Bang, bang…and here we go again.

I’m struggling today. Another mass murder, another crazy gunman on a rampage and still nothing gets done. I’m stunned that the entire country isn’t just completely pissed off that this continues to happen on a weekly basis.  Yes, weekly.  The Oregon shooting is the 994th mass attack in the last 3 years and there has been one school shooting per week since Sandy Hook. Not all mass murders, but shootings nonetheless. Firearms are the cause of 33,000 deaths per year. Guns are the cause of more deaths every six hours than terrorists attacks were in 2014.  The President is right, it’s become routine, acceptable, and I can’t stand it.

I have a lot of friends who own guns and I don’t diminish their opinions about it even if I sometimes don’t agree with it. Most all of the people I know who own guns are responsible gun owners. Hunters and target shooters who love the sport and I personally believe they should be allowed to continue that.  I am not on the “let’s confiscate all the guns” bandwagon, but I do believe we need stricter gun laws in this country. Our right to bear arms by the Constitution did not give us the right to commit mass murder. The second amendment was written in the 17th century and it is just that, an amendment, which means that the Constitution was amended or changed, to include it. Think about the times they were living in.  In my humble opinion the Constitution was created as a guideline, and if amendments were made in the 17th century to take into account the times and circumstances they were living in, why can’t amendments be made now to include the same?   We very obviously do not live in the 17th century anymore. Almost half of all guns in civilian ownership on the planet are held by Americans. On the planet.  How many more guns do we need?

Since the constitution seemingly protects my right to own a gun, why don’t we add an amendment that protects my right to go to a movie, or send my child to school without fear of gun violence?  Without the fear that I may not see my family again because either I or my kids will be murdered by someone who was able to get his or her hands on an assault rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition?  What about those rights?  Granted, the Oregon shooter didn’t have an assault rifle on him that day but he did have five magazines of ammunition on him. He obtained every one of his guns legally, but had emotional issues that should have precluded him from ever being able to buy a gun in the first place.  We definitely need to address the problem we have in this country with the mentally unstable, but that is not the immediate issue. The immediate issue is to include gun laws that will weed the majority of unstable people out so that they can’t get their hands on a weapon.  Do I think it will stop the problem completely? No, but seat belt laws certainly lowered the death count even if it didn’t stop the problem entirely. The goal is to lower the death count by gun violence and that can be achieved by enacting stricter laws. If you are a responsible gun owner, why wouldn’t you want the same thing?  I don’t understand.

America is the only developed nation where this kind of violence happens. The research is very clear that more guns means more gun deaths and that’s not just by country but by state as well. The states that have more gun ownership have more gun deaths, period.  It really astounds me, this obsession with firearms. Gun violence costs tax payers over five hundred million dollars a year. Gun shops shriek with glee every time there is a mass shooting because it means their sales will triple in the week following. The NRA spends millions every year lobbying to make sure our politicians are in their back pocket. And all for what? The freedom that the Constitution gives us as Americans to bear arms?  If we as a nation believe our Constitutional rights are being infringed upon, as the NRA advertises, then we will rise up and continue to put millions in their coffers, as we continue to do year after year.

Don’t fool yourself. The gun issue is not about freedom, it’s about money and power. Nothing more, nothing less. We as a nation are being played.  And until we realize that and start enacting smart, responsible and more restrictive gun laws, we will continue to be played, and this kind of violence will continue to happen on a weekly basis. I wonder, if it were your Mom, or your 6 year old, or your high school senior, or your sophomore in college who didn’t come home today because they happened to go school or to a movie where a gunman unloaded his arsenal on them, would you be applauding his constitutional rights?  Think about it.

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