Oregon school shooting prompts response from president

Another school shooting has taken place, this time in Oregon. This map shows that they have been taking place in every corner of our country. In fact, a total of 74 school shootings have happened since the tragic December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

These 74 shootings do not include all of the other shootings that have occurred, such as the recent one in Las Vegas, where two police officers were gunned down while having lunch at a pizza shop. School shootings alone are taking place at about the rate of one per week.

President Barack Obama made several important points following this most recent school shooting. He said his greatest frustration as president was his inability to move Congress to enact any kind of legislation following the Sandy Hook massacre. He also points to Australia as a country that enacted new gun laws after a mass shooting and has not had any such events since. The United States, he points out, is the only developed country that continues to have such problems.

President Obama also addresses the issue of mental health, suggesting that it is being used as an excuse to do nothing about reducing gun violence. He notes that other countries also have mentally ill individuals -- America does not have a corner on an overload of the mentally ill. Laws are needed to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, young people, and others who should not be in possession of firearms.

The American people want something done about gun violence. Moms and dads do not want to fear for their children every time they go to school or visit the mall. President Obama expressed his willingness to work with anyone, including gun owners, to craft legislation that can make a difference in the fight against gun violence.

Polls show that upwards of 90 percent of the American people favor background checks, yet Congress defeated such legislation even after the Sandy Hook shooting. This is another instance where a loud and powerful minority is preventing changes that are desired by the American people. I believe the time has come for ordinary Americans to decide to simply refuse to vote for any politician who does not pledge to work for sensible gun legislation.

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