I am constantly amazed at some people’s perception of what a “good” fix is for some of the current dilemmas we Americans face. The obviously implied, “I am smarter than you” attitude that stands out in some recent letters about the gun debate in particular is a pretty good indication of why it is so difficult to have any kind of logical discussion about these types of issues. The recent article by Tim Personius in last week’s Letters (Jan. 16) goes as far as to suggest that his mother is smarter than another person’s he happens to disagree with. It is this kind of childish thinking that gets us nowhere along with clever statements like “guns don’t kill; people do.” In the end, people with bigger guns kill more people. Isn’t this evident in our resolve to deter countries like Iran from obtaining nuclear bombs? Aren’t we infringing on their sovereign rights? Once again it’s amazing how so many like to tailor their “rights” in order to benefit themselves.
Here is a thought one might consider: The Constitution starts with, “We the People...” instead of “Me the Individual...” for a reason. One of the first few reasons it states as to why it was being written was to, “...insure domestic Tranquility...” So how do you balance that with the right to bear arms? Where do your rights stop and mine begin? These may be the questions that will need to be asked as we move forward to a more mature country.
I am neither a gun owner nor wish for those with guns to give up any of their rights to own guns. In fact I have seriously contemplated becoming an owner. What exactly though are considered “arms”? In the Bill of Rights written over a few hundred years ago, I was promised that right. Did those authors mean to include any type of assault weapon that may be invented years down the road?
When these questions can be addressed without a person’s ego controlling their beliefs, then we may begin to come to some sort of compromise in order to protect all our rights as individuals and in turn as a society. Our government, whatever level that may be, was created by the people for the people. As controversial as some believe that to be, it is there fundamentally to direct our society to a peaceful way of living. Could you imagine the chaos on the roads through the city if there weren’t simple limitations put on the speed we travel? Surely we all have the right to own a car, but even that comes with regulations that change from time to time. I don’t think for one moment that restricting certain types of weapons will lead to me losing my second amendment rights. However, I am not a conspiracy theorist either.
Finally, I do not believe any change in how we make our guns or how we handle them will dramatically change the senseless tragedies that are occurring. Obviously that would have to include changing the individuals who are responsible. In turn that would require a dreaded “social program” since our families are not handling the task so well. It does seem possible though that any type of change might just spare one life down the road. And I think that’s worth discussing now, no matter how much smarter anyone else’s mother may be.