Gun control isn’t possible right now


The Appalachian Online


America has again been confronted with the harsh reality of gun violence this week with the murders of reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward on live TV.

The two had been conducting a routine interview with Vicki Gardner when a former coworker by the name of Vester Flanagan opened fire on the two of them, hitting the woman they were interviewing and killing Parker and Ward.

In response to this, Parker’s father went onto CNN and told Anderson Cooper that he would lobby for harsher gun control laws in honor of his daughter’s memory.

While commendable, ultimately this action will follow the same direction as the aftermath of every other incident of gun violence that reaches national media coverage.

The topic of gun control will enter the public sphere and it will be debated for a time, but ultimately nothing effective and decisive will be done about the issue.

Case in point, look at one of the worst mass shootings in United States history, the Sandy Hook shooting. On Dec. 14, 2012, a 20-year-old walked into Sandy Hook elementary school and began firing upon the people inside. He killed 26 people. Six teachers and 20 children.

One would assume that after an incident such as this where children were murdered, serious action would be taken on the front of gun control.

In January 2013, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 was voted on by the Senate, however it was voted against 60-40. Later, in April 2013, a bill that would have broadened background checks on the sale and transfer of guns was introduced, but it was defeated with a 54-46 vote.

Gun control goes out the window the second the media spotlight is taken off of a shooting incident, and there’s a reason for that: the National Rifle Association.

In 2014 alone, the NRA spent nearly $33 million on various political activities. Additionally, after every single shooting incident the NRA has released a statement against any form of gun control.

There’s even a Yahoo News Investigative report that shows that the NRA may have broken political spending law by asking for donations in order to fund its lobbying efforts, then funneling the money into its own PAC.

As things stand, there won’t be any legitimate form of gun control in the US, there’s just too much money being spent to keep a positive spin on guns in the headlines.

In order for any meaningful action to be taken by those who have the power to do so, the scope of violence that would have to occur is mind-boggling, and the thought of that incident occurring is terrifying.

Russell, a freshman journalism major from Charlotte, is an opinion writer.