Monday, December 17, 2012

The Debate on Gun Control


I usually do not write about controversial societal issues on this blog. However I feel strongly about this topic and the Newtown school massacre puts the issue on the front pages everywhere.

The time is past for debate on the pros and cons of gun control. Debate should now focus on what kind of gun control should be enacted.

Governments establish guidelines citizens obey and hopefully respect, leading to an orderly, organized, protected and safe society. There is and always has been a contest over how many rules are too many. Too much regulation results in stifling the economic and social well being of all citizens. Few rules cause a breakdown in a society’s comfortable and safe lifestyle.

The United States faces the breakdown of mores regarding the respect, safety, protection, health and regard of its citizens. When the right to bear arms supersedes the safety of citizens everywhere – especially the youngest who cannot defend themselves – the society needs to take a careful look at the ramifications of its actions, or lack thereof. The second amendment of the Bill of Rights stipulates the right to bear arms:

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.

The states ratified the Bill of Rights in 1791. Gun control opponents talk about their right to possess guns – including the kinds of guns that did not exist in 1791.

Circumstances change, society changes, and the United States in 2012 is not the rural society of 1791. The law of unintended consequences regarding the second amendment has hit our country hard, and it is time to re-evaluate current guidelines and set new ones that protect citizens without infringing on basic rights. I doubt the Founding Fathers would be unswerving in their defense of the Second Amendment surveying the devastation wrought by the refusal of many to curb the profusion of deadly weapons.

It is time for an open, honest debate about what to do now.

The NRA (National Rifle Association), in a 2000 TV commercial, claimed violent crimes increased in Australia after strict gun control laws were enacted in the 1990s.

The NRA’s claims were wrong.

The Australian government accused the organization of misrepresenting data and pressed the NRA to remove references to Australia from the NRA website. The Australian government stated crime had not increased since stricter gun control laws went into effect in 1996.

No more posturing, false statistics, blaming individuals, societal problems – everything and everyone except the instruments of destruction.

The Constitution affirms the function of the government of the United States:
            establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America".

It is time to “insure domestic tranquility,” and “promote the general Welfare” of everyone – especially our children.

5 comments:

  1. I agree, MerCyn. I hope this has become a tipping point for many people and that we can take action that will make a difference for the future of our country. Something must change.

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  2. I agree with you -- in fact, wrote a post today on my own blog -- but there are other issues as well that need to be addressed, like violence in the media and on video games; the treatment of mental health; even how we educate young males in our society.

    Still, a good place to start is better gun safety (that's what I call it, instead of gun control, to try to avoid the knee jerk negative reaction). Good post.

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  3. I thought President Obama said it well at his press conference today. There is not one solution. Gun control by itself will not protect us from evil. The problem is bigger than one solution. IT will be a combination of solutions that will help us address the issue of violence in our society.

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  4. I contacted my congressman and senator - both gun advocates - to explain the necessity for army type automatic weapons and enormous rounds of ammunition in clips and strips. the conversation has to start. I agree that mental health must be addressed. why do we have fewer guidance counselors in schools? and why do we let insurance companies dictate how much help a person needs. nk

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  5. Thank you for speaking out on this issue. Please also advise people that they can take a stand by signing petitions sponsored by Demand A Plan and/or Mayors Against Illegal Guns. And we MUST take a stand -- openly and publicly -- to effect change. We MUST support leaders like Mayor Bloomberg who have the courage to speak the truth. We may be unarmed, but we are far from powerless.

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