That was my first reaction when I first heard the breaking news about the tragedy at Virginia Tech. I, as I am sure many of you were glued to their TVs, Radios, Favorite Internet News Sites etc., trying to get the latest details while hoping and praying that the carnage wasn’t really as horrible as the conflicting reports were saying. What started out as a breaking story of death, confusion and a mad man; slowly devolved into a game of numbers and which news outlet could come up with the highest “unconfirmed” numbers first. At that point I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to wait until later on when more substantial information would come through. Hopefully to make some sort of sense (if at all possible) of WHY someone would feel it necessary to take the lives of many innocents. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that something as tragic as what happened ever makes “sense” but at least perhaps we could at least find out what went so wrong with someone that they felt the needed to take so many lives and perhaps prevent it from ever happening again.
Before I shut down my laptop, one last headline caught my eye and suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. It seems that a statement from our “Fearless Leader” was being issued before his “Official News/Photo” Op in which he would try (and FAIL) to convince our country and the world that he actually has a heart. It was the usual “I’m shocked/saddened/in disbelief statement with my heart going out to the families of the victims…” kind of statement, then this was added: “The president still believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed,” spokeswoman Dana Perino said. WTF????????????
Couldn’t the IDIOT at least let the dust of this tragedy settle in the slightest bit before he ran to the defense of the NRA? My G-D, why does he feel it necessary to slap the families of the victims in the face (many of which at that point still weren’t aware if their child was injured, killed or safe), by defending the rights of those who feel it is their G-D given Constitutional right to own fully automatic AK-47s’, etc. to go rabbit hunting?
Haven’t we as a nation learned our lesson after:
1. Columbine – 13 Deaths, 23 Wounded (2 Shooters)
2. Red Lake Indian School – 9 Deaths, 15 Wounded (1 Shooter)
3. Amish Schoolhouse in Pennsylvania – 4 Deaths, 7 Wounded (1 Shooter)
4. Conyers, GA – 0 Deaths, 6 Wounded (1 Shooter)
5. Added to these incidents, the suicide of the person responsible
According to the “National School Safety and Security Services” there have been over 106 shooting deaths in our nation’s Schools (NOT counting Virginia Tech) SINCE Columbine!!!
According to the FBI, “The homicide rate in the United States of America is higher than that any other developed countries, with firearms used to commit 68% of the 14,860 homicides in the United States during 2005” This amounted to 10,105 deaths in 2005 ALONE!
In SOME of these cases the guns that were used were easily obtainable at local gun shows where background (and ID) checks were minimal at best. Some guns were taken from friends or family members who kept their guns loaded and in unlocked cabinets. Guns are also readily available on the streets of many cities where for a price, no one even asks for your name. And yet after every high profile shooting, the cry goes out for stricter gun control laws, but yet they are swallowed by the gun rights lobbyists who point to the 2nd Amendment which gives us the right to bear arms.
However, when the 2nd Amendment was added to the Constitution, it was meant so that the average citizen (and local militias), could protect their property and this country from foreign attack at a time when there wasn’t a “Federalized” Army. It was also written BEFORE the advent of Semi and Automatic weapons and “muskets” were the style of the day. Hunting (not the kind where you go to a penned-in, stocked game farm and shoot your friend in the face kind), was also the primary way families in rural areas obtained food for their tables. Guns had their place back then, but exactly where and why do they belong in today’s society?
I know that I may get a LOT of flack and maybe even a few hateful comments, but hear me out and digest my words first. I simply don’t buy into the 2nd Amendment as an absolute right to own a gun. Amendments to our Constitution have been added and repealed as as long as we have had a Constitution. Our constitution has changed as our country has grown and matured. Some Constitutional Amendment changes have included, women finally given the right to vote, prohibition added and then repealed and the abolishment of slavery among other things. And sadly with this current Administration, many other Constitutional “rights” have been “stolen” from us under the guise of fighting the “War on Terror” and the “Patriot” Act, not to mention the Right Wingnuts insistence of trying to add a Federal Amendment to define marriage while ignoring the rights of others.
Should we abolish guns in our society? Although I would never own one, I don’t think that is the answer. What I do believe is that gun laws must be changed to reflect today’s society.
1. Current gun laws MUST be STRICTLY enforced – NO EXCEPTIONS! (Right, Mr. Cheney?)
2. Licensing must be STRICTER! It’s easier to get a gun in this country than it is to get a Driver’s License in some states.
3. Background checks MUST be THOROUGH AND ENFORCED – NO EXCEPTIONS – VIOLATORS MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!
4. What the FUCK does the average citizen need a semi or automatic gun with extra capacity clips for? Hunting what? Don’t these types of guns take the SPORT out of hunting and turn it into a slaughter? These are the ones IMHO that should be OUTLAWED!
5. Jail sentences should be MANDATORY for unregistered gun owners, PERIOD!
6. Anyone who uses a gun in a crime whether it is registered or not should server a mandatory jail sentence.
7. How about even a Uniform Federal Gun Safety Course as part of the application process during the waiting period before ANY AND EVERY gun purchase?
I can go on and on (and I have!), and I am also sure that there will be many debates one way or the other, but I do have one last thought and that is, how have other countries survived for hundreds of years where guns and gun ownership is outlawed and violators face strict fines, penalties and jail time?