>Are We Going Mad?

by jvaragona

>I’ve been out of comission for the past several days with the flu, so I’ve taken to catching up on some movie watching. Meanwhile, another school shooting has occured, this time only one state away from me in Illinois at Northern Illinois University. Yawn. We’re so used to this in America.

Another thingthat I’m sadly used to is the argument that more guns would solve this problem. The police had record response time in this recent incident, yet Second Amendment advocates say if students could have concealed weapons on campus, they could have ended it sooner. So because people go insane and do these dispicable acts, we are to justify arming others and provoke further incidents?

Why do we have gun rights in America anyway? The second Amendment in the Bill of Rights states: 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.

So let every white man that owns property have firearms then. What’s that? Woman and other races must have equal rights as well. I suppose so. As time goes on, we do have the freedom to change things as we see fit for the betterment of our people, which is why we as Americans slowly did away with slavery, segregation, and keeping anyone that wasn’t white or a man from voting. That’s progress–and genuinely American!

I live in a city that year after year is in the top ten for violent crime which helped us win the tops for America’s Most Dangerous City in 2002 and 2006. To keep us up there, we need more guns. And we need them in the hands of more people, including desperate individuals that could slip through a background check or into the decent folks hands that pass them along through the black market to those that cannot get them legally on their own. I hope you sense my sarcasm here, but I doubt that for you hard core 2nd Amendment kids.

There’s a time and a place for that kids, and it’s called College.

What is the Wild Wild West, Alex?

I realize we have the right to defend ourselves and those that died didn’t have the opportunity, or the glock, to. Say you let the other student carry concealed weapons. What about all of those high school shootings? Or even the grade school shootings? They may be underage, but don’t they have a right to be defended. So let’s arm the teachers! Try explaining that to the parents when something goes wrong. And that’s saying everything’s a-okay on those college campuses, which I scoff at.

Here’s a novel concept. Do away with handguns and automatic weapons altogether. Hell, I’d want to do away with firearms altogether, but we’ll take baby steps, you “hunters” you. In a place where 67.9% of murders were caused by firearms, think of the dramatic drop. Granted some will stash theirs away. It will be another Prohibition of sorts, but with strict penalties, we shall overcome. In 2006, 14,990 were murdered in the U.S. More than half of that number is from handguns (7,795), which could be deemed completely unnecessary. What’s the point of handguns again? Ah yes, to defend ourselves–from others that are defending themselves? Total firearm deaths in the U.S. reached 10,177, which we can hopefully beat in the coming years. We are the land of opportunity and dreams.

The only civilized country that is in our league, and in fact can beat our numbers, is Brazil. They do however have better alternative fuel sources there, so I think it balances out. While Brazilians won’t agree to banning gun sales outright, mainly due to fear of others still armed, stricter gun control laws and buyback programs have lowered their firearm murder rate by at least 8%.

Unfortunately, money speaks in our country, especially through the gun lobbyists. Fear works well here too, which may forever make folks feel like they need to be armed. Maybe we can work to eliminate that need instead of snowballing one of the more primitive aspects of our society.