To the Editor,
I think we need to stop blaming inanimate objects. There is not a gun violence problem, there is a violence problem. Has anyone not seen the violent twitter posts, and news reports or YouTube clips showing “Flashmobs” assaulting people, damaging or stealing property? Even this violence is just a symptom. The actual problem is our society and culture. We have stopped teaching right and wrong: instead we’ve been taught we can’t judge another’s behavior.
In just the past few weeks it has been reported that the suspect in the Newtown massacre had thousands of dollars in violent video games that he used to “practice” for his crime. He changed magazines more often than necessary. Would smaller magazines have mattered? Finally, he had researched the suspect in the Norwegian massacre and had wanted to “out do” him. The media exacerbates the problem by glorifying these individuals.
Look at movies such as Natural Born Killers, and reports hailing the former Los Angeles police officer who murdered three people as a hero. Notice I have not mentioned the names of any of these individuals. Do we remember the names of the victims of the Columbine massacre? Instead, we remember the names of their murderers. The media exacerbates these tragedies by making the murders famous, or infamous, and rarely mentioning the victims. How does a potential future mass murder see the media coverage? Hey, I can go out in a blaze of glory, and my name will be remembered forever! Maybe we should stop naming the murders and remember the victims instead.
Some have claimed recently, we cannot trust untrained amateurs with these powerful weapons; these weapons should only be in the hands of highly trained professionals. Oh! Like the trusted police lieutenant in Nevada who murdered his wife and child, then committed suicide? Or the two highly trained NYPD officers that fired 17 rounds at a suspect and wounded nine bystanders? The suspect never fired a single round. He was less than 15 feet from one officer and less than seven feet from the other. The average responsible concealed carry holder is very unlikely to shoot “indiscriminately.” Why? The law protects government officials when they discharge their weapons. There are no such protections for private citizens. They may face criminal charges for discharging a weapon.
To those who wish to limit the Second Amendment, I would say this, be careful what you ask for. All of the rights set forth in the country’s founding documents are equal. None are more important than the others. These rights should only be limited if there is an overwhelming benefit to society, which surpasses the burden placed upon the citizens exercising their rights. If the government is allowed to restrict the Second Amendment, what rights might they restrict in the future? I heard someone recently state; this is not about gun control, but about people control.
Freedom comes with consequences.
Crows Nest Lane, Sandy Hook March 5 2013