Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook Shootings: Conservatives Have This All Wrong

My thoughts are with the families and friends of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victims in Connecticut. It was a terrible tragedy that, like 9/11, will forever alter what we think when certain topics come up. 

A few things have really bothered me the past few days.
First, is how a few so-called "Christians" have attempted to use this as an excuse to rant about how we've brought this upon ourselves by kicking God out of public schools. Well excuse me, Mr. Huckabee, but the public school system was founded to teach kids how to read and write, and this country was founded upon the freedom to pursue one's own religious beliefs or none at all. Forcing kids to pray or worship is essentially forcing upon them a particular practice of religion, which may very well run contrary to the way they or their families exercise their religious beliefs.

Second, is how conservatives have tried to assert that discussing gun control at this time is somehow inappropriate, and doing so is politicizing the Sandy Hook shootings. Huh? We've lost 20 kids to a mentally unstable man who -- let's face it -- could NEVER have accomplished so much devastation in such a short amount of time with any other type of weapon. 

The 2nd Amendment says:
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."

I think it's vitally important to keep in mind the scope and context in which this amendment was written. For instance, in 1791 there weren't semi-automatic weapons capable of firing a hundred shots in a minute. There also were not fully-instituted and fully-implemented local and national armed forces to protect citizens of this country. It WAS a time during which the average citizen or small community might realistically need to defend his/their own family and property. 

Fast forward a few hundred years, and we definitely ARE a society with official, well-regulated means of protection. 

And sorry hunters and "gun enthusiasts," but there is just no real NEED for any private citizen to keep automatic weapons in his home.

We need tighter gun control laws, and the ability to sell/distribute guns needs to be far more tightly regulated by the government. (It's true: there are more authorized gun dealers in the US than there are McDonald's restaurants. Think about that one.) 

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