Note: Between the time I wrote this piece and the time I hit the "Publish" button, the NRA has asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review whether "bump stocks" comply with federal law. I'm going to need time to digest this new development, but I plan to err on the side of suspicion.
Sandy Hook re-ignited our nation's simmering conflict between those who insist on having guns and those who insist on taking them away, but nothing's changed.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I will tell you that since Sandy Hook I have obtained an Illinois Concealed Carry Permit. I've also reconsidered my anti-AR position and now enjoy target shooting with an AR-style rifle.
For the record, AR does not stand for "Assault Rifle," it is a model designation from the original manufacturer of these types of rifles, Armalite. The AR-15 was the first military-looking gun designed for civilian use. Like Jell-O, Xerox and Kleenex, the brand has become a generic descriptor.
Personally, I'm dubious about the 2nd Amendment bestowing the right of gun ownership on every American, but I'm willing to go with the flow.
Over 200 years old, the 2nd Amendment was written in the aftermath of a revolution, when the American people might have realistically expected a rematch with the British. Back then a standing army was still an iffy proposition.
You history buffs might remember that we did revisit our little skirmish with the Brits in 1812.
The 2nd Amendment was written in the age of the musket. The Founding Fathers could no more have imagined an AR-15 than they could have predicted the internet, in-flight movies or the Kardashians.
There's no way in hell that Benjamin Franklin or John Jay would've condoned civilians walking around with the kind of fire power available today, but we'll leave that discussion for another day.
Until then, remember two things:
1. The first four words of the 2nd Amendment are "A well regulated militia"
2. Very conservative Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia said that gun rights can be restricted.
President Barak Obama choked up addressing the nation after the shooting at Sandy Hook. You can see that speech HERE He offered Newtown our prayers and sympathies, something he needed to do all too often during his eight year presidency.
Unfortunately, prayers are not enough. President Obama said that the madness must end and he called for tougher laws to control the sale of guns.
Ironically, billionaire real estate mogul, Donald J. Trump said that President Obama was speaking for him, as well and that he (Trump) supported the President's position on increased gun control. Read that HERE
With the shock of the the Las Vegas shooting - we like to label mass shootings by location - still hanging over us, the NRA and Repugnants are circling their wagons. Once again, their refrain is ubiquitous, unanimous and inscrutable: "Now is not the time to politicize this issue."
It hurts my head when they say that. How is it possible that exploring ways to avoid the kinds of tragedies we've seen at Sandy Hook and Las Vegas is a political issue? Shouldn't that be a priority for all of us, regardless of political affiliation?
And when, please tell me when there is a better time to talk about the deadly consequences of our laissez faire attitude towards weapons than now, when the horror is still fresh in our minds.
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