Ladies and Gentleman: the Days of Muskets and a “Well Regulated Militia” Are Far Behind Us
When this terrible and senseless gun violence continues to occur, when the same old arguments get trotted out again and again about the “rights” of Americans that are guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution—the finer points of which gun rights activists NEVER seem to actually understand, nor do they they grasp the time period in which it was written; a time when the infantry used single shot muskets, which were incapable of killing multiple people with one shot—I feel as though I am living in a third world country. A country where people do not feel safe in movie theaters or community colleges is not a safe country. Nor is it a First World country if we are governed by a Congress that allows this. And no, a “good guy” with a gun does not help the problem because, guess what? A gun is STILL a gun. And when pointed and shot with live ammunition at a human being (either a “good” or “bad” human being, which is still nothing more than arbitrary human definition) by another human being, that human being within the gun’s cross hairs will most likely die.
I teach at a community college, and this most recent spate of deaths, caused by one angry person’s gun, deeply angers, upsets, and unsettles me. We need to change the gun laws in this country. The current ones are ineffectual and protect nobody’s “freedoms.” It’s time for Congress to act and to stop pandering to the NRA. Congress brought down the tobacco industry once upon a time. Now it’s time to bring the NRA to its knees once and for all. It’s past time. Too many innocent people have died, and prayers do not bring dead people back to life. Prayers do NOT bring them back to the grieving families who have lost them. And that, I can promise you, is what these grieving families truly want! Simply put: prayers are NOT enough. Not nearly enough. Offering prayers is the same thing as offering a single Band-aid to someone with a gaping wound.
I agree with President Obama. This is not a political issue. It’s a public safety issue. But let’s make it a political issue if that’s what’s needed to change the horrible, nightmare-inducing reality of gun violence in the U.S.A.