We have been down this path before, but maybe this time it will be different.
As shooting tragedies became all too familiar, the response from the government becomes all too routine. It seems each time there is a shooting massacre, a three step reaction follows.
First a call for unity, as Michelle Obama did after the tragedy this summer in Aurora, Colorado.
“We will continue to come together as one American family to mourn those who have lost their lives,” said Obama.
Second comes a cry for gun control, complete with sharp soundbites.
“This is meant to kill as many people as possible in a shortest period of time,” said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, referring to the semi automatic rifle used in the Colorado movie theater shooting.
Then Americans are reminded of their second amendment rights, usually by a republican, or sometimes a democrat, but always from a gun state.
“Somebody who is that unbalance will find some way to do harm,” said Republican Senate Minority Leader from Kentucky Mitch McConnell, referring to shooting suspect James Holmes.
And finally, nothing gets done. It is the massacre of three step.
However, gun sales do well after a shooting tragedy. In Colorado, sales went up 43 percent in July after the movie theater massacre, and in Connecticut this weekend, sales increased by 50 percent. At Ron’s Gun Shop in Connecticut, sales of the AR-15, which was the model used in Fridays killing, went through the roof. Ron said he could sell even more, except he ran out of stock.
The United States is exceptional when it comes to gun ownership. There are 89 guns for every 100 civilians. Within a 10 mile radius of Sandy Hook Elementary school, there are 36 gun shops.
This time, however, there was a moment of optimism, and it seemed as if Americans had finally had enough. President Obama announced on Wednesday that Congress will have a gun control plan within weeks, and a task force will be headed by Vice President Biden.
“The majority, the vast majority, of responsible, law abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war,” said President Obama.
The question lingers, what will the difference be this time? In the past laws have lapsed, and a great many Americans love their guns. Even in Connecticut some are not convinced that gun deaths are not a fair trade for gun freedoms.