Bob Murl Bearden
Another senseless monologue by Wayne La Pierre of the National Rifle Association, as someone said, more of an advertisement for gun manufacturers than having anything to do in addressing the problem prevalent in this nation which is our addiction with guns. Not guns for sports hunting, but guns that can kill people at the rate of many per second and the need for us to have such weapons. Wayne La Pierre is not rational, nor has he ever been when comes to the subject of keeping our nation’s citizens safe. His mantra is just as it always has been, we cannot restrict anyone’s right to own any kind of gun they can afford to pay for.
The issue shouldn’t be about just blame. There is enough blame to go around. The issue should be about why we in America are more prone to killing lots of people with guns than any other society in the world, bar none? Despite the trite catch phrase ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people’, guns do kill people because we as a nation have made it easy for anyone to pick up an automatic weapon and start spraying it upon any one and any person. Guns do kill people and to say otherwise lower’s one’s IQ considerably. Without the easy accessibility of weapons of mass destruction (read guns that hold up to 100 rounds that can be sprayed about within a matter of a few seconds) a lot of people would still be alive and anyone who says that isn’t true doesn’t bother to check the statistics on the issue.
Of course, there is no way in a free society such as ours whereby we can stop all horrible things from happening and being perpetrated by those who will try. But, there are things that we as a society can and must do to minimize the opportunities for such people to gain access and to have the ways and means to rain mass destruction down upon their fellow citizens. First of all we need to quit talking about gun control. It’s not about gun control. It’s about limiting access to weapons which is not in and of itself controlling guns but restricting people’s ability to own weapons that can destroy lives so rapidly and without compunction or conscience.
And restricting access to weapons isn’t about the Second Amendment. First of all the Second Amendment is a long antiquated right that should and must be amended to fit the scenario of the times in which we live. ‘The right to keep and bear arms should never be abridged, in the context of a well-regulated militia.’ Restricting access to automatic 100 clip weapons is not in any way abridging any citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, in the context of a well-regulated militia.
The problem lies in that most of the readers of the Second Amendment apparently flunked English 101 all the way through school. Does any of these people who always pop up and cite the Second Amendment when talk of guns and using them to kill comes to the forefront of our national discourse, even understand what the last part of the amendment says or for that matter means? I think they do not. Their limited thinking ends after the words, ‘The right to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged’, no one ever seems to want to explain just what the words ‘In the context of a well-regulated militia’ means or at the very least implies?
It is very simple to me. We can keep in bear arms unabridged, if we are part of a ‘well-regulated militia’, otherwise our right to keep and bear arms can be restricted and abridged, based upon whether or not we can demonstrate a valid reason for gun ownership. Just having a weapon in our possession is not an inherent right of citizenship and to interpret the Second Amendment as an inalienable right to own a gun without any restrictions is just plain ludicrous.
Why is it that no one says much of anything about restricting people’s right to own a driver’s license when they abuse the responsibility by driving and drinking and either get caught speeding while doing it or worse causing or even just being involved in an accident? Any of our rights can be restricted if we as a member of our society abuse them, because they are only a right if we are willing to be responsible in using them. Rights are not God-given and we don’t simply inherit the right to keep and bear arms through the fact of citizenship.
We earn our rights by being responsible citizens. Allowing unrestricted ownership of weapons like the Bushmaster .223 used to murder 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary should not be an inherent right under the Second Amendment nor any other law.
We can, should and must have an honest dialogue about guns and what they are doing to our society. We must have an honest dialogue on the addictive violence that permeates our society from video games to violent movies to our addiction to owning weapons that kill and maim our children and which no sportsman or sportswoman would or should own nor have access to. It will require us all as citizens to be more responsible citizens. But it should never include arming our teachers or our educators or placing armed guards in our schools. A more responsible way to protect ourselves exists than for our citizens to become an armed mob seeking vengeance and justice without recourse to the rule of law and having to place our little children in the middle of Gunfight at the Ok Corral.
The trouble with Wayne La Pierre’s scenario of “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is by arming a good guy with a gun’ is that most of the people who have perpertrated these horrible crimes were considered good guys until they begin to kill. Police often have trouble distinguishing the ‘good guys’ from the ‘bad guys’ and they are trained in the proper procedures and in making judgment decisions of life and death. Teachers are not, nor should they be required to have to make those decisions.” —– Bob Bearden