It is beyond time to recognize that our current practice of allowing essentially unfettered access to firearms has placed U.S. Citizens at a far greater risk of being slaughtered by a random gunman than our peers in other First World democracies. That is the “good” news.
The bad news is that due to either (at best) inaction or (at worst) kowtowing to the gun industry and its lobbying dollars our politicians have set up our children as targets in a shooting gallery. We have reached the point where this is unconscionable.
But, I’m not here to look back with indignation. I’m not here to shrug my shoulders and just accept the now monthly attacks on schools and children as the new normal. And I’m definitely not here to wring my hands and say, “My thoughts and prayers are with the families and now is not the time to address gun violence by random actors on innocent children.”
Instead I’m going to line out some common sense and reasonable actions that we, as a country, can take to protect our children. First, the disclaimers:
- I am a middle-aged, southern, white male.
- I am an independent, split-ticket voter.
- I am a lifelong, responsible gun owner.
- I have a concealed carry license.
- I am a lifelong hunter.
Second, some prerequisite understandings:
- This country was founded on the principle that we have inalienable rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
- There are no absolute Constitutional Rights. All rights can be restrained. This is the give and take of our social contract (the U.S. Constitution), and why the contract works (for over 200 years).
- If your pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness, risks the lives of your fellow citizens, your rights may very well be restrained.
- The people who advocate to loudest for not restraining a particular right are often the most zealous in the attempts to restrain other rights. There is a term for this… Hypocrisy. I could point out numerous examples of this in our current crop of politicians (from both parties), but that is not productive for this series.
Do I believe that what I will propose will ever become a reality? No, not in its entirety. But, I will share my ideas with you, and with my state and national representatives. I will vote based on these ideas. And I will no longer sit on the sidelines as children I am supposed to serve and protect are mowed down in the pursuit of political power and agenda.
You can agree or disagree, in part or in whole. I will entertain some debate. But if you are a troll, just move along.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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