By Scott Grady, New Richmond
Again, people across America are saddened by the senseless shooting of innocent people in our community.
Again, I ask myself why we choose as a population to allow this activity to continue without taking measures to end it.
I have heard the reasons for keeping things the way they are.
I have heard the arguments for upholding the Constitution.
I understand the desire for individuals to choose to be armed to protect home and family.
I understand the desire to hunt and provide food to eat.
In earlier years, I also hunted. My son hunts and is an avid supporter of the Second Amendment. A few years ago, after Sandy Hook, my son and I were engaged in a discussion regarding gun control. He and I were on opposite sides I asked if it would be okay with him if someone walked into his daughters' school and put a bullet into her head. He obviously was not. I asked him how many more daughters and sons and sisters and brothers and mothers and fathers needed to be murdered before something was done to curtail the availability of firearms which cause so much destruction to so many innocent people.
One does not need an AK-47 to deer hunt. It makes no sense to duck hunt with an Uzi. And no one wants to pick through the bounty of their hunt looking for fragments of hollow point bullets so that they don't break a tooth. And none of these are needed to protect one's family. They are very handy, however, in creating havoc to your family.
For decades, people have stood behind blood soaked veil of the Second Amendment to claim their right to bear arms. One needs to look at the entire Second Amendment, and not just part of it. The Second Amendment 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." At the time that this Amendment was written, there was no standing army. It was the responsibility of every adult male to assist in the defense of the country. The government did not provide arms when citizens, or the militia, were called to defend it. To hinder the ability of an individual to arm himself, hindered the ability of the nation to defend itself. The Second Amendment was a matter of national defense. The militia no longer exists. There is a standing military and the government provides all of the equipment and arms that are necessary to fulfill its duty. The lack of need for a militia makes the need to bear arms a moot issue. If the Second Amendment were repealed tomorrow, it would not create any negative impact upon our national defense.
I have heard the rationale that if everyone was armed, everyone would be safer. If that were true, everyone west of the Mississippi would still have a Colt 45 strapped to their leg. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now. Every day people are dying in the streets of America who are being shot by someone else who is carrying a firearm for "protection."
There have been many changes over the years throughout our country to protect the life and limb of its citizens. It is now mandatory to wear seat belts. Wearing seatbelts saves lives. There are now laws regarding legal limits and consequences for driving under the influence. Drunk drivers kill people It is now illegal to smoke in most public places. Second hand smoke kills people. It amazes me that we will readily legislate laws for seat belts, drunk drivers, and smokers, yet we refuse to do anything regarding the bloodshed created by firearms.
I do not currently have the statistics to state how many people die annually from not wearing seat belts, or die from drunk drivers, or die from secondhand smoke, or die from being shot. I am certain that these statistics are readily available and I would venture to believe that those dying from firearms is just as significant as any other cause. People all across America, in our homes and in our streets, are dying every day from firearms. Are not these lives worth something? Do not these victims also have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Where is the Constitution for them? The Second Amendment is archaic. The Second Amendment no longer serves the purpose for which it was written. It is time the Second Amendment leaves the 18th century and joins the 21st.