedy, it is clearer than ever that there is no place in our communities for deadly high-capacity gun magazines and I will keep working to pass my bill to reinstate the ban on them. These high-capacity magazines, which were used in Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, and so many other tragedies, were designed for one purpose only-to shoot and kill quickly. We must take immediate action to ban high-capacity gun magazines and assault weapons so that we can prevent the next massacre."