State Representative Ranjeev Puri, the majority whip in Michigan’s Democrat-controlled House, has criticized sending “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of a massacre at Michigan State University and advocated for “common sense gun reform” legislation. Although Puri may have the best of intentions, his handling of the situation exposes the lawmakers’ hypocrisy over gun control.
When another horrible shooting occurs, politicians find it simple to stand on their soapboxes and call for stricter gun control laws. But when it comes down to passing laws that will stop similar occurrences from happening again, there are either insufficient resources or votes. We continue to witness the same cycle—more shootings, followed by more prayers—repeat again without any meaningful action being made. It has the effect of a broken record on an infinite loop.
Although Puri indicates that stronger gun laws might have prevented this tragedy, law enforcement has not yet determined whether or not a handgun was actually used. His plan also ignores a crucial issue—the mindset that leads people to commit crimes like this in the first place. Politicians must realize that merely passing laws restricting access to firearms won’t end all acts of violence because they don’t address problems like mental illness, inadequate educational opportunities, or a lack of social assistance for the weaker members of society.
Politicians should strive for far more than just making false promises of reform every time an incident occurs, in addition to urging the adoption of new laws and regulations. They should concentrate their efforts on developing long-term solutions that address the underlying causes that lead people to commit these heinous crimes in the first place. This requires taking a comprehensive approach that connects various sectors, such as healthcare, social services, and education, so they can collaborate to stop future tragedies from happening. No amount of “common sense gun reform” legislation will be able to significantly impact the reduction of crime and violence until that time.