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Things I think about.

December, 2012Archive for

When I Think About…

Monday, December 17th, 2012

… the unthinkable tragedy in Connecticut, I am deeply saddened, acutely angered and increasingly frightened.

Saddened over the loss of so many beautiful children and courageous adults.

Angered by the ease of access to weapons of mass death disguised as rifles and handguns.

Frightened by the prospects that nothing will be done to significantly address gun control and that these weapons of societal suicide will continue to proliferate and ultimately lead to the division and destruction of our great country.

Yes, the problem is that serious.

We continue to cling to the sacredness of a two hundred and forty-year-old amendment, penned at a time when guns were mostly single-shot muskets and our armed militia was still a ragtag assortment of patriots, outlaws and mercenaries bound together by a single strand: hate of the British.

The second amendment allowed our nascent democracy to supplement its militia with a citizen army for protection against an invading enemy or rogue government. And for decades that model made sense.

Then came the civil war, world wars, cold wars and countless regional wars all which gave energy to weapon wars to see who could build the most destructive agents of death, including that personal line of defense, the gun.

From Gatling to Glock, the guns got more automatic with more ammunition per clip, with bullets that were more destructive and lethal than anyone could have imagined back then. I wonder if the right to bear arms would have been viewed as so inalienable had our forefathers’ grasp of their present needs been matched with an equal level of foresight.

In their defense, however, I doubt any amount of foresight could have foreseen the unbelievable level of armed citizenry we have today. The F.B.I. estimates there are over two hundred and fifty million guns in American households. Many are semi-automatic hand guns, too many are assault rifles. All are too readily available.

Now there are those who believe that we need these guns to arm ourselves against the criminal elements in our society, even though it’s been shown that gun ownership does not make anyone safer in their home. In fact, quite the opposite is true. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=35035.

It’s even been suggested that had the Principal of Sandy Hook had a gun, the carnage in Connecticut could have been averted or at least lessened. Really? A madman firing at a rate of thirty rounds a minute could have been felled by a Principal with a handgun? Vacuous argument.

The debate on gun control is once again firing up and the political sparring is in full swing. Thankfully the pervasive disgust and anger over Sandy Hook has softened some hard liners. The NRA has gone silent.

But I fear all the clamor will die down as time heals the wounds of Sandy Hook. The complexity of the problem and the realities of politics will lead nowhere but back to the status quo, which will lead to more of the same and on and on it will go. Each new murderous rampage will give rise to new gun owners determined to protect themselves from the next madman.

Sooner or later, the situation will reach the tipping point — it’s not far off now — where every American will own a gun and an armed citizenry as envisioned by our Forefathers will be a reality.

We’ll be armed to protect ourselves — not from an external enemy or rogue government — but from ourselves, our fellow citizens. And that’s the point at which the steadfast defense of our inalienable right will be an irreversible wrong leading to an inevitable societal collapse.