(The Verge) – The recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, has sparked national controversy over gun control laws, mental health service and violence in our media. Such heinous school massacres have increasingly become too frequent for anyone’s comfort, causing congress to finally seek an end to the means.
Yesterday, President Obama announced his proposal to address gun control as a “central issue,” stating, “I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.”
Obama declared he would open the flood gates of gun control issues, a topic he avidly avoids. His intentions are to discuss making mental health services more accessible, as well as our media overloaded with images and encouragement of violence. The president plans to begin campaigning for the specific legislative proposals at next month’s State of the Union address.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a grouped led by NYC Mayor Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Menino, also jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon, launching its new campaign, “Demand a Plan to End Gun Violence.” This consists of the American people signing a petition which demands Washington to take action in ending gun violence.
The full-page ad for “Demand a Plan,” in yesterday’s New York Times explains, “We cannot let the latest massacre fade into memory…We must speak for whose voices will never be heard again. We must speak truth to those in power – and insist that now is the time to do what is right instead of pandering before merchants of death.”
Pretty powerful words right there. This viral campaign is a response to our revolutionized way of doing, well, everything. Years ago, rallies and gatherings were how the masses let the man know that they wanted change, but today people utilize the Internet. It has become most people’s medium of choice when it comes to getting information about current events, or even just communicating with friends.
After last year’s SOPA efforts caused major uproar after its slight suggestion of a threat to our beloved internet, one might be weary of Demand a Plan’s success. However, this Mayors Against Illegal Guns viral campaign is demanding new legislation on this highly controversial issue, one that is no danger to the world wide web and is expected to produce a higher success rate.
Celebrities are also taking a stand for gun control laws, using Twitter to express their feelings about the Sandy Hook tragedy. A-listers, such as Bruce Jenner and Jamie Foxx, are starting to speak up about their opinions against gun violence in recent interviews. Over 100 high profile personalities even put their own John Hancock on the “Demand a Plan” petition, including Lady Gaga, MC Hammer and Martha Stewart.