Caucasian. Black. Latino. Christian. Muslim. Liberal. Supremacist. Illegal. Immigrant. Homegrown. Male. Female. LGBT. Regardless of ethnicity, creed, nationality or sexual preference, the terrorists have won. We won’t take their assault weapons guns away because “every citizen that wants one has to be vetted via background check at the Federal and State level”. Not very reassuring when you only pass that check at the time of purchase, or when renewing a CPL (concealed pistol license). Unless you make the mistake of threatening someone in public, or being involved in a domestic dispute, no one will ever be aware of your plans to turn weapons on unsuspecting targets. No one will have a clue of what your intentions are until you make them known.
Many claim that mental illness is the problem to solve but health care professionals are disputing it. In other countries, with more strict gun control laws, those diagnosed with depression, schizophrenia, ADD, or PTSD, to name a few, don’t go out into public spaces to harm others. This is a very USA “God – Family – Country” 2nd Amendment issue. Seventeen children in Broward County, FL lay their lives on the line to defend our right to bear arms, as one Facebook stated. We convince ourselves that only the religious radicals with hate in their hearts are capable of such atrocities; that they must be mentally ill. Don’t confuse sick in the head or evil with mentally ill folks. It is only a small portion of the problem.
A random stranger tried to blow up a plane post 9/11 and the government passed legislation to increase the scrutiny of airport safety. The thought that copy cats would surface and down more aircraft, killing hundreds of people in air and on the ground, forced them to take action. We have had 27 gun related incidents in school campuses in 2018 up to February 14. School shootings have become normalized by the public, consumed as an entertainment product. “Please don’t take away my guns” is the rally cry, even when children are more and more scared of going to school because they don’t feel safe there anymore. Sending thoughts and prayers has become a cliché, something you say as you scroll down your social media feed looking for news that will make you feel better about the adverse consequences of remaining indifferent and inactive.
When will enough be enough?
Responsible citizenship should not be an advocacy plight, it is an expectation of the rights afforded to us by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Understanding that no life is more valuable than another, that individual preferences should not dictate policy, and that what is the right thing to do may not be easy are the first steps to finding common ground to solve the problem of personal conflict. Just because you think you are correct, or have the beliefs and values that best seem to serve the population does not empower you to act as judge, jury and executioner.
Guns don’t kill people, and neither do cars or cigarettes as inanimate objects, but once a decision is made to use and consume those products for the detriment of society, we must not only regulate access but seriously consider the underlying causes that support banning or restricting their existence. Corporate America lobbies for defense and safety when it doesn’t hurt their financial bottom line at the account of your quality of life. Be smarter than the flock and recognize your gun fetish is making others rich while a good percentage of our fellow counterparts for your sport and entertainment.