Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Gun Control

I want to address gun control; this issue concerns the soul of America.  I may not have anything new to add to what has been said, but I want to add my voice to the call for reform.  To begin, consider the definition of control: ‘the power to influence or direct behavior’.  The issue here is not to eliminate American’s right to own guns; at issue is specifically action to control mass killing by weapons of war.

I begin with some statistics on gun ownership in America:
            --on average people killed by guns, 96 per day; 1300/year
            --America is #1 per capita for gun ownership
            --US gun homicide rate: 25X the average of high income countries
            --America has more mass shootings than any other country

There are various ways to define ‘mass shootings’ but whatever definition is used America leads.  Studies indicate mass shootings since 2011 in US have tripled, the deadliest have occurred in the 21st Century with assault weapons.
            1)  2017   Los Vegas                 #59 killed    semi-automatic weapon
            2)  2016   Orlando Night Club    50  "          semi-automatic weapon
            3)  2007   Virginia Tech              33            semi-automatic weapon
            4)  2012   Sandy Hook                28            semi-automatic weapon
            5)  2017   Southerland Springs   27            semi-automatic weapon
The most recent, February 15, 2018, at Parkland Florida High School, was one of the deadliest in  high schools, 17 students were killed with semi-automatic weapon.

Assault weapons have no business in private hands, they are intended as weapons of war; their only purpose is to kill humans—as many as possible in the shortest time.  Their very existence is a moral issue.

Gun ownership is defended by quoting the 2nd Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”  That can be interpreted more than one way—I’m not qualified to formally argue the point but I can use common sense.  ‘Militia’ . . . seems to suggest self-defense in lawless areas—there are no longer ‘lawless areas’ in the US.  But more importantly I believe we should consider the times in which the amendment became law, it was in 1791; at the time ‘bearing arms’ meant pistols and rifles/muskets; they were the objects of guaranteed protection.  The writers of the Constructional Amendments could not foresee the lethal nature of the 21st Century weapons and therefore were not included in the intent.  It is morally abhorrent to see the NRA and congress continuing to protect uncontrolled private ownership of assault weapons.

I recommend going to YouTube and request ‘gun violence spoken word poem’.
or:      https://t.co/LxdSAI2kvf      (may need to unmute in lower right corner)

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