Just another media day in our lives. The Newtown mass killing is now generating the standard 24-hour coverage that has become expected of such tragedies. And, as can be expected, more than likely, a certain pattern will be followed.
Americans will cry, express outrage, stomp their feet, mourn the Newtown loss, call for change, but, just as with so many other mass shootings, the frenzy will soon pass, and Newtown will fade into history – until another mass shooting occurs and the vicious cycle is begun again.
Citizens will go back to their everyday lives, and the tragedy given birth by the American “gun culture” will fade into the background because this country has bought into the fallacious Second Amendment argument made by powerful interests that we are entitled to carry any and all types of weapons imaginable because, by God, the Second Amendment “says so.”
Contrary to gun-rights advocates, the Second Amendment was not passed to provide ownership of guns simply to provide individual, personal protection but rather to ensure protection of the community, in general. The Amendment as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
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
The Amendment was established because in the early days of our country, we had no standing Army such as exists today. Citizens had to ensure that they had to have a way of protecting themselves from invasion or attack from outside forces. The gun-rights advocates would have all believe that this Amendment passed in 1791 is applicable to all manner of arms and for a reason other than community protection. Yet, not one of the weapons used in so many of the mass killings existed in 1791.
But, not to worry, our cowardice as a Nation, our impotent responses to dealing with gun control will ensure that the NRA and the gun mentality will survive despite the fact that the writers of the Second Amendment would be appalled at our twisted interpretation of what they intended.
We will continue to have mass shootings, mourning parents and communities, and dozens of funeral services. We will continue to sit in our living rooms riveted by media coverage of devastated parents and families, listening to platitudes paid to the kindness of others, hearing about the bravery of those involved, watching visits by officials, hanging on every word to try to understand the warped mentality coupled with the ease of obtaining semi- automatic and automatic weapons, and, ultimately, turning our eyes upward to murmur prayers.
And, we will continue to hear the tired, worn “saw” that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” And, cars don’t kill people, and knives don’t kill people, and baseball bats don’t kill people. Yet, how many mass killings have involved baseball bats, knives, or cars?
I am not advocating the banning of all guns. Hand guns do provide protection, and rifles are used for hunting. But the argument that assault weapons and other automatic and semi-automatic weapons should be easily obtainable is absurd. One of the arguments usually made as to why ownership of military-style weapons is necessary is that they might be needed if the government decides to use the military to take over. Really? Really?
Or, another argument that if a “good” gun owner (however that is interpreted) is packing, that would put a stop to the offending individual. A handgun against assault weapons? Unless we want to become a Nation of trench-coat wearing individuals hiding rifles and assault weapons, a hand gun is not going to do the trick. Reminds me of the scene from Indiana Jones where the opponent was cutting the air with a whip threatening Jones, and Jones pulls out his gun and shoots the opponent. Not much of a contest.
Arming an entire Nation to become nothing more than a society of “quick-draw McGraws” is absurd. What better way to lead to chaos and anarchy?
So, as each day passes and the droning of the media continues, I have to wonder, once again, will we learn anything? Or will our citizens retreat from working on a solution, driven by their fear of the NRA and other gun lobbies and the notion that support of gun control is somehow “un-American” and “unpatriotic.”
This country needs an honest and frank discussion about gun control unimpeded by special interests and their money – driven instead by the desire to make this a safer and wiser Nation where we do not suffer these frequent tragedies.