We are a nation of over reactors in many ways. Even the most nominal events cause an uproar. I was almost in awe of the public’s reaction to the discontinuing of Twinkies. People rushed to stores to buy a stockpile of the non-perishable pastry. Four thousand people have so far signed a petition to the White House to bail out the Twinkie.
When 20 elementary school kids were massacred last month, there was an overreaction but in all the wrong ways. There was an almost eerie lack of reaction to why this man had an assault rifle. A common phrase that reverberated throughout the news was “It’s just too early to talk about gun control.” Pro gun lobbyists tried to find a scapegoat, calling Grand Theft Auto the root of all evil. Arming all teachers with an assault rifle and bulletproof vest became a non-jaw-dropping idea. We as a nation of over reactors cannot let this pass and ignore our nation’s dangerous gun laws.
Almost every first world nation in the world bans guns altogether. Nations like Australia, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom, all function as stable and prosperous countries without allowing the private ownership of weaponry. Yet when anyone suggests that we reduce the availability of military grade weaponry, there is a unified howl from the pro-gun wolf pack. They are all on constant alert to attack anyone who ever suggests restricting guns. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” is the clichéd answer that is always barked by those hugging their extended magazine Glocks. Yes, it does take a person to kill someone. But it takes a gun to shoot a theater full of people. It takes a gun to viciously kill 32 college students in under 15 minutes.
The Second Amendment was passed close to 200 years ago. Back then the threat of occupation was real considering the lack of an army. It was essential to national security to be able to keep a “well-regulated militia.” In addition, weaponry of that time was extremely inaccurate and couldn’t be reloaded by even the best in less than 30 seconds. Many hold the Constitution with the likes of the Bible. An age old document that can never be doubted in any way. They ignore the fact that the Constitution is meant to be a living document, changing in text and interpretation with the times.
Gun control is not the silver bullet to all violence. Gun control will not guarantee that a mad man won’t attack a school. Gun control will simply make it less likely. Those who are willing to stand up the wolves simply suggest that we ban assault rifles and extended magazines for concealable handguns. When individuals’ lives are on the line, it is uniquely immoral to simply say we shouldn’t try. Even the chance of saving a life is a chance worth taking.
If owning an assault rifle is more important that potentially saving a life, then that’s your prerogative. On the other hand, if you believe that is wrong, let your voice be heard over the screeching growls of the wolf pack.