Gun issue rages, but never will go away

The gun-control debate is again renewed following the recent rampage in Southern California that saw six innocent lives snuffed out in an instant.

Elliot Rodger allegedly shot his roommates and others in the UC?Santa Barbara area before turning the gun on himself. Law enforcement officials and families of the victims still are looking for answers, with some close to Rodger attributing the attack to autism and a variety of other woes.

Although no true motive has been discovered – and likely never will be – the nation again is left in a conundrum over how to handle the growing number of violent crimes committed with firearms.

In fact, this latest incident is just one in a long line of tragedies involving guns. From school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Columbine High schools to random acts of violence dating back to the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt and before, this issue is one that resurfaces often.

Although the Reagan assassination attempt resulted in the Brady Bill, gun violence continues to grow, and in some cases, increase after more stringent gun restrictions are passed.

The heart of the issue doesn’t hinge upon violence on television, comic books, video games or the myriad of other attributed causes. If that were the case, those watching – myself included – Tom and Jerry and Looney Toons cartoons all would have jumped off cliffs or smashed one another flat as a pancake by now.

The true path to responsible gun ownership and use is education, public vigilance and, frankly, common sense and a true moral compass. The answer is not piling on additional gun laws.

After all, the Constitution of the United States affords us all the right to bear arms to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

While additional waiting periods on gun purchases would be helpful, especially to root out those with mental illnesses, gun violence will continue as long as manufacturers churn firearms off the assembly line.

That’s where the public vigilance comes into play. We all must do our part to recognize and prevent those with violent tendencies from turning down this path. Even though gun violence never will be eliminated, crimes such as these can at least be minimized with caution and forethought.