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How can this continue to happen in America?

14 Dec

My heart is broken today. Just last Thanksgiving, my family visited Newtown for their annual Thanksgiving Day Run/Walk. The town was quaint and peaceful, and the people I encountered seemed close knit. Today, I was shocked to learn that twenty innocent, beautiful little children were brutally and savagely executed in that very same place. I am truly overwhelmed with grief and sadness.

In recent years, we have unfortunately heard this story far too often. Today, twenty young children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown. Earlier this week, a gunman open fire in a shopping mall in Oregon. Before that, tragedy struck a temple in Wisconsin and a movie theater in Aurora. The Virginia Tech shootings brought to light the vulnerability of our college students. And every day, we hear of violence in the streets of our big cities and feel isolated from these tragedies, but today, it became clear that this can happen in any town, mall, or theatre in any city in the country.

I know I am left asking myself how this can continue to happen in America?

A couple of years ago, Jared Loughner walked into the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson, Arizona, to purchase a Glock 19. When he purchased that gun, he had every right to walk out the legal owner of the semi-automatic handgun. But then he used that weapon to kill six innocent people and wound more than a dozen during an attempted assassination of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. That’s when we all questioned that sale.

Current U.S. gun laws provided no reason to prohibit the transaction. But it seems clear to me that its time to step up and do something to prevent these senseless tragedies in the future. There must be a way to find some answer to the problem without violating the Constitution’s Second Amendment.  Twenty seven words in the Constitution, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” have been debated since those words were put down as the Second Amendment to the Constitution. While I agree that these words mean Americans have the right to bear arms, I think Congress had it right in 1994 when they enacted a temporary ban on the sale of certain assault weapons.

That ban, among other things, prohibited the sale of high capacity ammunition clips that carried more than 10 rounds. When the ban came up for expiration in 2004, Congress did not renew it. As a result, Loughner was able to purchase magazines that carried over 30 bullets per clip, allowing him to empty a full clip into a crowd in approximately 15 seconds.

Does the Second Amendment really mean that all Americans have the right to own assault weapons or semi-automatic handguns?

Perhaps we need to seek another ban on certain weapons, a ban on high capacity clips, or background checks that identify and prohibit convicted felons and anyone adjudicated as mentally defective, or anyone who has ever been committed to any mental institution, from purchasing guns.

Either way, it’s important to remember that the right to own a weapon in America is not absolute and today, the only absolute is that this debate needs to re-opened.

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9 Comments

Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Life, Politics

 

9 responses to “How can this continue to happen in America?

  1. Anonymous

    December 14, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    If the senseless death of these kindergarten children isn't enough to rouse us from our apathy and squarely face the problem of guns in our society, I think there is something dead in the soul of America.Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

     
  2. Anonymous

    December 15, 2012 at 1:50 am

    These were not high powered guns this time. And, we are not going to stop this senselessnesss through these constant banterings of guns in the US. THAT is not ever going to happen. We can not even get drugs off our streets in this country after decades of trying. We don't close our borders – so the discussion is moot even if everyone agreed on this. But we won't stop this with gun laws – because those who want to do evil and illegal things – do not care about these laws. There is already a law against guns on school grounds – period – absolute. That did not stop this did it, because the kid did not care about the laws.Today – another evil man went into another gradeschool in China and stabbed around 30 very young children. The ban on guns in that locked down communist country is heavily enforced – but it did not stop that senseless nut either.If we take away guns or try to limit their power; and assume in anyone's lifetime that via some form of communistic tactic such as China emparts that this approach works; then what keeps the next whacko from just taking a bomb in and blowing up the whole school next time? Nothing does.Your heart is in the right place, but the fight is the wrong one. In fact this gun fight is one of the political battles that continues to keep this nation divided in half. Both political sides raising the animosity and anger level base to the heights it is now. This constant anger – constant killing on TV – constant making these mass murderers into legends doesn't help. Our constant bickering and espousing hatred for the "other side's party" is what enables tragedies like this to happen as we escalate the war or words within this country. If not through the enciting of the act itself, then through the hightened anger of everyone in the country that masks society recognizing those who should stand out as a problem. After all, would this obviously angry young man have stood out in that mob of union anger in Michigan a few days ago? (just an example). In plain view of cameras – for a political cause – we see grown men act as thugs, punching a reporter repeatedly in the face, tearing down a tent on top of women and wheel-chaired people, and utterly destroying a poor hot dog vendor's equipment. Whould this enraged killer have stood out as those men yelled in front of the cameras that they had guns and would kill those expletive deleteds? Would he have stood out as they rushed in that tent of women and handicapped people with ski-masks and box cutters waiving to wreck mahem? I don't thinks so. I think he would fit right in. And our politicians not only don't speak out against this behavior, but they incite it, including our President, but also members of both parties. And the media does not shame the behavior, they try to excuse it for the benefit of the side they have taken.So the guns aren't the problem. Banning them (or a subset) won't fix the problem. WE, the adults – the unions – the press – the politicians – hollywood's incessant search of more gruesome films… etc. WE are the problem. Because WE are the example, the enablers, the co-dependents, and the sheeple to this mess.A gun does not do anything on it's own. Neither does a knife. Poison. Stones. Bombs. You can try to ban every potential means of harming our youth, and you won't succeed. But you will be fighting for the wrong cause anyway.BTW – I don't own a gun… never have… JMHO

