Gun Violence in the United States 4
These proposals were introduced by the President after recent mass murder massacres, including the Newtown, Connecticut slaughter and the attack in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater where twelve persons were killed.
But after an aggressive public campaign on television and through public appearances, as well as using his network of supporters known as Organization for Action (OFA), a social welfare organization which is actually the restructuring of Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign grass roots movement, new legislation failed in a Senate vote on Universal Background Checks and was admonished in the House of Representatives, mostly by Republicans. Obama’s attempt to shame Congress in his passionate plea for lawmakers to at least bring a vote to reform the nation’s gun laws, delivered during his State of the Union address came to fruition but the Senate voted it down 54-46 in a vote that required 60 votes to pass. The amendment sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) appeared to have momentum going into the vote but the final tally proved otherwise. Five Democrats voted against it and four Republicans voted in favor of the bill. In March, prior to the vote, referencing the Sandy Hook tragedy, encircled by the mothers of massacred children, Obama presented comments from the White House stating "Less than 100 days ago that happened. ... Shame on us if we've forgotten… I haven't forgotten those kids… shame on us if we've forgotten." Republican Senator Mike Lee, of Utah, shredded the president’s remarks, proposing that Obama was exploiting the tragedy. Lee went on to say "The proposals the president is calling for Congress to pass would primarily serve to reduce the constitutionally protected rights of law-abiding citizens while having little or no effect on violent crime." In another statement, Lee said "It is deeply unfortunate that he continues to use the tragedy at Newtown as a backdrop for pushing legislation that would have done nothing to prevent that horrible crime." In addition to the background check legislation being voted down, voting to re-establish the federal ban on a number of assault weapons was also defeated by a wider margin of 40-60 and the vote to limit the size of magazines to 10 rounds also failed miserably with a final tally of 46-54.
Timeline of Mass Murders and Massacres
The post-World War II list of gruesome mass shootings has grown and the weapons used have been assisted by technology. A collection of examples of mass murder, spree killings and massacre’s due to gun violence, are listed below:
In September, 1949, a 28 year old New Jersey World War II veteran went on a rampage casually walking through his neighborhood, shooting and killing 13 of his neighbors, including 3 children. The spree killing became known as the "Walk of Death". He was found to be insane and committed to a state mental asylum. Howard Unruh became known as America's first modern mass murderer. He died in prison 60 years later at the age of 88.
In August, 1966, 25 year old Charles Joseph Whitman, a former United States Marine entered the University of Texas in Austin and climbed to the 28th-floor observation deck tower where he opened fire killing seventeen and wounded thirty-two others. Before entering the campus he murdered both his wife and mother raising the total dead to nineteen. He brought a Universal M1 carbine and a sawed off 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun, a Remington 700 6mm bolt-action hunting rifle, a .35 caliber pump rifle, a .30 caliber carbine, a 9mm Luger pistol, a Galesi-Brescia .25-caliber pistol and a Smith & Wesson M19 .357 Magnum revolver with a total of over 700 rounds of ammunition. He used a dolly to transport the weaponry into the University riding the elevator to the 28th-floor. While in the Marines, Whitman faced court martial but was eventually honorably discharged from the Corps and went on to enroll in the University in the architectural engineering program. After the attack concluded and after being killed by police, in an autopsy which had been requested by Whitman himself in his suicide notes, a glioblastoma tumor was revealed which at first was believed to have had no effect upon Whitman's actions in the massacre. But later reports signaled that the tumor could have conceivably had an influence on his actions and could have contributed to his inability to control his emotions and actions.
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