We all have wants, and we all have needs. I totally acknowledge those facts. The vast majority of Americans want to own guns. They feel the need to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms as stated in the Constitution of the United States. Whether U.S. citizens choose to purchase firearms to protect themselves, to protect their families, to protect their property, because they like guns, for hunting purposes, or for whatever other reason, it’s perfectly legal. It may even be a common sense application. However, here’s a problem no one wants to think about. Here’s an issue no one wants to discuss. Behold, I show you a mystery – America’s gun mystery.
The inconvenient truth is this: everyone in America should not own a gun. Everyone in America cannot handle the solemn responsibilities of gun ownership. In the United States of America, one size does not fit all. Everyone in America should not be behind the wheel of an automobile. Everyone in America should not be at the helm of a boat. Place someone reckless, drunk, or distracted in either of those situations, and you have the potential for injury and/or death. A car or a boat can suddenly become just as deadly as a gun if guided by someone reckless, drunk, or distracted.
Then, there is the matter of criminal intent. Do you believe that every felon deserves the right to own his or her own guns? I don’t. Do you think that every individual who has been charged or convicted or sent to jail for acts of violence is entitled to own his or her own guns? I don’t. Do you think it is acceptable for people who have suffered from mental illness either in the recent past or currently to enjoy their 2nd Amendment rights? I don’t. As I said before, everyone in America cannot handle the solemn responsibilities of gun ownership.
Bullets are not ballots. Guns don’t vote – they eradicate.
I’m fairly certain you heard about the mass shooting which took place on Wednesday in San Bernardino, California. 14 people dead, 21 people wounded. FBI agents and local police also found undetonated pipe bombs, thousands of rounds of ammunition, additional bomb-making materials at the home of the shooters – a married couple killed in a gun battle with police. And while I realize that tragedy is now being investigated as an act of terrorism on our soil, inconvenient questions quickly arise. If they had been in place, would routine background checks on the husband at the time he purchased those guns drawn red flags? If local authorities had done even a little more due diligence, would they have discovered that couple’s ties to extremist groups overseas? Could the good guys have stopped their terrorist plot in advance? Could those 14 lives have been saved? We will never know.
Also on Wednesday, there was a mass shooting in Savannah, Georgia. 1 person dead, 3 wounded. Details are still sketchy, primarily because the Savannah shooting went all but unnoticed by the national media.
The Savannah and San Bernardino shootings came days after the shooting that occurred at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 3 people dead, 9 wounded. Folks, I don’t care what that shooter’s political views were. He killed innocent people. He had a history of run-ins with the police. That individual should not have been able to either purchase or own firearms. His murderous rampage is absolute proof of my assertion.
Frankly, this isn’t an NRA problem. It’s an American problem.
Mass shootings happen so frequently in our nation that I believe they have become routine. People aren’t shocked or angered when these terrible crimes occur. Not anymore. As long as no one they know or love or respect is killed and/or wounded, it’s business as usual. That – in and of itself – is tragic.
Some of our elected leaders are silent when mass shootings happen in America. Some of our politicians simply shrug their shoulders – as if they are powerless. Other leaders actually want to address gun violence, but they know the political will isn’t there.
Bullets are no respecters of political ideology.
33,000 Americans die every single year from gun violence. Even if that number was reduced to 3 Americans, that would be 3 lives too many lost to this societal plague.
I know that guns don’t kill people; people kill people. And since that is true, what can we do to help people not kill other people? There has to be some way to preserve gun rights for responsible, law-abiding citizens while protecting the lives of Americans.
If all Americans love and laugh and learn and listen, then how can we can continue tolerating such rampant gun violence here in the land of the free? Why won’t we come together and do something – anything – to stop this now? Therein lies the mystery.