Our View: A tragedy that won’t create change

One might think the mass shooting in an Aurora, Col., movie theatre was an atrocity that will bring about stricter gun controls in the U.S.

One might think the mass shooting on Friday night in an Aurora, Col., movie theatre that left 12 people dead and 58 injured was an atrocity that will bring about stricter gun controls in the U.S.

But it will change nothing from the current gun ownership status quo in that country.

We in Canada are not immune to this sort of thing, gunplay in public with tragic consequences, with two recent high profile shootings in Toronto of late. But like the U.S., efforts to bring about gun control measures in Canada tend to fall on deaf ears of voters.

In the U.S., the right to bear arms, as is interpreted under that country’s constitution, trumps all aspects of gun control.

In the wake of the Aurora shooting rampage, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on the politicians in Washington D.C. to address the issue, but that won’t happen.

Part of the reason is the powerful National Rifle Association lobby group efforts to sideline any such legislation, making it the most powerful lobby group in that country.

But why is the NRA so powerful? Because politicians are not being forced to respond to the most powerful lobby group of all—voters will to unite behind the gun control cause.

People power trumps all in the political power game, but voter apathy leaves a void that lobby groups are only too eager to fill.

Here in B.C., we will no longer have the HST, no longer pay tolls on the Coquihalla Highway, not because politicians or political self-interest groups want it that way, but because voters united and demanded it be so. That’s voting power.

For the U.S., as long as voters think it’s okay to allow someone to buy automatic weapons and thousands of magazines of ammunition without impunity, then politicians are helpless. Americans are in shock at what happened in Aurora, but it’s actually surprising that such violent outbursts, with such tragic consequences, don’t happen more often, given the easy access to guns and bullets.

Kelowna Capital News