I am proud to say that my home is a gun-free home. And I can say that despite (or maybe because) of all of the mass shootings that have happened recently in our country, I will NEVER be a gun-owner.
What happened in Connecticut, Oregon, Wisconsin, Wisconsin again, and so on and so on, are horrible tragedies that each have their own personal narratives, victims and perpetrators. But what each of these mass shootings does have in common is the fact that the perpetrators used guns to commit their atrocities. In none of these mass killings that has plagued the U.S. recently has the killer walked into a business, theatre or school and used a knife, baseball bat or any other weapon to take out their anger, frustration, prejudices or mental problems on their victims. In each occurrence the perpetrator has used a gun. And in most cases, a semi-automatic gun.
Apparently the young man who committed the murders in Connecticut used a semi-automatic weapon capable of going through 30 rounds before reloading. He had two hand guns with him that he didn't even need to aid in his carnage.
There is NO WAY that anyone needs a semi-automatic weapon; designed to bounce off human bone and do inexplicable damage to organs, yet they are totally legal. Why the hell is that?
You don't need a 30-round semi-automatic weapon to shoot a deer. The only thing these weapons are designed to hunt is humans. You don't need a semi-automatic weapon to defend your house - Unless you're under siege by the FBI or the local SWAT team, in which case you should not have a gun in the first place.
The day any person attempts to purchase or register a semi-automatic weapon they should be arrested for being mentally-unstable and have all other guns taken from them, along with their right to bare arms.
In fact, I believe we should re-visit the second amendment to the US Constitution. I would rather see health care for all Americans as a right and have the ability to bear arms a privilege that must be earned. Too bad in this gun-crazy country, it is almost the opposite.
The US Constitution is more than 200 years old and when the second amendment was ratified (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) We had just finished a bloody war for independence against the strongest nation in the world in a vast and wild country populated with natives trying desperately to cling to ancestral land - All without a real army, which is why the amendment gave us the right to form a militia and bear arms (to fight wars when called upon by the people, not to kill the people when you felt like it).
Times were starkly different 200 hundred years ago than they are now.
We are not at war against American Indians anymore. My "back forty" is forty feet by seventy feet, not forty acres of woods infested with dangerous animals and the local Indian tribe.
We are not at war against the British, the Canadians to the north, the Mexicans to the south or even the Cubans. The worst violence hitting America is coming from within, caused by our own obsession to own guns - Big, fat, semi-automatic guns.
And it is sad to say, but the NRA (Not Responsible Americans) are loving it...
A couple of gun shops have announced that since the last mass shooting in Connecticut they have had their largest grossing sales days ever. Congratulations. Too bad mental health professionals can't say that since the last shooting they are getting more patients than ever.
It is an exclusive club, but one that is growing quickly, unfortunately. And I am sad to say that I am a part of that club. I was involved in a work-related shooting that took the life of one and seriously wounded another. I was the first person on the scene and heard the incident go down. The perpetrator suffered from a history of mental illness, yet he was able to go and legally purchase a gun and use it when he became angry.
A few things need to change in this country. It should not be as easy as going on Craigslist to purchase a semi-automatic weapon. It should take a hell of a lot longer than 15 minutes to do a "background check" at the gun store to get your assault rifle. I should not be able to go to a gun show and purchase a gun as a "personal sale" with no background check whatsoever. I should not be able to go online and buy tactical gear meant for military personnel or SWAT units.
Too bad too many of our politicians are bought and paid for by the all too powerful NRA, who is salivating at yet another mass shooting of innocent victims in America. Screw the NRA. They are not innocent in this. And the politicians who are beholden to the NRA are cowards. And the perpetrators who committed these atrocities were enabled by both.
If you have ever held a dead or wounded friend or co-worker in your arms and checked them for a pulse or tried to stop the bleeding because they were a victim of gun violence, maybe you would feel the same, but let me tell you - Belonging to this exclusive club is NOT something you want to be a part of, because memberships are for life, there are NO benefits and the scars run deep, but nobody can see them.
But YES, the membership is bought and paid for by the NRA and politicians like Paul Ryan, who has an "A" rating by the NRA, Voted YES on prohibiting suing gun-makers & sellers for gun misuse, Voted YES on decreasing gun waiting periods from three days to one, and is AGAINST banning assault weapons.
Don't be a coward, be a hero. If you own a gun, especially a semi-automatic weapon, hand it in to the local police - They are the only ones who should have these killing machines in the first place.