Gun Control Group Urges Americans to 'Ask More Questions'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

( - The recent spate of school shootings is fodder for gun control groups. Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said on Monday it is "too easy" for children, teens, troubled adults, criminals and terrorists to get firearms in this country.

There have been three school shootings in the past week, starting with the one on Sept. 26 in Bailey, Colo., where a disturbed man walked into Platte Canyon High School, held six female students hostage, eventually killing one of them as well as himself.

Three days later, on Sept. 29, a 9th grader in Cazenovia, Wis., shot and killed his school principal.

And on Monday, a truck driver with an apparent grudge walked into an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pa., killing three girls instantly. Two more girls died early Tuesday morning. The gunman killed himself.

"Incidents like this happen all too often in all parts of this nation," Helmke said on Monday. "We know all too well that there are reasons why we have the levels of gun violence that we have in this country."

Helmke said Americans "need to ask more questions" of elected officials at all levels of government: "Americans need to ask why there is so much gun violence. Ask where the guns are coming from. Ask why laws to restrict access to guns are being weakened, not strengthened."

Helmke said it's past time for a "more serious national conversation about gun violence." He said a serious conversation is needed to "lead to real solutions."

As Cybercast News Servic reported last week, a Second Amendment group says school shootings might be prevented or limited in scope if qualified teachers and administrators were allowed to carry guns of their own.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms believes it is time to reassess "gun-free school zones."

"All they have done is create target-rich, no-risk environments for monsters who have no fear of encountering an armed teacher or administrator, or a legally-armed private citizen who might happen to be in the building," the group said.

See Earlier Story:
'Gun-Free School Zones' Blamed for Tragedy (Sept. 29, 2006)

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