Two hundred and fifty years ago, other than the native Americans who lived here for centuries, we were all immigrants. We sought refuge from tyrannical rulers who tried to determine the destiny of all their subjects. There were no supermarkets, no cell phones, no more comforts than candlelight in the dark and fire to keep us warm. By 1776 our brave forefathers declared our independence. And by 1787 we embarked on the great experiment of democracy with the establishment of our Constitution. “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Yes, a great nation was then born. And yet, some words were still feared: “The British are coming” indicated British soldiers. The people were the government of the United States, and yet, there was an innate fear of all governments. The Bill of Rights set for the basic rights of the people, including the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. “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.” At a time when we provided our own security, at a time when one hunted for food for sustenance, at a time when foreign invaders were a real threat to an infant nation, the powder ball and musket were a real necessity.
Fast forward to the present, some two hundred thirty years later. Life is not only different but more complicated. Every day, guns are used to kill and maim our fellow citizens. Every day, there are those among us who seek to totally remove any restriction on the ownership and use of guns and firearms in general. We no longer speak of powder ball muskets. We now speak of handguns of all sorts, with laser sights, and automatic repeating triggers, rifles and automatic rifles, and machine guns.
And each time there is another tragedy, each time there are numerous senseless deaths by shooting, these same people call for less weapon restriction arguing that is for protection. We have heard it so often. Shooting of Presidents, shootings of children at Sandy Hook, shootings of politicians, mass killings in nightclubs in Orlando, in Las Vegas, and now again close to home in Ft. Lauderdale. And even with the continued liberalization of our gun control laws, the carnage continues. (Isn’t liberalization an ironic word used in this context?)
We have just suffered through another senseless tragedy. Our leaders will soon recite the parody that guns do not kill people, people kill people. And they will offer their thoughts and prayers to the families who mourn the senseless loss of their loved ones.
I call on all of you to now rise up and face reality. Tell your leaders that you will no longer accept their meaningless platitudes. Prayers are wonderful, but they are not a solution to an endemic problem. We do not need firearms to obtain our food. We do not need firearms to protect us from any facet of our government. We do not need firearms to protect us from foreign invaders. And firearms in ever increasing numbers, with the ever-diminishing restriction on their use, have in no way protected us from the senseless slaughter we suffer on a regular basis.
No one can own or operate a motor vehicle without first obtaining an appropriate license. Tests must be passed, and a basic proficiency must be shown. And the operation of motor vehicles is closely regulated by law enforcement on a regular basis. There are no such restrictions on the use and ownership of firearms. It is time to demand common sense restrictions. It is time to demand that we are all entitled to freedom from worry about the next mass execution. It is time to demand that we are entitled to real action from our so-called leaders. It is time to tell the politicians of America that we have had enough, and we are not going to take it anymore. We live in the 21st century, not the 18th century, and we will no longer let a vocal minority rationalize for all of us that what was necessary more than two hundred years ago is necessary today. Tell them they are wrong. Guns do kill people, and we are sick and tired of the tragedy and pain.
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