Day 10: Write about something for which you feel strongly
I’m writing this in the wake of the tragedy in South Carolina but another very real tragedy is that I could write this very same post, for similar reasons, many times every year.
Guns. The U.S. has this weird love affair with guns. People get very upset when they think the government is going to take away their guns. Guess what? We aren’t in colonial times–the government already has more advanced weaponry than you do.
Gun violence in the United States is at a crazy level. Why is it so easy to get a gun? I’m going to posit a theory that at least 90% of the population does not need a gun in their daily lives (unless they’re doing illegal things in the first place), yet nearly a third of all households still have guns [per the Washington Post]. Although overall gun ownership has decreased about 17 percentage points since 1980, the number of active shooter events has increased dramatically between 2000 and 2013, from “an average of 6.4 active shootings per year [in the first seven years of study], while the last seven years of the study found that number jumped up to 16.4 incidents per year.”
And the open carry stuff is a bunch of nonsense. First of all, most of the “open carry” people seem to be white. I am willing to bet that if someone of color was walking around with some giant semi-automatic weapon, this open carry stuff would go right out the window. [That’s not coming from a place of racism, that’s coming from watching the news and seeing the difference in how white people and people of color are often treated by the police.]
But secondly, anyone I see of any race walking around with visible weapons–I’m getting the hell out of there. Like this scene in Target? I’d be out of there like a bat out of hell, cell phone in hand, calling the police. I’ve seen too many news segments on people who go nuts, head to public places (or schools, why so many schools?!) and shoot innocent people. That’s one club I do not want to join.
So while I fully understand that guns can and are used for sporting purposes like hunting, we need a legitimate way to limit who can get their hands on one (and we need accurate records of who owns them in the first place). Furthermore, you don’t need a semi-automatic weapon for hunting. If you want it to be a real sporting event use a bow and arrow, or sneak up on that deer with a knife!
I don’t see any of this as rewriting the 2nd amendment so much as keeping our citizens safe. The 2nd amendment was written in a very different time with very different weapons. As it is, we’re so concerned about external threats (ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc.) that we’re almost blind to the many threats that already exist within our borders.
My thoughts go out to the victims of the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and their families. It’s a tragic crime but, as with similar tragedies, I don’t think we’re ready to look in the mirror and make any changes because of it. How many have to die in these types of attacks before we’re ready to make those changes?
Note: You are free to disagree with me but do so respectfully. I will delete any mean-spirited, trolling comments anyway.