Gun control: A conversation often started, but never finished

Updated
Credit: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
Credit: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

Authorities have identified the gunman of Tuesday’s Portland, Oregon shooting as 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, who allegedly killed two and injured a third before taking his own life.

Last night’s mass shooting at a local shopping mall was plenty of things.

It was tragic, it was senseless, it was a heinous act of violence that led to the deaths of two innocent people.

One thing that it sadly was not is uncommon.

There have been roughly 65 mass shootings in the U.S. over the last 30 years. At least 13 of those occurred in 2012 alone, including the latest one in Portland.

In August, we mourned as James Holmes strapped on body armor and a gas mask and terrorized dozens of unsuspecting moviegoers.

We watched Wade Michael Page wage his own religious war on a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin.

We sat by as Thomas Caffall opened fire near Texas A&M University, killing two bystanders and seriously injuring a third.

Each and every time, we hear the same general question asked.

When are we going to have a conversation about gun control laws in this country?

And each and every time, that question eventually fades into the background. The bad guy is caught. The dead are buried. The injured begin to heal (physically, at least) and we, as a nation, return to our everyday lives. Until, of course, the next rampage captures our attention.

But what will be the defining moment; the tipping point when people will decide that NOW is the time to act? Now is the time to look at the laws and put something in writing that says maybe, just maybe, an average citizen should not have access to a military-level assault rifle or a high-capacity gun magazine.

Is that time now? Probably not.

Tuesday, the state of Illinois overturned a ban on concealed weapons, making it perfectly legal to carry a concealed firearm in public.

Illinois is now the 50th state in the union to allow the concealment of firearms.

When are we going to have a conversation about gun control laws in this country?

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Gun control: A conversation often started, but never finished

Updated