(EnviroNews DC News Bureau) — Many of today’s technological marvels could never have been dreamed of by the Founding Fathers when they crafted the Constitution, and later the Second Amendment. iPhones, space shuttles, sky-scraping resort hotels, nuclear bombs and yes, automatic assault weapons that can fire hundreds of rounds per minute — like the ones used in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, never crossed the minds of the visionary framers of the U.S. Constitution. It was a world of muskets in those days. Even the advent of the first machine gun, credited to inventor Sir Hiram Maxim in 1884, a century after the Second Amendment was ratified, was likely never conceived by the Founding Fathers.
The text of the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights reads:
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.
It’s interesting that the Founding Fathers said a militia should be “well regulated” in the Second Amendment — at EnviroNews, we’d like to know more about what that actually means. But the primary embedded function of the Second Amendment is to maintain the lawful right to protect oneself against the government itself — a government that could theoretically become corrupt or oppressive to the point of turning its own military on the people. And in the days of the musket, you, and a militia-like group of neighbors and comrades, just might have been able to pull it off. Muskets versus muskets — militia versus military — a good ol’ fashioned fight it would have been.
But in 2017, if you are a person that thinks for a minute, that you could hypothetically protect yourself from a U.S. government, off the tracks and turning its weapons on segments of society, then you are gravely mistaken. No amount of peashooters, or even machine guns in your home, could ever be enough for you to protect yourself against the government. Let’s keep it real. One drone flyover in the middle of the night, satellite-guided by someone remotely from half a world away with a video game controller, and your house and your family, and all its little guns with it, would be wiped off the map before you even knew what hit you.
The government makes it a priority to have guns far more powerful than any good gun-wielding Samaritan can get their hands on. The government has tanks, drones, F-35 jets, rockets, grenades, missiles, sonic torture devices and nuclear weapons and so, so much more. Anyone thinking their gun is going to protect them against the U.S. government is living in la-la land to say the least.
But where does the Second Amendment stop? Where should it stop? Should an everyday citizen be allowed to have tanks, rocket launchers, weaponized drones, and even atomic weapons in their backyard to protect them self against the U.S. government? Is that the world most people want to live in — a world where everyone has weapons of mass destruction on their premises? Or, does there need to be commonsense regulations on these “arms” spoken about in the Second Amendment?
Stop for a moment to remember Obama’s tearful speech to the nation in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre where seven adults and 20 innocent school children were blown away — and how so many thought that would be the moment — that that would be the door-opening incident allowing the country to turn the corner on the issue of gun violence. Sadly no, that’s not how it played out. In a week or two, Sandy Hook had faded entirely from the mainstream media, and legislative moves on commonsense gun control were nowhere to be found. Since Sandy Hook, there have been over 1,500 mass shootings in the land of the free, home of the brave.
How about the on-air shooting of journalist Alison Parker and Adam Ward, when the media lost two of their own on live TV? In the following hours, viewers around the country were moved by Parker’s father’s vehement assertions on national television, that he wouldn’t stop until gun-law reform was signed, sealed and delivered. Where is his voice now? As is always the case in mass shootings, the mainstream media allowed it to fade away and moved on to the next issue — and inevitably, the next mass shooting — like the next episode in a continuously unfolding television series.
So, what constitutes a “mass shooting” anyway? The adopted definition is an event where three or more people are shot or killed by gunfire. Bafflingly, in America this year, the country has endured 273 events that meet that criteria in 275 days. This is a unique American problem. Killing goes on all over the world every day, but only in America are mass shootings so rampant.
As compared to all other developed nations around the world, the United States is suffering under pandemic-like statistics where gun violence is concerned. Vox reports, “Extensive reviews of the research by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Center suggest the answer [for America’s unbridled gun violence] is pretty simple: The U.S. is an outlier on gun violence because it has way more guns than other developed nations.”
“America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but almost half of the civilian-owned guns around the world,” Vox continued in its report. Yes indeed, America just can’t seem to get enough of its firearms, and as a sad result will continue to pay a hefty price.
Let us be clear: weapons, like the ones used in last night’s horrific mass shooting amidst the glee of a country music concert in Las Vegas, were not invented for target practice, hunting, home defense or sport; they were conceived for one purpose: to kill a lot of human beings in a very short time period on the battlefield of a war. There is simply no reason whatsoever that civilians need access to semi-automatic or automatic assault rifles, because they won’t save you from your own government anyway. Such weapons of war need to be banned from the civilian population — with lofty penalties for anyone found wielding them. Nothing else will reduce the number of these mass killing mechanisms in American society.
While certain large-magazine automatic and semi-automatic assault rifles are banned via the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) of 1994, owners already harboring these guns were grandfathered in, and so those weapons remain at large. Secondly, multiple legal semi-automatic weapons can be hacked and modified into fully automatic weapons — killing machines that can mow down dozens of people in a large crowd. These weapons should be banned for use or possession by the civilian population.
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association (NRA) fights tooth and nail at nearly every juncture against any and all sensible gun control measures. The very words “gun control” have become like a sacrilegious insult to a minority sector of the country — a sector that has a very potent lobby in Washington. The NRA’s pull is so powerful that most politicians quake in their boots at the thought of having to stand up to it in any form.
While many NRA supporting, firearm mesmerized, gun-toting individuals hear “gun control” and are themselves ready to take up arms just over the thought of it, innocent upstanding citizens are being mowed down in hoards across this great land. The questions remain: will the Las Vegas massacre be the catalyst that finally starts the gun control debate in Washington? If not, how many more mass shootings will it take before commonsense reform is passed, codified and implemented?
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