Background Checks Needed, But Still Not Enough to Halt Gun Violence

Kimberly Moses
Yahoo! Contributor Network

Yahoo News asked readers and contributors to briefly respond to passages from Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Here's one reaction.

Obama on gun violence: "It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans - Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment - have come together around commonsense reform - like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun."

My response: As a mother of a toddler, the aunt of a 5-year-old, and a public school teacher, I was brought to heartbroken tears the day of the Sandy Hook shooting. When I think about how easy it would be for the same crisis to happen where I teach, it sickens me. Then I think about the gunman… and the guns.

While I agree with background checks for purchasing guns, what about those people out there who are not identified as "criminals," like Lanza who didn't have a criminal record and whose mother not only owned a multitude of guns but who taught her sons how to shoot proficiently? Background checks are absolutely imperative, yes, but more than that is needed to protect our society.