By Jason Taylor
Over the many years I’ve been writing op-ed’s, I’ve written far too many of these pieces. I’ve been a strong advocate for gun control. I’ve asked the question many times… why does any civilian need access to assault weapons? The most common answer I get: “CAUSE, MERICA.”
As Congress is poised to pass a law that essentially permits people to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the US if they have such a permit in the place they reside, I wonder what kind of a world we are living in. As we permit money to highjack our political system to argue that semi-automatic weapons are a constitutional right, I wonder if this is a world I wish to live in. Guns in the hands of people kill people. They are a clear and present danger. Why is it that, when even the exercise of first amendment rights is subject to reasonable time place and manner restrictions, we can’t impose the same measure of reasonable restrictions on the exercise of our second amendment rights? This is irrational and our children and other innocent people will continue to die needlessly.
When will our legislators and Supreme Court Justices start using their heads instead of being used by lobbyists whose only concern is power and money. I am sickened by the lack of moral compass in government.
We have a generation of children growing up with this trauma. I’m sure many assume it will happen at their school sometime. The images of children marching or running out of a school with their hands over their heads is haunting. I don’t know how they will process the trauma. And they’re the lucky ones — they’re not dead. If I had a school age child now, I would homeschool. We have a full-fledged school shooting culture. Kids expect they may be shot at school, parents live in fear, society shrugs.
It is time to have a serious national discussion about the intent and meaning of the 2nd Amendment. I have read many discussions about the intent of the Founding Fathers, a “well-regulated militia,” “the right to bear arms,” “the right to protect your family,” etc., etc., etc. The fact of the matter is that our government is not at war with its citizens, despite what some 2nd Amendment “experts” say. Eleven police officers have been shot and killed this year so far. Kids are killing Kids. Gun suicides are a daily occurrence. A gun dealer sold 720 rounds to the shooter in the Las Vegas massacre. Any person, mentally ill or not, can easily get an AR-15.
When drugs flood an area, people die like flies from overdoses. Is that a people problem? No, It’s a drug problem. But when guns flood society and thousands die from them, that’s a people problem, not a gun problem. Guns are a public health issue. Those dead kids were healthy this morning. If an automobile defect kills a few people, we recall millions of them to fix the problem. But when high powered weapons are used to mow down kids, they say millions are in use so the percentages of deaths are acceptable.
Look, the number one reason people cling to their guns is that they believe these weapons make them invulnerable. No, they don’t. If someone wants you dead, you get dead. We are all vulnerable. We can never be invulnerable. We all have to rely on our neighbors and fellow citizens. None of us stands alone. The hyper-macho individualism of gun ownership is a false reality. Guns make us vulnerable.
Any hope of sensible gun control died with the kindergartners in Sandy Hook. If that could not bring this nation together in doing something about gun deaths then nothing will. In fact, that massacre caused a spike in gun sales as this one will most certainly do. This nation has accepted these gun deaths as a price for the gun ownership culture and it seems nothing is going to change that. I would say ban the AR-15, ban large-capacity magazines, ban bump stocks, have mandatory background checks for all types of gun sales; but we have been saying this for years. Florida basically has no gun restriction laws. When will we ever learn. It is time for basic morality to win out.
I find it interesting, to say the least, that whenever one of these massacres occurs, one of the first things people do is question the mental state of the perpetrator. One would really start to believe that mental disease only or primarily strikes the people of the United States; that, in this respect, a curse has been placed on the country while all other countries on Earth have been spared it.
There is a curse, alright, but it is nothing to do with the mental capacity of the American people; rather, it has everything to do with the mentality of a subsection of the American people. Specifically, it is their belief that the death of innocent children, some as young as six and seven years of age and whose only “crime” is to get an education, is the price that must be paid for the right to bear arms. It is this belief that is criminal. More important, it is the unwillingness of lawmakers to stand up against the NRA that is both criminal and abhorrent, afraid as they are that doing so will not only cost them their seat in Congress but, above all, money and power.
I wonder if the founding fathers figured the second amendment would cause so much bloodshed in their own country. It’s really a shame our Congress has no backbone to stand up to all this killing.