Last week I listened to a Podcast that compared the recent responses to the mass shootings to what happened following the 2012 tragedy in Sandyhook. In both cases, survivors and families of those killed made endless pleas to Congress to ban assault weapons. In both cases, Congress refused.
The podcast included clips of the impassioned speech that Obama made in the Rose Garden following the vote in 2012, expressing his dismay that Congress did not act in favor of the pleas of the families. As I listened to the podcast that morning, one thing became very clear. This kind of lobbying for change is not effective because those people only come with their stories of grief and anger and dismay.
The NRA comes with bucketloads of money.
I was also dismayed when I heard recent statements by Wayne LaPierre, Vice President of the NRA. He said in a press conference last week that people who are calling for gun regulations hate the NRA, hate the Second Amendment, and hate freedom.
How dare he try to assign motives that simply do not exist?
Those of us who advocate gun regulations don’t hate the NRA or any of the people it it. We hate the fact that the NRA is controlling our politicians as the largest donor to many politician’s campaigns and the most influential lobby in Washington. The NRA owns too many government leaders, including our president.
Mass shootings are not simply a mental health issue, as both the NRA and Trump said in almost identical statement. It is a gun problem, and those of us who are saying so don’t hate the Second Amendment. We believe in the freedoms it offers us, including the right to gun ownership, but we have to consider when in history that amendment was written.
In 1791, there were no assault weapons. There were no magazines capable of holding multiple rounds of ammunition. There were simple one shot guns that nobody could take into a school or church, or any other kind a building, and shoot more than one person at a time. The musket loaders took up to a minute to reload, giving other people ample time to disarm the shooter. ( myarmoury.com ) Compare that to modern automatic and semi-automatic weapons which can discharge up to 700 rounds per minute.
What we are calling for is much stricter regulations on the sale of the types of weapons and magazines that can cause so much destruction in such a short period of time. What we have seen in recent history creates so much fear that people freeze in the face of the spray of bullets.
Most of you who are calling out against the idea of gun regulations have no idea of the fear that this type of shooting instills in people. You don’t listen to the victims families of mass shootings you don’t listen to the survivors of mass shootings. You just listen to all the rhetoric that supports any kind of gun purchase.
And the idea that we hate freedom is so ludicrous I can hardly even find words to respond to it. If we hated freedom we would leave America and go live in a country that restricts freedoms. And the fact that we live in a country that doesn’t restrict our freedoms means that we can speak out against, or for, any cause that we choose to.
As an idealist it is so difficult for me to comprehend how people of good conscience cannot see beyond their own personal beliefs and embrace a better solution to mass shootings and gun violence in general. Despite what the NRA says after every tragic incident, regulating weapons of mass destruction does not step on anyone’s Second Amendment rights.