In ceremonies from New York to Seattle, candlelight vigils are being held in 30 cities to remember the thousands who are murdered in the U.S. each year, most with guns. For gun-control advocates, it will be a day to “light a candle against the darkness of gun violence” and to demand that Congress tighten gun laws, McClatchy Newspapers report. Congress did nothing of the sort after the Tucson massacre a year ago, and the odds are good that nothing will happen this year.
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), a gun-control proponent who gets failing grades from the National Rifle Association, said it’s just a matter of political reality. He wants Congress to repeal a 2010 law that allows loaded guns in national parks. “The problem is the NRA’s got a majority in the House and Senate — that’s the reality of it,” said Dicks. John Velleco of the Virginia-based Gun Owners of America said Congress should instead loosen existing gun-control laws to make it easier for citizens to defend themselves with firearms. “I think the vigils completely miss the point because they’re assuming that more gun-control laws will lead to fewer crimes, but we find that the opposite is true,” he said. “The more gun-control laws you have, the easier it is for criminals to commit crimes.” The vigils come after a particularly bloody holiday season.