Saturday, June 8, 2013
On gun control and adults
Today I read about a four-year old accidentally shooting and killing his father in Arizona; about a crazed gunman who killed five and wounded a bunch more at Santa Monica College in California; about multiple gun deaths in Chicago over the weekend; about a bullet hole found near a baby's crib.
Then on TV, there was a story about a minor-league town in central Florida trying to entice at least five gun makers to relocate by renovating several properties to be gun manufacturing friendly.
These are just a few of the "gun" stories that have hit the news recently. Every day brings dozens of similar stories.
The NRA thinks that such incidents are insufficient. The NRA, serving as the mouthpiece and lobbyist for the gun manufacturers, wants everyone to own a gun. Some cities with semi-adult leaders agree and have gone so far as to make it a requirement that every resident own a gun.
The NRA is pleased. But not totally. Why, even Jesus would own a gun! Let's put guns in the hands of our school children, says the NRA. Let's let everyone carry a gun, everywhere! If everyone carries a gun, says the NRA, then the bad guys would be so threatened, they wouldn't shoot anyone anymore and there would be fewer gun deaths.
Oh, stop laughing. That's the argument!
The NRA is a sick organization run by a cadre of very sick persons. Thus it is understandable that they insist on putting a gun in the hand of every man, woman and child in the country.
What's frightening is that we have a Congress full of simpering idiots who promote the NRA's beliefs and desires because the NRA provides them with money to get elected and re-elected and they fear the wrath of the NRA if they cross the sickos.
When, I wonder, will the adults in this country stand up and say "Enough is enough!"? The 2nd Amendment does not and never did mean that everyone has a right to own a gun! The 2nd Amendment was to ensure that Americans had rifles to help defend the COUNTRY! It had to do with militias for national defense at a particular point in history, an historical point which no longer prevails. Today we have the Department of Defense to do the job for us!
Furthermore, even if someone is so dense as to believe that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right of every person to be armed to the teeth, it is still true that none of our so-called "rights" are absolute. "Time makes ancient good uncouth," says the old hymn. The Constitution is a living document to be understood and interpreted in such a manner as to uphold the well-being of the Commonwealth. The authors of the Constitution understood that what worked at one time may become inappropriate at another time. Thus, it has been amended on numerous occasions. Not even the right to free speech is absolute. You can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, for example.
Gun violence is epidemic. Can you imagine what would happen if our children went to school with guns hanging from their belts? Anyone who would suggest such a thing should be committed to a mental institution!
It's important, I suppose, to propose the usual, expected disclaimer: First, there may be instances where a weapon is needed for self-protection, such as an isolated area in the mountains which contains certain dangerous critters. And, yes, I think it's OK to own a weapon for hunting or target shooting. But, in reality, who the hell needs to hunt these days? And you can shoot at targets with BB guns which are a lot less lethal. Or throw itty bitty stones at targets if you find that you need target shooting to make you more of a man or woman!
Please, if you are a real, live adult with a modicum of common sense, stand up and demand that this nonsense stop. Demand that stringent and enforceable gun controls be put in place such as the following:
Every gun purchase requires a background check! Automatic weapons are banned. Nobody needs an automatic weapon. Large caliber pistols are banned. One gun per person and that person must be trained and licensed. (Hey, think of the jobs such a law would create!). No more gun shows! No more purchasing of weapons at pawn shops. Guns can be sold only by persons who themselves have gone through a background check and are licensed to sell weapons. No one under the age of 18 may own a gun!
I'm sure there are other controls which would be effective.
Finally, ensure that penalties for violating these gun laws are severe - felonies!
Let's hear it for the adults in this country who are willing to take on the NRA and its minions; who are willing to take a stand for what is right and good for the country.