Staff Editorial: "Summer of gun" demands immediate policy response from presidential candidates

Twelve dead, 58 injured in Aurora, Colo.; two dead, nine injured outside of the Empire State Building; 82 wounded or killed during a single week in Chicago. The gun violence that has haunted this summer makes one thing clear: The issue needs to be addressed, and it needs to be addressed now.

And yet it seems as though politicians on both sides of the aisle are content to simply ignore it. The two party platforms released in the past week do little to incite a conversation on the topic. Tragedy after tragedy, our elected officials claim it is not the time to address the gun issue. It would be insensitive to immediately begin to politicize these horrible events, they say.

They have a point, to an extent. There is a time for mourning and there is a time for political debate. But we at The Lamron ask: When will it be time for a serious conversation regarding the Second Amendment? How many tragedies need occur before our representatives in Washington, D.C. are ready to tackle the difficult questions facing this country?

The conversation on the national stage fails to progress beyond vague generalities and empty platitudes. Both party platforms come up short when addressing the gun issue in America. The Democrats’ platform has a pathetic 129 words under “Firearms.”

The Republican platform has more, but when it descends into the same petty politicking we’re urged to avoid after a tragedy we’re not sure it’s the sort of conversation the country desperately needs.

In an interview three days after the Aurora shooting, former Gov. Mitt Romney said it was “not a time to be talking about the politics associated with what happened.”

With the presidential election two months away, we believe the time to address this issue is now. Regardless of their ideologies, it is time Romney and President Barack Obama address the issue and let America know exactly where they stand.

We agree with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s comments following the shooting in Aurora: “It’s time that the two people who want to be President of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country.”

We believe enough is enough. With so much news coverage dedicated to the upcoming election, the time has come for Obama and Romney to give the American public what it deserves. Whatever our political leaning, we can’t disagree with Bloomberg: Americans “have a right to hear from both of them concretely … What are they going to do about guns?”