Today’s Verdict: After Orlando, Gun Control Should Be Front and Center

David Lesch-headshotRegulating of Assault-style Weapons Should Be Front and Center

by David Lesch, Esq.

Following the events that took place in Orlando last month, the LGBTQ community has found itself front and center in the war against assault weapons.  The tragedy has united many communities, including the Bronx, in mourning the loss of 49 lives in the tragic shooting at Pulse, a popular gay night club in South Florida.  In the days that followed, the LGBTQ community united in honoring both the victims as well as their families.  

The Sig Sauer MCX (above) is the weapon used by the Orlando shooter in the Pulse nightclub mass shooting attack last month.

The Sig Sauer MCX (above) is weapon used by the Orlando shooter in the Pulse nightclub mass shooting attack last month.

During a recent airing of the television show Today’s Verdict with David Lesch, our cameras went to the Bronx vigil honoring and remembering the lives tragically lost in the largest mass shooting in our country.  It was there that my producer met Pedro Vazquez, an LGBTQ activist who so eloquently spoke to the community from the courthouse steps.  When he finished there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  When Mr. Vazquez appeared on my program the following week I asked him if he believed more could have been done regarding security during the frightful evening?  News reports say that the club only had one security guard on duty and the officer was prevented from stopping the gunman as a result of the stampeding crowd.  Pedro believed more could have been done, and when I asked whether the tragedy could have been prevented if those in attendance were themselves armed, he answered “yes.”  But arming dance club patrons really isn’t the answer.

Later, Professor Robert Spitzer, Chair of the Political Science Department at the State University of New York at Cortland, addressed the issues of an armed citizenry and gun control.  Professor Spitzer, an author of 15 books in including “The Right to Bear Arms,” “Gun Control” and “The Encyclopedia of Gun Control and Gun Rights,” believes that the gun control debate should once again be front and center with “gun policies ready to evolve.”

Professor Spitzer maintained that “contrary to popular impression gun laws are as old as the country, and reflect the intersection of citizens’ personal gun habits and the country’s early need to defend itself by citizen militias who were required to arm themselves.  The nation’s gun policies evolved as [the nation’s] needs and resources changed.”

The gun control debate fascinates me.  How our society allows an assault weapon to land in the hands of terrorists or the mentally unstable is hard to process.  And this isn’t the first time our nation has attempted to fix problems in this country brought upon by civilians and bullets.  

 

The winner of the November presidential election–either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump– should enter the White House on January 20 with a clear agenda concerning assault weapons.  

So much more needs to be done if we are going to prevent another needless mass shooting tragedy.  Professor Spitzer noted that “political assassinations and gun-related violence spurred both new gun control efforts.”  It’s time for our own 21st century movement.  It’s time to bring the gun control debate front and center, again.    

Todays Verdict_David LeschDavid P. Lesch is an attorney and host of ‘Today’s Verdict with David Lesch‘ on Bronxnet. Today”s Verdict airs Tuesday nights at 6:30pm, Cablevision channel 67, Fios channel 33. On Facebook and Twitter @DavidLesch.

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