I tried to write an article on gun violence last week and was attacked by so many boneheads that I removed the post. I can not stand trying to have an open-minded dialog with close-minded people, in this case, gun owners.
This week in Los Angeles, a teen age boy who played high school football was shot, gunned down, murdered; call it whatever you want. He was the victim of gang violence but not a member of a gang. He got caught in the crossfire.
I highly doubt that the founding fathers came up with the second amendment giving Americans the right to “bear arms” with this in mind. I don’t think they sat around a table and said, “I think it should be OK for anyone to own a gun and shoot at random”.
I’ve read the second amendment. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the REAL intent of the words are. And I don’t believe for one minute that anybody else does either, no matter how scholarly on sentence structure they claim to be.
Gang members aren’t hunting wild life. They are not members of an organized militia, protecting the homeland in the interest of national security. They are murdering people. They are killing rival gang members and the general public who are in the crossfire of these personal vendettas. You will never convince me that this is what the second amendment means; granting these people the right to hold and use murder weapons, yes murder weapons, that’s all they are.
But if I try to appeal to gun owners to take a fresh look at the laws for the betterment of society, they all freak out and start quoting this, and that and the other thing, and these statistics, and those statistics, and blah, blah, blah. All the while, more people are dropping dead on the streets; killed by people who never should have had a gun in the first place.
I keep hearing “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. That is absolute bullshit. People with guns, who shouldn’t have them, kill other people”.
So I asked the question. Why can’t we put a moratorium on guns, all guns, with the exception of law enforcement and the military, for two years. Make it illegal for two years for any guns to be owned by anyone other than the military and police. I don’t even care if it is two years, two days, two decades, or an hour. My point is that I just want these second amendment supporting gun-toters to think about it differently for just two seconds. Can’t you just try, try and take a step back and actually think about it from a different point of view from your own. I have.
I live in Maine. Lots of people have guns here. If I wanted to own a gun to hunt, or to protect myself, yes, I think I should be allowed to. But if it was discovered that I was in a gang, the gun should be taken away from me. If it was discovered that I was on anti-psychotic medication, the gun should be taken away from me. And if I get fired from my job, the gun should be taken away from me. At least for a while until we can be reasonably sure I won’t misuse it.
I know what they will say. My recommendations are ridiculous and unenforceable. How are we going to control gun ownership at this level. It is impossible. And they are right. What I am asking is to start thinking about gun ownership differently, picture it if we could manage gun ownership at this level. Why is that so hard.
I am tired of statistics. I don’t understand how any statistics can disprove the fact that gun violence kills innocent people.
Back to the incident I referenced at the top of this post. There was a women on a morning show this morning who is a Sargent in the Iraq war. She was allowed to come home to bury her son who was shot and killed in the crossfire of gang violence. That is a truly sad statement on the condition of the streets of America. And if a gun supporter can’t take this simple scenario and pause for a moment to re-think the gun laws in this country, then I don’t think they deserve to own a gun either.