- Posted January 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun control debate: Background checks
How do we stop the violence?
I remember the shock of Columbine, dumbfoundingly violent. No one thought something that violent would happen again. It was the kind of shock that took the nation by surprise. Over the years it feels like these shootings have become more and more common. Yet this country has a long history of violence in its schools (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States) despite an abundance of gun laws: a previous Assault Weapons Ban, A National Firearms Act, A Firearm Owners Protection Act, Gun Free School Zones, Background Checks for gun buyers, interstate regulations for firearms, and various state laws. Make no mistake - we have plenty of gun laws.
So why is this happening? What makes our schools such an easy target? Have we shown that this behavior will not go unpunished and unmatched? Have we realized that we must lock our weapons up so they can’t be taken by our children? Owning guns is not something I take lightly. I keep my weapons locked away when not in use. I value our Constitution and the freedoms that it gives us. It is these freedoms and these values which set us apart from every other country. It gives me comfort to know the US is number one in gun ownership amongst it citizens. I am proud that we weren’t invaded because, according to Isoroku Yamamoto, “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” I am proud that we have the ability to stand up to a tyrannical government and hope that this right alone is enough of a deterrent. I cannot guarantee there won’t be tyranny, ethnic cleansing, an invasion, or any other great disaster in the next 100 years. These things have happened to other nations and although it is seemingly unlikely today, governments change as do political powers. Our second Amendment allows us to defend our American values. Do we want to solely rely on our police and government for protection? Is it logical to assume they will not be able to be everywhere and protect everyone all the time? This is one of the reasons concealed carry is so effective.
As if that wasn’t reason enough, a study of other banned items shows that they are still widespread and available to criminals. Take drugs for instance. It is possible to get drugs in every major city. The cartels are waging wars in the south, killing innocent people that get in the way. Yet possession and distribution of drugs are illegal. Child pornography is an even more sickening example. Sexual predators illegally acquire and distribute images and other media, violating law, morality, and social acceptability. It would be foolish to assume that removing guns from our society would create a gun free society. The criminal element has shown time and time again that it is possible to either smuggle or produce illegal items at will. How would any type of firearm ban then keep guns out of the hands of criminals?
My guns are tools that I would use to protect my family and ultimately my country. Having armed citizens makes the country safer. It deters leaders from assuming too much power and violating the Constitution. It is a message to other countries that we will fight if you attack us. Guns make America great and are not something we should fear. What troubles me, is how our culture thinks it is ok to use fear, as a reason to ban guns that could defend our way of life? This is unacceptable, but then again, so are school shootings...
The Constitution’s 2nd Amendment gives individuals the right to bear arms. The question being put forth before the people, ultimately our elected officials, is does this right need to be restricted? Most Americans realize there are evil people in the world intent on harming innocent people. This has been shown through the tragedies that we are talking about today. The Arora shooter was so intent he had even built explosives at his apartment to take out the first responders. It is not hard to conclude that if he had not had the weapons, these explosives could have been used at the theater to kill a larger number of people. So then the question becomes, how would restricting gun ownership help the problem?
How can we instill better morals in our culture and how can we enact laws that might actually have an effect on these crimes? I think everyone would agree that we need laws that severely punish those that go on these shooting sprees. We need laws that punish negligent firearm owners. We need to ensure current gun laws are followed. We need national security and we value the right to stand up against tyranny. We need more love and encouragement, at home, in school, on the road, and in our lives. It is time we talked with our kids about this violent behavior and proper ways to deal with conflict? I hope our 2nd Amendment will continue to defend our Nation, our Constitution, and our way of life. I urge you to tell your congressmen to respect our 2nd Amendment and enact laws that hold people accountable for the failure to safeguard their weapons and ensure guns are not sold to felons and the mentally ill.
If you’re still reading: What can you do?
Write your congressman: http://www.popvox.com/blog/2013/issue-spotlight-firearms-113th/
Attend a rally: http://www.guncontrolmorecrime.com/
Spread the word on facebook, twitter, google.
And finally VOTE and become involved in our government it is the only path toward change.