The NRA has accomplished one of its goals, to keep guns “free” while squashing the freedom of speech.
Over the last week, the news has been filled with the
shootings in Colorado. A man was able to
purchase four guns including two assault rifles that have only one mission: to
kill as many people as possible. He also
purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition on line. This same man was denied entrance or
membership to a shooting range, because the manager could hear something in his
voice. We can all assume that the manager that denied the shooter access is a
pro-gun kind of guy. Twelve people were killed; scores wounded and even more
lives traumatized forever.
What should happen after an event like this is a national
discussion about guns and weapons designed to kill people. But, there is has been near silence on the
topic. The NRA has worked so hard in the
past with their campaigns of fear to their brotherhood of gun totters and
spread their cash around to politicians like whiskey in a cowboy saloon that no
one wants to start the debate. If
someone did, the advertising and campaigns about “freedom” would rage with
their slanted view.
The freedom to bear arms has its place. Even if you think that arms are guaranteed in
the United States Constitution to support militias, that still makes it a right
in our country. Even lacking a Constitution
that vaguely supports the right to bear arms, a Responsible Community should
allow the ownership of guns.
With that in mind, there is no argument that can be made
that the authors of the Constitution and those that supported its adoption ever
thought that reasonable controls could not be placed on any of the rights,
including the right to bear arms. There
are restrictions on speech, publishing, religion and other rights. Can we not work at finding the balance
between guaranteeing the freedom of arms and the safety of the community?
One argument that would arise, if the NRA’s strong arm
tactics didn’t clamp down on speech, is that even absolute restriction would
not have stopped the gunman in Colorado.
He would have found a way to get the guns anyway. Perhaps that is true. But, it would have taken longer. This may have been enough time for those that
would protect the lives and safety of people in the community to respond. It may have also allowed enough time for the
gunman, who was sane enough to make the purchases and develop a detailed plan
to come to his senses.
Maybe enough time
would have past to keep just this one event from happening. The 12 people that died and the scores of
others that were shot by him could have just enjoyed the movie.