Over the last seven days, when numerous mass shootings were reported on the front pages of newspapers and popular online news sources, my opinion about the Second Amendment has changed.
My lifelong support for the Constitution, most importantly, the Bill of Rights, began to waiver in 2012 when our nation experienced the horror of learning that 20 small children and six educators were slaughtered at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. I had no doubt that, at the very least, Congress would ban the killing machines we call “military assault rifles,” and demand comprehensive background checks for all gun purchases. I was very mistaken; they did absolutely nothing. They continued their false mantra, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” The gun is safe as long as no one loads the weapon and pulls the trigger.
I continued to support the right of all Americans to legally purchase guns while calling for the ban of all military-style weapons and high output magazines. Once again, our government has done nothing, although there are more mass shootings in America than days on the calendar. I believe that it’s time for drastic change. The people of the United States of America are too angry and too stupid to own deadly toys.
The Second Amendment served a single purpose when added to the Bill of Rights in 1789. Without a standing army, it was necessary to ensure that the new nation had an armed militia ready to take action if necessary.
Today, the United States military is five times larger than those of all other nations combined. A militia is no longer necessary, and the Second Amendment is moot. To protect the lives of 330 million people, I now call for the repeal of the Second Amendment.
The latest reported mass murders happened in Pittsburgh this weekend. A large party in a rented Airbnb ended with people running for their lives. When the bullets stopped flying, two 17-year-old boys were dead and more than a dozen injured.
It pains me to say that events like this have become normal in America. This is unacceptable. Our beloved country has become the most dangerous in the free world. It is not safe to leave your home. Nowhere is safe, including churches and schools.
I find it reprehensible that one entire party in Washington places the profits of gun manufacturers and gun sellers a priority above the lives of our nation’s people. They do whatever the NRA gun lobby tells them to do. Campaign contributions are of greater importance than the lives of 20 children who were only five and six years old.
The laws must be changed. Anyone wanting to buy anything other than a hunting rifle, which includes shotguns, must have a permit similar to concealed carry permits required in all, with the exception of red states today. Gun safety must be the priority, and gun sales must be controlled by both state and federal governments.
Common sense is lacking in America and, most obviously, in Washington. Doing the right thing is not a consideration for most of those elected in states like Ohio, Indiana, Idaho, Utah, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Montana, Iowa, and Wyoming. I am an American citizen, and this country belongs to me, not to our failing politicians. I want it back, and my vote will accomplish that goal.
People must come before profits. Let us make America great.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Daily Beast: Teens Among the Dead in Pittsburgh Underage Airbnb Party Attack; by Barbie Latza Nadeau
CBS News: Pittsburgh Mass Shooting: 2 Teens Killed, 8 Injured At North Side Airbnb Party
Images Courtesy of Elvert Barnes’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License