Saturday, December 15, 2012

It Is Time – Gun Control

gunI want to first offer my heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathy to the parents and families of those who lost love ones due to the senseless tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School today. Many of you have cried and felt pain mainly because of the twenty children killed by this obviously insane shooter. Most of you have no idea as to the pain felt by the parents; if you have never lost a child. I have, and know that pain, which is the worst thing that can happen in life.

I saw a comment on Twitter today that said, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” This person would not have said such a crazy thing if one of the children was one of his own. Then there is the National Rifle Association (NRA), a leading gun rights advocate, had no comment! Let’s remember that there have been shooting after shooting – death in rising number in all manner of public venues. It’s not safe to go anywhere.

One of the things I also heard was “this is such a great suburban town” and “this does not happen here”. Not surprising, but in urban families in cities and communities throughout the nation have be crying out for someone to do something about guns for as long as I can remember. In urban communities’ children suffer Post Dramatic Stress Syndrome as a result of the combat like environments they suffer and witness daily.

I have experienced war firsthand and know that witnessing the brutality of death inflicted by another human – never leaves the minds consciousness. But my point through this writing is to say, now that we have witnessed the many acts of mass murder committed by these young white killers in communities very different from the daily urban neighborhood deaths. Will the calls for America to begin a serious debate over gun regulation after the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School left 28 (mostly children) dead.

I guarantee the usual argument will ensue; the Second Amendment of the Constitution will be raised and the court rulings, which in my view wrongly rendered, have upheld or at least supported this contention. While the Supreme Court ruled in D.C. v. Heller that bans on handgun ownership was unconstitutional, the ruling gives the state and federal governments a great deal of latitude to regulate gun ownership. This means something can be done.

As the U.S. Second Court of Appeals put it in a recent ruling upholding a New York regulation, “The state’s ability to regulate firearms and, for that matter, conduct, is qualitatively different in public than in the home. Heller reinforces this view. In striking D.C.’s handgun ban, the Court stressed that banning usable handguns in the home is a ‘policy choice’ that is ‘off the table,’ but that a variety of other regulatory options remain available, including categorical bans on firearm possession in certain public locations.”

So, do we have to continue to endure the Gabby Gifford’s, Mr. Brady, shootings at malls, schools, colleges, and movie theaters, and see countless innocent murders before our government takes action? It is a sad state of affairs!  These views are vastly different when color is applied. It is striking that if a black man kills someone – he is a menace to society. When a person from another country kills someone – that person is called a terrorist. But when a white man kills someone – he is mentally ill.

I don’t want to compare this incident to the Stand Your Ground Laws, the two black teenagers in Florida, or any of the countless acts of gun crimes in recent memory. But it is time for the insanity to end. It is our government’s duty to make sense of the senseless and a good start would be to immediately begin a dialog leading to corrective action to protect the citizens of our nation.  

Guns are made for one purpose and that is to kill. Maybe just maybe – if they were fewer guns, there just might be fewer killings. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


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