When I learned about last week's tragedy that took the lives of 20 innocent children and 6 adults in Newtown, Conn., I was devastated and mortified. I can't believe our nation can undergo so much violence in these last few months.
I had shared my feelings on tougher gun control and perhaps even banning guns altogether. To my shock, I received countless negative messages, calling me "stupid," "un-American" and "out of touch."
If the fact that I've never held a gun in my life, makes me out of touch -- so be it. But, we do have a gun problem and the only thing stopping folks from realizing this is "ego." We need to let go.
I'm tired of hearing the line, "Guns don't kill people, people do." Sure there is some one pulling the trigger -- but accessibility to guns escalates this to another level. It creates chaos and a culture that we don't need.
For a country that has over 315 million people, we have over 300 million guns. That's roughly 90 guns per 100 people. And this includes a population like me -- that hasn't ever even touched a gun. Adam Lanza, the accused shooter, had multiple weapons with him. Does someone really need to have this many guns?
In 1791, when the Second Amendment was created, the most lethal gun available was a single-shot musket. Fast-forward 221 years, technology has changed dramatically but the law hasn't. Society has even changed dramatically. Who cares now why we passed the Second Amendment 200 years ago? It doesn't make sense anymore. We all know that. Let's save lives instead.
Let's even take a look at Japan. Almost no one in Japan owns a gun. Most kinds are illegal, with tight restrictions on buying and maintaining the few that are allowed. In 2008, the U.S. had nearly 12,000 firearm-related deaths (not counting suicides involving guns). All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. Doesn't this breathe common sense? If we make it less accessible, fewer crimes happen?
I'm not saying gun control is the only problem here. Hate and mental instability are other factors that cause these incidents to occur. And, we'll have to work on those separately as a society. But, if we can simply use common sense and decrease tragedies like this by banning guns - why aren't we? An elementary school in Newtown, a shopping mall in Oregon, a temple in Wisconsin, and a movie theater in Aurora -- do we really need to add to the list here?
Lives have been lost. Dreams have been shattered. Moments have been taken away. And tragedy has emerged.
I am hopeful the president and his administration will take action. We must let go of our ego. And actually instill "change."
If you support this, here's how you can get involved by signing this petition. The goal of this petition is to force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns.
Here's to a better world tomorrow.
Follow Gurbaksh Chahal on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@gchahal