How do we interpret the Second Amendment in a way that makes any sense?
This is the controversy that is ripping through America today.
Earlier this week, a maniac Trump supporter murdered seventeen of his fellow Americans in Parkland, Florida. This person was a scumbag, who doesn’t deserve to get his name in print. He was photographed proudly on Instagram wearing his stupid red Make America Great Again cap, and was obsessed with racism and violence.
In Florida, victim Scott Beigel’s funeral is still going on, but not before the NRA had already held a gun show. This revoltingly insensitive spectacle of misplaced values is the same show the NRA puts on every time, as Michael Moore showed us in Bowling for Columbine.
The 2nd, like most other Amendments, is a failsafe written into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers designed to defend America against a centralized tyranny of the type they were suffering under King George, while also avoiding the type of populist nightmare that led to the Reign of Terror in France.
It is the opinion of this Millennial Democrats contributor that most people respect the Second Amendment, but more than anything, they want little kids to stop getting shot when they go to school. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.
Undoubtedly, the right to bear arms is an important and fundamental American tradition. Once it was critical. It was not granted us by the British, who did not respect us as equals. They labelled us rebels and traitors and treated us as though we had no rights at all. We had to fight for our rights, by forming citizen militias called Minutemen, heroes who beat back the oppression of the British soldiers in the area to mistreat and abuse them and set our country forever free during the Revolutionary War.
These sections of American history are an important part of the heritage of victory we all hold dear.
That is what makes it all the more tragic, when slovenly packs of rednecks like Cliven Bundy get together, misappropriate these terms for their own insane and unnecessary purposes and drag them through the mud.
The kinds of people who call themselves Minutemen these days are not heroic at all. What they are, is a problem.
The gun culture in this country has gotten out of control. It’s just that simple. When 11,000 people in the country are shot dead every year, you’ve got a problem that is out of control.
In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings, CBS News found that 36 percent of U.S. adults either own a firearm personally, or live with someone who does. Furthermore, that huge number is the lowest gun ownership rate in nearly 40 years.
There are more guns in America then there are human beings. And 3% of our population controls 50% of them.
In 2016, there were a total of 384 mass shootings. That’s better than one a day.
According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, a total of 346 mass shooting incidents occurred in 2017, which is a slight decrease than last year. But in terms of the numbers of dead, it was the deadliest year in American history.
On October 1, 2017, 64-year old Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 people at a country music festival from his hotel suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas strip. The attack, which left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured, marked the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The death toll surpassed the Orlando Pulse nightclub massacre, which took the lives of 49 people in June of 2016.
Paddock had an arsenal with him that defies belief.
Authorities eventually discovered that he owned 47 guns. At least 12 of those in the hotel room were outfitted with bump stocks, which allowed the semi-automatic weapons to mimic the gunfire of automatic ones, according to Jill Snyder, special agent in charge of the ATF’s San Francisco field division.
Under federal law, gun stores are required to report multiple handgun purchases to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives but not multiple rifle purchases.
The lack of notification for multiple rifle purchases creates a loophole where people can stockpile assault weapons, similar in design to those used by the military and police SWAT teams, with little federal detection, said David Chipman, a former ATF special agent and senior policy adviser at Americans for Responsible Solutions, which advocates for stricter gun regulation.
This problem is not going away. People are going off the rails like this because the tension in our society has been rising like a pressure cooker for years. Now that Trump is in office, it’s likely to get much worse.
When it does, we can certainly expect even more people to reach their breaking point. When they get there, there will be plenty of guns, and that is the crux of the problem.
Sooner or later, something’s got to give. We aren’t advocating for the government to kick doors down and forcefully snatch people’s guns away, but we can’t sell AR-15’s out of vending machines either. This country is in desperate need of a reasonable and far-sighted set of gun regulations. Until it gets one, the body count will just keep piling up.
Our hearts and best wishes are with the town of Parkland, Florida, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They have vowed that theirs will be the last mass shooting. Godspeed, you guys. Good for you.
R.I.P. Alyssa Alhadeff, Nicholas Dworet, Scott Beigel, Aaron Feis, Jamie Guttenberg, Meadow Pollack, Christopher Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Carmen Schentrup, Gina Montalto, Alex Schachter, Peter Wang, Alaina Petty, Martin Duque Antiano, Helena Ramsey, Joaquin Oliver, Cara Loughran, and all the others. You are not forgotten.