In the past week, I have seen 20 children and six adults lost in my very own community. One of the adults who lost her life is someone I grew up with, graduated high school with, and played basketball with as a child.
In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the gun debate is brewing front and center. Some say it is too early or in poor taste to tackle this issue even as the funerals are being planned. But as an adult and parent, I say this is the exact time for the discussion about gun rights in our country. We saw the Columbine massacre come and go with no changes. Then the Virgina Tech slayings and the Gabby Giffords shooting. These horrible events came and went again with no debate or change because so many found it to be in poor taste.
Now, we have twenty children, six- and seven-year-old first grade students, who are dead, mere days before Christmas. Now is the time to talk about it. If we don’t finally start talking about it now, it will slip away out of the public eye once again until yet another tragedy of this magnitude happens.
I am not anti-gun. In fact, in the coming months I plan on obtaining my pistol permit right here in Connecticut. I believe there is a level of safety it would bring to myself, and my family. Will I buy a gun? Maybe. Maybe not. Will I allow my children near it or keep it inside my home? No.
The fact of the matter is, I want to know all about the safety of it.
As we talk about whether we should talk about changing our gun laws, I stand by one statement — I do not believe anyone (other than military personnel, and law enforcement) needs an assault weapon. You hunt? Oh, awesome! Find another type of rifle. You do not need the same gadgets that our men and women are using in a war zone. There simply is no reason for it, unless you are planning on going to war. Are you?
When I hear people start to scream about their Second Amendment rights it slightly enrages me. The Second Amendment states:
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.
When this was written, there were no assault weapons. In fact, if you were shooting a gun, most of the time it took you a good minute or two to re-load the weapon and fire the next shot, not off-load a clip of 30 bullets in ten seconds, which is what these weapons are capable of doing.
When I asked the “gun experts” in my life, what exactly a weapon like the one that killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary would typically be used for (because I admit my ignorance on this topic) the answer I got was this — hunting. But I just don’t get why in hunting you would need something so extreme.
I just don’t get it.
I am not hating on gun owners or gun rights activists. I fully believe the Second Amendment should continue to stand, and I think Americans should continue to be able to own guns.
I just think there needs to be a serious change in the kind of guns we own and operate. Because there is no place for assault weapons in the hands of any citizens.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia