With news of other shootings in the United States — at a high school in Maryland or at the the Empire State Building in New York — the spotlight increases the continued plague of gun violence in this country and our failure to address it:
[08.15.2012] The shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and, most recently, at the Family Research Council offices in Washington D.C., have reinvigorated the national debate over gun control, an issue that divides Americans, by party, region, gender, religion, and race. The August PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey reveals that, overall, a slim majority (52%) of Americans favor passing stricter gun control laws, while 44% are opposed. There is however broad public support for stricter enforcement of existing gun control laws (67%), while only about one-quarter (26%) of Americans favor loosening current gun control laws.
The summation above was written before the shooting at in New York and the deaths of two other Sikhs in recent weeks in robbery attempts (in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and Fremont, California).
The lack of consensus may indicate that we need to take a more all-encompassing approach involving education, gun control, security, policy, and culture. Clearly, it is more than just a “hate crimes” issue. Each strategy should be seen in the context of framing the issue around stopping gun violence.