To the Editor:
In a letter to the editor last week, I quoted Darrell Scott, the father of one of the Columbine victims, who asked us all to examine our own hearts before casting stones. Now, assuming that we all have hopefully done so, let’s see if we can honestly respond to a few possibilities that might be posed to us.
Do we feel, or actually recognize, that any of the following might be contributing factors to events such as Sandy Hook:
— The loss of spirituality in America over the last few decades? It sure isn’t difficult to arrive at that conclusion when we relate it to the way things were when many of us, and previous generations, grew up;
— The mainstreaming of children who honestly are in need of special help?
— The approximately 9 million to 10 million American children who are on some form of psychotropic drug, many of which drugs have not been fully tested?
— The number of adults on psychotropic drugs?
— The only help being available to people with mental health issues nowadays, only coming many times after they have actually committed a crime?
— The above lack of tracking of those with mental health issues leading to the inability to cross reference such with the NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System], background checks for gun purchases, which has been the law since 1998?
— The enormous amount of violence found in the movies coming out of Hollywood and the same type of games played on our computers and electronic devices?
— That we are becoming disconnected from one another as a result of all of our technology and social media? Aren’t we all aware of how this media contributes to the bullying problem within our schools and its result?
— The abominable number of young people, especially in our inner cities, who do not graduate from high school?
— Government programs promoting multi-generational welfare and single-parent families?
— “Gun Safe” school (or other) zones that just might be an invitation to violence from these perpetrators? If you had poor intentions, what would you be looking for? And what do they all do when confronted with resistance?
Now do we really believe that these events occur because of inanimate objects? And, how about the fact that approximately 80 million of your law-abiding fellow-citizen gun-owners, in 50 million households across this great country, committed no crimes last year?
Also consider the fact that every one of these perpetrators possessed one or more of these common denominators: on medication, home/work/school problems, religious/jihad issues, racially motivated, naturally crazy, bad, or evil person.
Why is it that so many people, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, can understand the irrationality of making further gun control laws the panacea that is being proposed?
If one doesn’t see that irrationality, you are probably in denial.
The above aside, let’s look at the absurdity of some of what’s being discussed today.
On the same day as Sandy Hook, in a school in China, 22 children and one adult were stabbed with a knife, fortunately with no fatalities. Gun, knife, sword, bomb — what’s the difference? Any weapon can be fatal or not.
Maybe this perpetrator’s knife blade was too short, maybe he was a poor shot, or maybe his intention was other than killing. The point is: Inanimate objects do not cause violence, people do.
Logic says that, if you’re going to limit or take away guns, then you also need to do the same with anything else that can be used to cause harm to another. Also keep in mind that none of the other items are specifically protected by our Constitution.
All the talk is about reinstituting the expired assault-weapons ban. The fact is that what is being referred to as an assault weapon is simply cosmetically similar to what is used by our military and law enforcement. Those types of weapons have been outlawed to the public since the 1930s. According to virtually every study done since the original ban expired in 2004, during the 10 years it was in effect, there was virtually no change in gun crime.
Part of the assault weapons bill sets gun magazine capacities at no more than 10 rounds. The fact of this matter is that, to a moderately trained person, there is virtually no difference between having one 30-round magazine or three 10-round magazines, as an example.
And, furthermore, if you believe that 10-round magazines are any type of solution, aren’t you essentially just saying that the loss of 10 lives is acceptable to you, but 11 or more would be out of the question?
When viewed in light of the above societal issues, common denominators, and the illogical rush to new gun-control measures, it is obvious to anyone not in denial that there are many courses of action other than new gun laws that will have a more immediate and positive impact on solving this problem. It is also obvious that this course of action is coming from politicians and others who have a larger agenda, and who are taking advantage of the recent tragedy to move forward on it.
From what I’ve been observing of our political process over the past years, the only real assault weapons Americans need to worry about are some elected officials and members of the media.
Furthermore, we have not even touched upon the founders’ original intent of the Second Amendment, which, by the way, has nothing to do with hunting or protection from Indians during westward expansion. It derives from a knowledge of 4,000 years of human history. It has been interpreted by many courts over the years as an “individual’s right,” including as recently as 2008 and 2010 by the United States Supreme Court.
Let’s look at just a few of hundreds of quotes by our founders and others. Do your own homework. Think critically.
— “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787
— “The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpation of power by rulers. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally ... enable the people to resist and triumph over them.” Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833
— “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms ... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard, against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible.” Hubert H. Humphrey, Senator, Vice President, 1959
— “Those now possessing weapons and ammunition are at once to turn them over to the local police authority. Firearms and ammunition found in a Jew’s possession will be forfeited to the government without compensation ... Whoever willfully or negligently violates the provisions ... will be punished with imprisonment and a fine.” Nazi Law, Regulations Against Jews’ Possession of Weapons, 1938, German Minister of the Interior
— “Armas para que?” (“Guns, for what?”) Fidel Castro, a response to Cuban citizens who said the people might need to keep their guns, after Castro announced strict gun control in Cuba
— “We can’t be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans to legitimately own handguns and rifles ... that we are unable to think about reality.” Bill Clinton, 1993
— “Gun registration is not enough.” Janet Reno, U.S. Attorney General, 1993
In light of American and world politics today and with a grasp of its original intent, everyone should be able to find a reason to protect the Second Amendment.
What are we all going to do once our emotions are soothed, but the next tragedy still occurs? Do we really want our kids safer or are we just playing politics?