Is it time yet?
Has it been long enough?
Can we talk about gun control now?
After the asinine comments by Wayne LaPierre, maybe the more relevant question is: Does the NRA have enough money? That question is rather rhetorical since the only thing to satiate greed is more greed. Familiar?
The biggest opposition to stricter gun laws is the perceived infringement of rights some gun owners seem to feel. Nevermind the right to go to school without being shot in the head, but no really, yours are more important.
Let’s address it anyway:
The 2nd Amendment was formally adopted December 15th, 1791 (yes, the 7 goes before the 9). The Amendment’s beginnings, however, lie in the English Bill of Rights of 1689. With no regular army or police force, the English made it legal for their citizens to be capable of protecting themselves and others via ownership of firearms. Eight years after our bloody yet successful victory in the American Revolutionary War, the founding fathers felt the need to appease the masses who had just lived through such brutality. The war called on common men to take up arms and fight for their independence. As long as that threat was fresh in the minds of many Americans the process of moving forward would be hindered. This understandable paranoia was only appeased by allowing citizens to own and possess the same firearms they used to protect themselves and their families from colonization.
The British aren’t coming back.
Our own Congress (you know, the guys we elect to speak on our behalf yet seldom do) once passed what was known as the National Firearms Act in 1934 after rampant organized crime violence. This outlawed any and all “gangster weapons” which were classified as all types of machine guns and extended to short-barreled shotguns. In 1938 a man by the name of Miller tried to argue against this Act on grounds that it violated his 2nd Amendment right. If you’re standing and applauding Mr. Miller right now, please have a seat. He lost. A District Court bought the argument but a direct appeal was heard by the Supreme Court who laughed and then proceeded to uphold the NFA as constitutional.
Basically, people, we’ve done this before.
Let’s not forget that since 2004, when the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 expired due to a sunset clause, we have seen mass shootings in Blacksburg, VA (33 dead, 2007), Binghamton, NY (14 dead, 2009 ), Fort Hood, TX (13 dead, 2009), Geneva County, AL (11 dead, 2009), Aurora, CO (12 dead, 2012) and Newtown, CT (27 dead, 2012). 110 lives lost. Six of the twelve deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred in the past 5 years.
I repeat: SIX OF THE TWELVE DEADLIEST MASS SHOOTINGS IN U.S. HISTORY HAVE OCCURRED IN THE PAST 5 YEARS.
Suggesting civilians can be trained weapons experts capable of dealing with the kind of evil that will gladly put a bullet in their own skulls is not a plan. I don’t care how much Call Of Duty you’ve played, none of us are Rambo (evidenced by the billions served signs at McDonald’s). This can not be ignored any longer. We have a problem. We have to fix this. It’s time to get serious about what we can do to alter this trend both short term and long term.
The immediate concern is the number of automatic and semi-automatic weapons available to the public. No citizen has legitimate use for a weapon that fires multiple rounds per second because zombies are not real. No hunter has legitimate use for a weapon that fires multiple rounds per second because then they’d be a terrible hunter. In the wake of such tragedies, with 110 lives senselessly lost, what are we prepared to do?
Maybe it’s true, now might not be the time to talk about gun control. Maybe too many parents are still grieving. Maybe it’s just too soon. Perhaps there really are too many questions yet to be answered. Maybe too many far too small caskets have fresh dirt over them and now really just isn’t the time.
Now is definitely not the time to talk, now, right now, now is the time to act.