Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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Collateral Damage

I’ve been loathe to write about this subject.  It’s been written about adnauseam.  Yet, not enough has been said.

Seventeen students were gunned down with an AR-15 military style weapon on Valentine’s Day.  SEVENTEEN STUDENTS WERE GUNNED DOWN WITH AN AR-15 ON VALENTINE’S DAY!

Across my newsfeed I have a cacophony of messages being sent.  Many of them in support of the student survivors who are being brave enough to challenge the status quo.  Some of them mocking them.  Some of them accusatory in nature.  Why, these seventeen and eighteen year-olds are secret plants.  Actors who are paid to talk about gun control.  Or they’ve been hi-jacked by the left or the media or both since they’re essentially the same thing.

Never mind the politicians who are paid to be gun advocates by the NRA and it’s supporters. Sigh…

No, these young men and women can’t possibly be intelligent enough to formulate their own opinions or talk about politics or policy.  Or what is even good for that matter.

I hear people saying, “It’s the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.  Nothing we can do.  People have a right to buy guns, whatever kind they want.”  Some even advocating that those weapons that are illegal for average citizens to possess be made legal.  We need to fight like fire with like fire, after all.  In case we need to stand up to the tyranny of our government.

What do we need to stand up to the tyranny of the gun lobby?

Why am I seeing bullshit memes about ‘librals wanting to ban all guns’?  Why am I seeing my conservative friends being maligned as heartless even though they agree with sensible gun legislation?  Why is this a liberal or conservative issue?  It isn’t.  It’s a societal issue.  It’s a people issue.  It’s a you and me issue. Stop pretending compromise and finding common ground are dirty words.

Why am I seeing grown men and women act as if these students don’t have a right to their opinion?

Why am I seeing Americans attacking one another, eating each other alive, because we disagree about the best course of action?

Why can’t we agree that there are some things we agree about?

Why can’t that be a starting point?

The thing is, I don’t anticipate ever seeing a ban on the AR or any other gun that is legal to possess in this country.  I’ve heard arguments for and against a ban on AR’s.  Some compelling on both sides, though I see no valid reason an individual should own such a rifle.

Infringement of rights is what I’m told, the reason against.  Here’s a cold hard truth:  If we want to prevent mass shootings such as this someone’s rights must be infringed upon.

To have stronger background checks, ones that would really do any good, would infringe upon the rights of the mentally ill.  For background checks like that to work there would have to be a networking of Psychiatrists, mental hospitals, substance abuse treatment facilities with the FBI to alert them of anyone who has been treated, admitted, or taking any kind of mind-altering drug.  Relying on the honor system clearing does not work.

In addition to that, those who have been reported to the police for domestic violence would need to be logged.  Waiting for a conviction for a violent act takes too long.  Someone can go out and by a gun in the meantime.

Why can’t we find common ground on this issue?

Why are there people advocating for fences, metal detectors, and armed guards at school?  Or even more frightening, arming teachers?  Are these learning institutions or prisons?  Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather my child be safe.  And if it takes fences and metal detectors and armed guards to keep them that way then I’d rather that than nothing.  But is that what it’s come to?

Schools are not the only places these violent acts of terror take place.  Are we going to fence in everywhere?  Have armed guards on duty at every place of business? Every place of leisure? Every place? I don’t think the victims of the Las Vegas massacre would believe a fence and an armed guard would do the trick.  There were armed security personnel there.  Some of them shot dead.  There wasn’t a fence tall enough.

With regards to schools.  What happens when a shooter finds a vantage point above the fence line, who doesn’t go past the metal detectors, opens fire on students outside on break?  What then?  Will they no longer be allowed to go outdoors?  Will we infringe upon their freedoms to protect the freedom of those who want to keep their toys?

If I weren’t living it I’d think this was all taken from the pages of some dystopian novel. If I weren’t hearing hit with my own ears and seeing it with my own eyes I would never believe that anyone in America would ever say, “People being killed are collateral damage.  Children dying at the hands of someone with a gun are the price of freedom.”

 

 

 

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