It’s ironic that we’re having a national debate on gun control in the wake of yet another mass shooting, at the same time a U.S. military airstrike took out a hospital in Afghanistan.
In the airstrike, many innocent patients – some of whom were children – and doctors were killed. Amid the confusion of the incident, what’s known for sure is that many of the doctors were volunteers and were members of the organization Doctors Without Borders. The bombing of the hospital has been characterized as a war crime.
Oh well, stuff happens…
I mean, yeah it sucks that it was a hospital that was bombed.
But hey, it’s not like it was a wedding filled with innocent brown-skinned people with funny-sounding names who happen to pray to the east or anything.
But I digress…
“I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures. The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view, and while it ruled that the D.C. gun ban went too far, Justice Scalia himself acknowledged that this right is not absolute and subject to reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe. Today’s ruling, the first clear statement on this issue in 127 years, will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.
“As President, I will uphold the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen. I know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact common-sense laws, like closing the gun show loophole and improving our background check system, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Today’s decision reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.” – President Barack Obama on the Washington v. Heller Supreme Court decision in 2008
About this gun control debate, let me say this: guns are dangerous.
Why? Because obviously, guns can be used as a tool to kill people.
Having said that, the assumption that “guns are the problem and not people,” is an ill-formed asinine position. Well, that’s unless guns literally walk into public schools – and other public spaces – by themselves, and decide to kill, all on their own.
Guns as an instrument of death are only as effective as the intent of the person pulling the trigger. What wee should be asking ourselves, is why would anyone disregard the value of human life to pull the trigger of any firearm pointed at another human being?
Outside of using a gun for self-defense, the short answer is hate.
Let’s be honest, folks: Nobody points a gun at or in the direction of other human beings and pulls the trigger out of love. No, it’s not like when your parents would beat your ass when you were a kid, all because they love you. A conscious decision to pull the trigger of a gun pointed at anyone outside of an act of self-defense is a conscious decision to kill another human being.
Personally, I don’t think anyone should have that much power. But even so, outside of the occasional accidental hospital airstrike, though guns aren’t my thing, I understand the fascination with them by some here in America. Heck, nothing says “fuck your teepee, like owning a gun.
But, that’s just me being the guy who refuses to own a gun for that reason.
To be sure, we do have a problem with the ease of access to guns by illegal means. As such, there is a need for tighter gun control laws to restrict the proliferation of guns in this manner.
Hell, when you can’t walk into a pharmacy and buy cold medicine without the DEA crawling up your ass looking for a meth lab, there’s no reason that anyone should be able to log onto a website and purchase a firearm without a background check.
Just think about it: We care more about terrorists boarding airplanes with box cutters, than we are about the possibility of them buying firearms on U.S. soil to impose their hate on the lives of innocent everyday Americans.
However, even with tighter gun laws, don’t assume that said tighter gun control laws will impact how people choose to use guns in this country.
With the fear-mongering and hate, that is well woven into the tapestry of American society, this type of behavior is to be expected. Like it or not, there will always be a hate-filled white supremacist willing to shoot up a school; shoot up a Sikh temple; defy government orders as Clivern Bundy did; or, maybe even shoot up the occasional Jewish community center, or black church.
You see, all these shootings and acts of violent opposition to the dignity of human life have nothing to do with mental health. Nor does it have anything to do with whether a potential mass shooter was once an ex-felon. The truth is that we cannot legislate morality.
It’s hard to accept, but it’s the absolute truth.
After all, it’s not like we can enact a law that forces people to love each other.
But hey, maybe we can expand background checks for gun purchases. And in doing so, perhaps we can ask applicants to be honest in answering whether it’s their intent to kill innocent people just because they feel like it. Trust me, this approach will be as effective as many of the gun control proposals being currently debated.
What the decision didn’t do was take away state and local restrictions:
Not everyone can own a gun. The right does not extend to felons or the mentally ill.
Guns cannot be carried everywhere. Laws forbidding individuals from carrying firearms in “sensitive” places, such as schools and government buildings, will probably stand.
Certain restrictions on the sale of guns are allowed. Laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of firearms will most likely stand.
Individuals do not have the right to carry certain types of guns. The right does not protect guns that are not generally owned for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns. Just what kind of handguns may be possessed is not explicitly set forth in the opinion (apart from the one specific reference to sawed-off shotguns, which are not allowed). The Court did endorse the “the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons,'” but did not state whether such weapons include assault weapons or semi-automatic weapons.
- Concealed weapons. Laws forbidding people to carry concealed weapons on their person (or in a place close at hand, such as the glove compartment of a car) probably remain valid.
- Sentence enhancements. A variety of criminal laws provide for increased punishment of offenders who use weapons when committing a crime. Heller does not affect the validity of these laws.
What’s funny to hear is how Barack Obama is characterized as an “anti-gun” politician.
Let some of our friends on the political right tell it, Obama is a Nazi Socialist who sees us owning guns as an impediment to his iron-fisted rule. This couldn’t be further from the truth given that Obama actually supported the majority decision of the conservative court decision on Heller.
To be sure, Obama has made no apologies for politicizing the recent mass shooting in Oregon for the sole purpose of once again pushing for what he calls “common sense” gun control. And as you can see as laid out by the SCOTUS decision on Heller in 2008, nothing that Obama proposes is outside of the scope of what the Second Amendment affords any citizen of the United States that qualifies to own a gun.
I’m sick of the debate. I’m sick of the irrational thoughts that passes for arguments on gun control that comes from both sides of the political divide.
What I also know is that President Obama has agreed with Justice Antonin Scalia’s interpretation of the Second Amendment vis-a-vis Washington v. Heller.
That alone, in my estimation, hardly makes Obama out to be the extreme leftist “gun grabber” as many on the political right make him out to be.
But, of course, don’t tell that to the folks who characterize him as such for the sole purpose of political expediency when doing the bidding for the NRA (National Rifle Association).
That aside, what I also know is that there should be equally as much remorse as there is outrage over the lack of gun control laws in the wake of the Afghanistan hospital bombing from the White House. But, I don’t see it. We should be just as outraged about the “accidental” hospital bombing in Afghanistan as we are about mass shootings. But, I don’t see that either. And frankly, this bothers me. I get that things close to home relative to acts of violence overseas seem all too real.
However, I wish things were different in our society.