It has been a month since the Newtown massacre and the gun control debate continues. As Vice President Joe Biden is finalizing a package of recommendations for the president to curb gun violence, the National Rifle Association predicts that Congress is likely to block any new laws that would ban assault weapons.

Like millions of Americans who are participating in this debate, I am appalled by the political power the NRA holds on Washington. The NRA’s deep pockets help bolster allies and punish lawmakers who buck the powerful weapons lobby. The group spent at least $24 million in the 2012 elections and an additional $4.4 million through July 1 to lobby Congress.

Gun sales have surged across the nation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as enthusiasts rush to buy firearms they fear will be outlawed by a fresh push for gun control. NRA has also enjoyed a membership surge after the shooting.

Ultraconservative radio talk host Alex Jones appeared on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” talking about gun control. Jones shouted, ranted and preached so loudly with white foam forming at the corners of his mouth that the usually vocal Morgan sat and listened silently. Jones is the key figure behind a White House petition to deport Morgan for his engagement in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment that gives citizens the right to bear firearms. As Mr. Jones so vehemently defends the Second Amendment, does he forget about the first Amendment of freedom of speech?

In the gun control debate, pro-gun advocates are quick to point out that violent video games, movies and mental health issues are to blame for the mass shootings. They argue that states with stricter gun laws don’t necessarily demonstrate lower gun related crimes and therefore banning assault weapons won’t solve any problems. In that case why don’t we compare the U.S. to Europe that is equally exposed to screen violence? It’s true that European social and cultural factors play a major role along with much more restrictive, broadly accepted gun controls. But the contrast is mind-boggling. In 2011 England had 3.4m civilian firearms or 6.2 for every 100 people. There were 41 homicides by firearm or 0.07 per 100,000 population. 6.6% of all homicides were by firearm. The U.S. has the highest total and per capita firearms ownership in the world, 88.8 for every 100 people. There are almost as many guns in the U.S. as people (on average, guns have a 100-year life cycle). In 2011, America had 9,146 homicides by firearm or 2.97 per 100,000 population. 60% of all homicides were by firearm.

Gun crime is a complicated social issue, but the common denominator of all the public shootings is the firearm and hence the sentiment of the nation after the Newtown massacre of innocent children is to tighten the gun control laws.

Aside from law enforcement and military usage, there may be a place for guns in a society as a shooting sport or for self-defense, but I seriously doubt the necessity of semi-automatic or automatic weapons at the hands of civilians. A mother used all six bullets in her pistol to shoot an intruder and thus saved her own life and the lives of her two young children. An NRA representative eagerly suggested that she should have got more powerful weapons because what if there were more than one intruders? I applaud the mother for her brave act. Honestly I’d have done the same thing if anyone came near my kids with the intention of hurting them. However statistics show that when there is a gun in a home, that gun is more likely to be used on a member of the household than on an intruder. How often are guns used for self-defense? We don’t know because gun advocates have made a point of attacking CDC (Centers for Disease Control) budgets for research into gun safety. The only statistics we have on defensive gun use are the huge numbers concocted via dubious methods two decades ago.

Gun control has made its way to the top of the national agenda following the Newtown shooting. Families of Newtown victims are organizing violence prevention effort in the form of a nonprofit group called Sandy Hook Promise, described as “gun responsibility.” Gabrielle Giffords and husband Kelly are joining the fight for gun control. Accusing political leaders of being afraid and of doing nothing, they’ve formed a political action committee against what they call an “ideological fringe” that uses “big money” to ‘cow congress into submission.” Just as the Bradys have spent almost three decades battling America’s gun lobby, eventually winning passage of laws requiring background checks for some firearms and bans on some military-style weapons, Giffords and her husband are poised to be the next wave. Then there are people like you and me who don’t believe that the solution is ‘for every good guy in America to have a gun.” It’s simply not right to fight violence with violence. The American dream would be dead if we resolve to settle the problem in this fashion.

President Obama has repeatedly threated to use executive orders to push through controversial gun control measures with or without Congress’ blessing. Let’s hope that our lawmakers elected by the people will choose to vote for the future of America and represent the majority of their constituents instead of those with the deep pockets. As concerned American citizens, we should continue to contact our representatives and make donations to the pro-gun control non-profit organizations. Let’s also make sure that whatever new laws get passed won’t be cosmetic legislation but concrete measures to restore safety and orderliness to America. In the end, it’ll be a showdown between the power of the money and the power of the people in a democratic nation.