On December 14, 7 adults and 20 children were killed in a mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. by a single gunman with at least three weapons. The gunman was also found dead.
December 12, 2012, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper said that it is time to reconsider our gun laws. He said that “the time is right” to consider stronger gun control laws; just four months after the mass shooting in Aurora, Co.
Columbia, Mo has seen over a dozen home invasions in the last four months and numerous murders, each involving handguns and threats of violence and death.
Missouri has only four mayors affiliated with Mayors Against Illegal Guns; mayors Sylvester “Sly” James Jr. of Kansas City, MO; Randall L. Rhoads of Lee’s Summit, Francis Slay of St. Louis, and Shelley Welsch of University City. Missing are Columbia’s mayor Bob McDavid, Springfield’s mayor Bob Stephens or Jefferson City’s mayor Eric J. Struemph .
What’s the hold up? Can you say your cities are free of gun violence?
Yes, people kill people. Yet as we have seen, most people kill people with handguns, long guns, rifles and assault rifles. I admit that knives, baseball bats, even forks have been used to murder, but those attacks are usually limited to one or two, not 27 innocents in a single setting.
We know that most of the guns used in the mass murders since 1999, including the Columbine massacre, were legally purchased, not bought off the street or stolen. Yes, there are stolen guns out there, but yours will never be stolen. I know that you, specifically you, are a responsible gun owner having your weapons properly secured at home. But what about your neighbor?
Yes, the Second Amendment provides us the right to bear arms, but that is not a guarantee or an absolute. When this right is being abused, a moral society, our society, needs to take a serious re-examination of how far this one right should go.
FindLaw.com provides a responsible explanation of the arguments stressed by the two sides of this discussion.
“(1) An “individual rights” approach, whereby the Amendment protected individuals’ rights to firearm ownership, possession, and transportation; and (2) a “states’ rights” approach, under which the Amendment only protected the right to keep and bear arms in connection with organized state militia units.”
However, the Unites States Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller decided the right to own and bear arms was not connected to the “states’ rights” position.
However, our right to bear arms is limited to the type of arms we can bear. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, the Court provided some insight.
“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress…
“[This shows] plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. “A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.” And further, that ordinarily, when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.”
The murders in Newtown Connecticut, in Aurora, Co, in Michigan and Washington State would not have been prevented with the simple limitation or restriction of sale of assault rifles. But that is a start.
I have heard no convincing argument that “assault rifles,” even when limited to a semiautomatic weapon, has a purpose other than to kill people. They are not suited to kill game for sustenance or sport.
We must go further, but demanding all owners of firearms take an annual safety course as we do for operating boats, airplanes and a few other sports and hobby equipment.
We must go further, demanding proper storage of firearms when in a home where there are children or adults with questionable motives or mental capacity.
This is not a liberal or Democratic issue, but an issue of our human right to live without fear being shot.
This is not a religious issue, but a humanist issue to guarantee the promises and first rights given in the Constitution of the United States, that…
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” (Bold added)
We cannot fulfill these promises if Americans continue to permit the uncontrolled and unregulated ownership of firearms.
If we continue to live in fear of the guy next store or living around the corner because we do not know how many guns he owns, Justice, Tranquility, Welfare and Liberty will never be obtained.
Click Here for Part Two
December 15, 2012
Huffington Post — BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A man opened fire early Saturday at a hospital in Alabama, wounding a police officer and two employees before being shot and killed by another officer, authorities said.
December 16, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times — CEDAR LAKE — Police on Saturday seized 47 guns and ammunition from the home of a man who a day earlier had threatened to set his wife on fire after she fell asleep and kill as many people as he could at a nearby elementary school, investigators said.