Gun Violence
by Dean Jacques

Over the past decade or so, advocates for the right to bear arms have been colliding with attempts to curtail gun violence through regulation. As political extremists on both sides rush to fan public outrage, rather than seek meaningful solutions, the results are quite disturbing. As more mass shootings shock the nation's conscience, a number of States respond by increasing the accessibility of guns, the right to carry them anywhere and use them whenever someone feels at all threatened. As concerned citizens struggle with very real and legitimate safety concerns, others work feverishly to hamper them.

Think about it. The more multiple killings that occur, including those of grammer school aged children, the more frantic laws are being enacted to make those killings easier to happen. We hear gun proponents openly say that the proliferation of guns is more important than the loss of lives. After all, the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Constitution, and nothing else matters. Not even the safety of our citizens.

These same advocates do put forward a legitimate point. There are so many guns already out there that regulations would have little or no effect. Nevertheless, their efforts to make guns even more available, even to people who are emotionally unstable, seems counterintuitive. To justify themselves, they desperately conjure one conspiracy theory after another, encouraging weekend patriots to form militias who are ready to confront imaginary threats that never happens.

This is symptomatic, of course, of our poisonous political climate, where anything new is met with knee-jerk resistance designed to cause trouble. The Affordable Care Act provides an example. People were being told not to purchase medical insurance, even if they desperately needed it. Scare tactics filled the air proclaiming that millions of jobs would be lost. The economy would fall apart. States refused to cooperate citing a stance against a Marxist takeover. When the law came into full effect, and none of these predictions happened, the dire warnings hung shamelessly in the air, without retraction or apology. No one held them accountable for their fabrications.

In similar fashion, a solution to gun violence cannot be discussed in any meaningful fashion. Common sense regulations, supported by most Americans, are instantly conflated with tyranny and totalitarian plots.

If progress is ever to be made, we have to discard the usual banter that only makes things worse.

Let me continue by saying that I don't care about gun rights at all — whether they continue or not. We all have rights. It's the way we use them that matters. With that in mind, what gun advocates are doing is beyond any reasonable justification. They are forcing an epidemic of gun obsession into every aspect of our society for no other reason than tosubvert and overwhelm public opinion. This is nothing less than a cultural coup.

Have they considered where it will lead? Probably not. It they did, they would realize that no one wants a civilization where loved ones have to feel endangered every time they go to work or school or shopping or to the movies, or when they stop to listen to local politician on the street. This is completely disconnected from what our founders had in mind when they wrote "well regulated militia" into the second amendment. They were far more concerned, as we all should be, in building a new and better world in which to live. They would be appalled to see grown men with automatic rifles hanging from their shoulders intimidating customers at a family restaurant. Do we really want young children to consider such images (reminiscent of Russian bullies in the Ukraine) as part of their normal routine? It's bad enough that they see it on television and in video games. A line is crossed when it crosses over into reality.

This actually has nothing to do with guns or the Second Amendment. It has to do with moral priorities. If you care more about guns than about gun killings, then it stands to reason that you love guns (and the images they portray) more than you love people. If not, then work with others in a civilized manner to build a safer world, rather than making it more dangerous.






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