I have posted in the past about mass shootings and their aftermath… I have used this blog to post about my political beliefs, and I Have faced the backlash from friends about my feelings on the matter. My conservative friends would say that it isn’t the gun that killed 17 kids and teachers yesterday in Parkland, Florida, it was the action of a mentally disturbed madman that committed this act, we shouldn’t blame the guns, but the person.
I have quietly sat back contemplating whether or not I should even bring this up, should I risk the backlash of friends, family, and coworkers by posting a controversial article about how I feel about guns, the people who own guns, and the ramifications of the actions of a select few crazy people that decide they are going to kill a lot of people in a short period of time. The AR-15 is the weapon of choice, it is sexy, it looks like a military weapon, and it has a 30 round clip. I know there are comparable rifles available that do not look like the AR-15, yet also have the ability to fire as quickly as the AR-15 (45 rounds per minute) and that the backlash is all about how the weapon looks to the gun banning radical left wing and not about the capabilities.
For the record, I am 51, white, born in NE Ohio, and raised by gun loving conservatives for all of my life. I was raised with guns in the household, my father loved his shotgun, I shot a rifle as a kid in the woods behind my uncles farm, and my step-father is a former Navy Seal, and to this day has what could be considered an arsenal stored either under his bed, or in his closet, including, I am sure, an AR-15. He would argue with me that the AR-15 is no different than any other rifle or gun out there, that in the right hands it is no more dangerous than a derringer. I respect his opinion, but the difference is, I live in the REAL world, where the AR-15 has become the weapon of choice for mass shootings and nuts with a grudge.
I know I am not a person in power, and my opinion in the grand scheme of things means very little. but I am an American Citizen. I was born here, I have a child that was born here, and as I have mentioned before, my ancestors can be traced all the way back to the Mayflower, so you can say my heritage is embedded in America, what it stands for, what it means to the world, and what freedom means. Freedom comes with a price, and the price is responsibility to its fellow citizens, not to what we deserve as Americans, but what the responsibility of freedom requires of it’s citizens. It is stated specifically in the Declaration of Independence, we have the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the key word there being LIFE. We all have the right to live, but some people and organizations overlook that right by believing the second amendment is absolute, not up for discussion and has no room for criticism.
With all of that being said it brings me to this. The founding fathers that created the second amendment granted the right to bear arms amendment. the second amendment, based on the technology at the time, which was muskets, weapons that shot 2 rounds per minute, they did not anticipate weapons that could shoot 45 rounds per minute, nor did they anticipate weapons of mass destruction. The Constitution is a living, breathing document and has been proven over the years, can be changed, adjusted, and acclimated to the environmental changes of social and political environments. Examples of this is the 19th amendment (women suffrage) , the Civil rights act, the thirteenth amendment (abolition of slavery) and of course, the Right-Wing of The Republican Party’s FAVORITE Amendment, the second, which states:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
The Amendment also goes on to state the following:
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals, while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices. State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.
So based on the ORIGINAL wording of the Amendment, this right is not without limits, and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices. That statement alone proves that the founders had foresight to see that technology will change, that methods of weapons will change and that restriction of such weapons may become necessary to protect the public safety. It allows the Government to restrict the use of firearms, it protects regulation of firearms and says that the right to bear arms is NOT ABSOLUTE.
I believe you have the right to defend yourself, I believe you have the right to hunt for food, I also believe that you have the right to collect guns for your own personal use, however I ALSO believe that a weapon that has the ability of delivering 45 ROUNDS PER MINUTE is not for personal protection nor hunting. The sole purpose of these weapons is to kill human beings, nothing more, nothing less. The second amendment is NOT absolute, and I argue that you do not have the right to weapons capable of killing 17 students in a school in less than an hour, or shooting and killing 58 people by adding an after market bump stock to make the weapon fully automatic.
If you want to own a handgun, a shotgun, or a hunting rifle, by all means go for it, but when you delve into wanting a weapon that could be used to kill DOZENS of people, I have an issue with that. There is no logical argument, none, that can convince me that these weapons fall under the right to bear arms. If you want to argue that yo need these types of weapons to fight off the tyranny of government, such as what the Revolutionaries did in 1776, then I provide this argument. If the government decides it is going to oppress the people, if the government decides it s going to declare martial law and turn this country into a dictatorship, or a Communist nation… What makes you think, that a few thousand of you have an inkling of a chance in defeating the Armed Forces of the United States with your AR-15’s??
think about that….
I sit here after witnessing yet another mass shooting at a school, where CHILDREN are mowed down by a single, radicalized, white nationalist. not a Muslim, not a member if Isis, not a member of Al Qaida, not a disciple of Osama Bin Laden, but instead, a radical WHITE, born in the good old USA white, Caucasian, Christian, Trump-Loving, racist and I wonder… What is wrong with a country when a corporation like the NRA can put the United States Congress in their pocket and place enough fear in its members that no amount of outrage can trigger action to stop these tragedies from happening. they are so afraid of losing re-election that they will allow CHILDREN to die at the hands of these weapons so that they can keep their seat in Congress. I have a 24-year old son, who has as much right to live as you or me, and if his life is in danger because of these weapons, I only have one thing to say… HIS RIGHT TO LIFE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR RIGHT TO OWN A GUN. Get rid of these mechanisms of violence, of death, and instruments of testosterone, and our children will grow up to be the leaders of the future. Your child is at risk, my child is at risk, and to deny this is to deny the fact these weapons have no business in a civilized society.