Tragic incidents involving guns such as the shootings in Newtown, Conn. and Webster, N.Y. in 2012 have whetted the public’s appetite for new gun control laws.
With the NY SAFE Act, Gov. Cuomo and the state legislators have answered the call, however this legislation is misguided. While the act is designed to prevent acts of violence like those in Newtown and Webster from happening again, it is also putting an unnecessary burden on the state’s safe and legal gun users.
The SAFE Act succeeds by strengthening requirements for background checks to purchase firearms and restricting the access of those with a history of mental illness to guns. But limiting the number of rounds a legal gun user is allowed to load and making them jump through hoops to buy ammunition won’t accomplish anything in the fight against violence.
What the state and federal government needs to do is evaluate how we deal with mental illness and what the underlying causes are behind these acts of violence. Though the gruesome shootings are what make the headlines, inner-city gun violence, in places like Chicago or Detroit, is just as much of a problem as ever in this country.
These problems won’t go away even if all guns are banned, and something bigger needs to be done.