     
  3. clearright.net

    December 15, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Hopefully these thoughts, from a blog I follow – Urgent Agenda, will be welcome in this discussion."OBNOXIA – Naturally, some politicians can't wait, after a tragedy like the one we had today, to shoot off their mouths and present their political opinions. The president was no exception. He made a moving statement, but it left me cold. It is true that one is sickened by the murder of 20 innocent children. But many more children have been murdered in the president's home city of Chicago this year, and Mr. Obama hasn't shown the slightest interest. But those children were killed one at a time. Maybe that's the difference. GUN CONTROL – As readers know, I'm a legitimate gun owner, but I've never had any problem with serious, Constitutional, effective measures to prevent gun tragedies. Most gun owners in a series of polls, support workable measures. The sad fact is that we'll now have another debate about gun control, with many participants making pathetic, ignorant statements. Connecticut has some of the most restrictive gun-control laws in the country, and the school involved today was in a gun-free zone. I can't see where any gun-control proposal made thus far could have prevented today's horror. (That doesn't mean we shouldn't try.) By contrast, we give little attention to the fact that many of the perpetrators in these mass killings have mental-health issues. Some of the chic, fashionable commentators like to downplay that. It's part of the liberal mentality. We're supposed to be "compassionate" toward the mentally challenged. Not when they're packing, buddy.'

     
  4. clearright.net

    December 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    A veteran LA police offers comments On the Horrors in Connecticut. Please give it a read.

     
  5. clearright.net

    December 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Another thoughtful commentary on what not to do as the result of the horror that occurred in CT, 12/14.Urgent Agenda – CT, 10:14 a.m., 12/15

     
  6. Anonymous

    December 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    This is a moderate approach for people who wich to be moderate:"I will henceforth and only talk about 'gun safety' as a goal for America, as opposed to 'gun control.' I have no abstract interest in 'controlling' someone else's ability to own a gun. I have a very powerful, direct, and legitimate interest in the consequences of others' gun ownership — namely that we change America's outlier status as site of most of the world's mass shootings. No reasonable gun-owner can disagree with steps to make gun use safer and more responsible. This also shifts the discussion to the realm of the incremental, the feasible, and the effective."From Jim Fallows on the Sandy Hook killings.

     
  7. clearright.net

    December 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    THE SANDY HOOK MURDERS: WHAT TO DO? – by Attorney, John Hinderaker, Powerlineblog.com.

     
  8. clearright.net

    December 16, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Interesting claim made by criminologist James Allen Foxwho studies 'mass shooting' at Boston’s Northeastern University . No, mass shootings are not on the increase – by Posted by Attorney, William Jacobson @ his blog Legal Insurrection.

     
  9. clearright.net

    December 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Thomas Sowell, must be an Americans described above as 'dead in the soul', as he questions the 'knee jerk' reaction many resort to on the heels of tragedies like the SHES massacre. Please read his commentary, 'Invincible Ignorance'.

     

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