Add My Voice to a Change in the Gun-Purchase LawsJul 15, 2012
I am adding my voice to the growing chorus of public leaders who are calling for changes in the gun-purchase laws. Let us be clear, the majority of people are not asking to strike down the right to possess a firearm as granted through the Second Amendment and nor am I. Rather what is being discussed in the public arena is an intelligent and rational argument for restrictions on types of weapons and availability of weapons and ammunition's on the internet. The AR-15, the weapon used in the Aurora attack against theater goers, is an assault weapon. An assault weapon is a quasi technical term for "killing machine". It has no other purpose. It is not a sportsman gun. It is not for target shooting. It is not even for practice and proficiency. It is nothing other than a machine to kill. As for the availability of ammunition online, well the word ammunition itself derives from the French "la munition" referring to "the material" for war. Yes, ammo is designed for the purposes of war. It seems to be foolhardy to allow it to be purchased online. The inveiglement of selling of firearms and bullets as if owning an assault weapon was some sort of sexy experience is a sham, a total commercial sham. It is all about seducing and selling. (But never about the implications of why anyone would need to purchase an assault weapon.) I write this with a full sense of respect and sobriety. I myself can attest to what it feels like to fire this type of weapon. During my time in the military I fired an M16 many times and there is little doubt as to what this type of weapon is all about. All assault weapons are rapid fire multi-round machines designed to kill. Given the treacherous potential of an assault weapon to be used among an innocent civilian population, it is not a violation of the Constitution to enforce a full measure of scrutiny in conjunction with a thorough background check at the point of sale. Second Amendment proponents cry "fowl" and "infringement upon Constitutional rights". Yet, in a democratic society, the safety and security of all citizens must remain at the forefront to ensure that American society does not devolve in to a RoboCop-esque system of cities and communities. While Second Amendment supporters rally for their cause, it must be stressed that the Constitution was directed at the public good, for all citizens. There is precedent for protecting citizen's safety and security. In 1946 on December 5 President Truman gave an Executive Order for his administration to produce a report on civil rights. The report is titled: EXECUTIVE ORDER 9808 ESTABLISHING THE PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON CIVIL RIGHTS. Civil rights are about CIVILITY. Assault weapons are quite clearly the antithesis of civility. During the time of Truman, the threat to civil safety was clearly indicated through racial injustice; however, the findings have relevance for what is disruptive to civility in 2012 as found in point 1. 1. The Right to Safety and Security of the Person "Vital to the integrity of the individual and to the stability of a democratic society is the right of each individual to physical freedom, to security against illegal violence, and to fair, orderly legal process. Most Americans enjoy this right, but it is not yet secure for all. Too many of our people still live under the harrowing fear of violence or death at the hands of a mob or of brutal treatment by police officers. Many fear entanglement with the law because of the knowledge that the justice rendered in some courts is not equal for all persons. In a few areas the freedom to move about and choose one's job is endangered by attempts to hold workers in peonage or other forms of involuntary servitude." Assault weapons are weapons designed to kill, to do wide-scale harm. This is not about sportsmanship. This is not about Constitutional rights. It is about common sense, rationality, and the expressed need for leaders within the United States to tighten up existing gun laws, background checks, and online purchases. The safety and security of all citizens should not be surrendered to those who lobby for influence. Money should not override rational thought nor should political zealotry. It is the right of all citizens to live in a society where life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are not left in the balance under the potential threat of high power assault weapons. (Photo of a round drum magazine that holds up to 100 bullets.)
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