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April 23, 2014

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Gun control won't stop crazy people from killing

Published: 10:29 AM, 02/01/2013 Last updated: 10:33 AM, 02/01/2013
 


Source: The Rogersville Review

My oldest son was born on April 20, 1999, the very same day when the state of Colorado, and the rest of our country, mourned over 12 students and one teacher who lost their lives at the hands of two fellow students. 


It's been almost 14 years since the Columbine shooting and despite fervent debates over gun control; it seems that mass killings continue happening with both frequency and scale.


Understandably, emotions run high when tragedies occur, especially when 20 elementary age children and six defenseless teachers are murdered. That's exactly what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, CT. Once again, there were scenes of chaos as rescuers and media descended upon the school. 


Conceivably, it's because of our emotions that nearly every major reform to U.S. gun laws has come on the heels of a mass shooting. From Columbine to John F. Kennedy, to America’s most terrifying shootings, all have been the catalysts for our country's most sweeping gun reforms.


President Barack Obama unveiled a two-pronged approach to gun violence just this month that included legislation and a set of executive actions. He has petitioned Congress to pass an assault weapons ban, institute universal background checks on gun purchases and outlaw gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.


Immediately after tragic shootings, the reaction has been to portray our Second Amendment and the right to bear arms as the villain. Taking this stance gives the President and his gun control supporters an easy bad guy to point the finger at. 


It seems that Washington doesn't care that the right to bear arms is a right guaranteed in our Constitution, the law of the United States of America. Besides that, the constitution is not a working document inviting revisions or changes by any person sitting in the oval office. Any law maker with a hint of common sense knows that making or changing laws based on emotions instead of logic is a recipe for disaster. 


What is the logic behind stopping such a horrific incident from happening again by restricting a law-abiding citizens right to bear arms?


Why not call for increasing prison terms for those who commit a crime with a firearm? Instead of political posturing, why not put a very much-needed emphasis on the overhaul of our mental health system. The current mental health system is a travesty and one that allows people who have severe mental issues to go through society completely unchecked to the detriment to innocent people, as illustrated by the Sandy Hook shooting.


The U.S. already has more firearms per capita than any other nation, making it the most heavily armed civilian population in the world. With more than 300 million guns in our country, one can easily see that all those guns aren't going to fall in the laps of law-abiding citizens. With an astronomical number of guns circulating in the U.S. it's not surprising that thugs and criminals get their hands on them. 


Supporters for revisions to the current gun control laws argue that the Second Amendment has been twisted to fit the needs of those who work hand in hand with gun lobbyists, the manufacturers and the NRA. They believe the government has an obligation to protect Americans with laws that do not harm law-abiding citizens. That means that any new gun laws must allow we, the people, to protect ourselves as the founding fathers mandated. 


From requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales to getting military-style assault weapons off our streets, supporters believe that it's possible to respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and do much more to keep people safe. 


If only it were that simple. This isn't just about good guys and bad guys. Too often it's the good guys who get shot by bad guys with guns. It's going to take much more than a few revisions to our current gun control laws to stop crazy people from killing others.



Jesse Lindsey is the editor and publisher of The Review. He can be reached by emailing (jesse.lindsey@therogersvillereview.com)

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