I wonder what my great grandfather, who fought in the Civil War would have thought of the people who kill unarmed men, women, children and students in schools, businesses, airplanes and on the streets of our country? I think he would be as appalled as I am that we have corrupted our thinking about what it means to have a right to bear arms. I think he would agree with me that the 2nd Amendment has so responsibilities, not just rights to do what ever we please. Here’s what I think.
I’ve spent a week reading the platitudes and published regrets by politicians and others concerning the horrible murders that occurred in Roseburg, Oregon this past week. They aren’t much different than the platitudes and regrets of the collateral damage of gun massacres in the USA since the Columbine Massacre. So here we all are saying the same stupid things and still doing absolutely nothing about gun safety or gun control of some kind in our country.
As a voter and adult member of society, I would like to know specifically where you as politicians now stand on doing something about these happenings rather than hearing your apologias once more and then seeing you once again sitting on your thumbs.
All of your political statements on this subject are directed towards pleasing an audience rather than trying to solve a very large and complex problem that continues to haunt our country. You speak from ignorance because you don’t allow data to be collected and published by law enforcement agencies or the Center for Disease Control about the violence or numbers of deaths caused by guns. You don’t know what types of persons and personalities are involved in those killings, you don’t promote a culture that will bring these persons to light before they kill others and you aren’t willing to even try to do anything about finding out this information. You bow down to a twisted view of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution and are not even willing to admit that the “right to bear arms” has some very deep responsibilities attached to it unless you believe that our founding fathers were just as ignorant and unwilling to act as you are.
Because you refuse to allow collection of information, you know no more than I do about the gun situation in our country, so my opinion has as much value as any of yours in this whole morass of trying to figure out what to do. So instead of shooting off your mouths so much about to get attention, why don’t you try listening to an ordinary gun owner who has used weapons for over 50 years and has some distinct opinions about how we might begin to fix the mess we have gotten ourselves into with guns in the U.S.A.
First of all, you, as politicians need to realize that we didn’t get to this point in our society overnight, so you aren’t going to solve the problem overnight. The genie has been coming out of the lantern for over fifty years, so you may as well accept that it may take that many years or more to even get the lid partially back on the bottle. Face it, you aren’t ever going to take the guns away from the people, so you need to fix what you can about them having guns as one of their rights as a citizen.
Secondly, since you speak from ignorance because you have no data, you need to pass legislation that allows both the collection of data on shootings of all kinds and the kinds of people who perpetrate these acts. In this legislation you need to fund the FBI, the CDC and law enforcement to collect the data and then fund the researchers to analyze and draw conclusions from that data. If you do this for ten years you may have enough real information and recommendations to draw conclusions about the people who kill themselves or others and the guns they use. This might then lead to some sensible legislation.
Thirdly, while you are waiting for this data to be accumulated, you don’t just have to keep sitting there on your thumbs, there are other areas you can work on which may yield some results immediately. How about looking at gun safety from the standpoint of the “right to bear arms” having some responsibilities that go with it? For instance the responsibility to: a. be trained by professionals to use your guns before being able to buy hunting licenses.
- keep your guns in a child and burglar proof safe place.
- have safety lock on all guns at all times unless the owner is using them.
- have liability insurance for your guns if used inappropriately by anyone.
- make parents responsible for any and all actions of their children with respect to guns.
These kinds of actions aren’t unconstitutional, and they aren’t things that most of us who own and use guns from time to time will have any problem doing or obeying. They will make our country safer, they will make more people aware of the uses of guns. We need to teach in our homes, schools and even churches that guns aren’t something you go strutting around town with to try to make yourself feel more important. Guns are tools, which when properly used can be assets to the individual or to society. When they are misused, they are just as dangerous as any other tool, whether it be an automobile, a power saw, or …. you name it. Society has a right to prescribe, and require certain behaviors of its citizens. When we are talking about a constitutional right that is affecting the safety of our children, youth, schools, transportation and country as a whole, we have an obligation to fix it even if it takes fifty or a hundred years.
If we as a people and you as legislators don’t get to work on figuring out how to make the “right to bear arms” work in or country without all the collateral damage, then we probably don’t deserve the “right to bear arms”. Think about it, as if one of those casualties were your own child or family member.
Thanks for listening.