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FIRE!

Under laws established by precedent, we accept limits on our constitutional right to free speech. I am not allowed to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater because of the very real possibility that someone would be injured in the ensuing melee. Safety is a value that competes with the right to speak freely, and, in that classic example, safety wins. Why cannot safety win when it goes up against the murkier Second Amendment? I have had enough. We are less secure, and thus less free, because of the vast number of guns in this country. There are other factors, particularly poor mental health care, that contribute to the mass shootings we suffer regularly, but it is time to stop pretending that more guns will solve this problem. Should Kindergartners arm themselves for a day at school?

“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.” Guess what, gun lobbyists? YOU’RE NOT A WELL REGULATED MILITIA! Nor are the people for whom you allegedly advocate. There’s evidence that mass shootings have gone up as more people own guns. That is not security.

[T]here appears to be a relationship between the proliferation of firearms and a rise in mass shootings: By our count, there have been two per year on average since 1982. Yet 24 of the 61 cases we examined have occurred since 2006. This year alone there have already been six mass shootings—and a record number of casualties, with 110 people injured and killed. …In the past four years, across 37 states, the NRA and its political allies have pushed through 99 laws making guns easier to own, easier to carry in public, and harder for the government to track.”

This doesn’t have to be a partisan issue, though it’s plain one party is more supportive of unrestricted gun ownership. Anyone can stand up and demonstrate leadership on this critical issue. The inability of this nation to even have a conversation about guns has brought us to today. Twenty children, barely more than toddlers, were murdered in their school by a young man with guns. Let’s start talking honestly about who is better off than they would be with some serious gun control. No, we can’t prevent every murder, and, yes, people could be attacked with swords. But today, not to mention the past six years, demonstrates that our free state is less secure because of firearms.

3 Comments

  1. Rob Schofield

    December 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Amen, AV. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Jack

    December 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    As a country, if we don’t do something to stop this madness then perhaps we need to take a good hard look at ourselves and understand who we are as a people.

    The blame game has started. Thus far the culprit is mental illness. We want to be able to point to something and say, “There!!! That’s the reason this happened!!!” By doing so it makes us feel better and back in control about something that showed how out of control the country is when it comes to the mass slaughter of our children.

    This man wanted to burn the world down and he started with the children. If we accept this as the price we pay for the right to carry arms then perhaps the nation as a whole is the problem. If we don’t stop and think about this shooting and act accordingly we are condoning such actions and trivializing the deaths of those children and the others who have gone before them in the same manner.

  3. Vernon

    December 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Give the damn government your guns and they will own you……….The so called “:do-gooders”: never think about this……….Remember Hitler, Mussolini, Castro, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the list is too many to name.

    Sickos will never be stopped no matter what you do…….