By Dale Lucht
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, shot twenty children and six adult staff members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut.
“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.” This Second Amendment, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, was adopted on December 15, 1791.
Much has changed in 221 years. A flintlock could only fire 3-4 rounds per minute. On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner shot U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head. Within a minute he killed 6 and wounded 13. He was stopped when he tried to reload. The difference in firepower has increased by a factor of at least ten.
Vice President Biden and President Obama came out with some common sense suggestions to help with gun violence in our country. First, ban the sale of assault-style weapons. I’ve seen what damage an assault weapon can do and that is to kill. Secondly, magazine size should be limited; the slower you can fire, the less people you can kill. Background checks need to be mandatory in every venue, including gun shows, and entered in a national data base. This should keep mentally disturbed individuals from legally obtaining guns.
After Sandy Hook happened, I figured I might get a slim chance to write about it. But I also thought that Congress would act on it by now. John Boehner’s Do Nothing Congress and Harry Reid’s filibustered Senate have not acted. Because of the NRA and their lobbyists, Congress is afraid to act. Check with your representatives. Where do they stand? If they vote against enacting these laws, contact them with your opinion.
Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice-President and CEO of the NRA, made the suggestion to arm the teachers. In my opinion, Mr. LaPierre ought to be a co-defendant in any new mass murders because he is conspiring to arm the murderers. He’s taking his million dollar paycheck and not blaming the gun owners. He does blame films and video games for society’s acceptance of violence. He may have a point, but in my opinion it is a minor influence in the destruction that modern weaponry is capable of, and can be avoided if we try to be sensible.
We face many problems in the world and our country. Money problems, energy problems, food shortages, epidemics, wars and rumors of wars. All of our problems are caused by one thing, and that is fear.
We fear we won’t have enough money to live on, so we hoard money. We fear we won’t have enough gas, so we pay their extortion price and give them subsidies. We fear little germs, so we take antibiotics too often, thus enable those little beasties to mutate, and the drugs no longer affect them. We fear war, so we pay the military-industrial complex billions of dollars to protect us from wars that they themselves may have started.
The fact is we are not mature enough to be responsible for our freedom. That is why we need the “Ten Commandments”. That is why we need laws and restrictions on our behavior. That is why we need regulations on business. Because of fear and greed we cannot be trusted to do no harm. That is in our future.
Because we act like little kids sometimes, and little kids don’t like to be told what to do, maybe we should change Gun Control to Gun Management. Would that be more palatable to the NRA? It is worth trying.
One more comment. Why do people’s Second Amendment rights to bear arms outweigh my First amendment right to peacefully assemble?