It was just a year ago that I sat in the passenger seat of our CRV looking through my tears as we sped down the Pennsylvania Turnpike on our way to New York to attend our daughter’s wedding. I was bereft of all feeling at a time when I should have been most joyful. We were listening to a voice on the radio tell about the massacre of nine persons inside an historic African American Church in Charleston South Carolina. Dylann Roof committed a crime of hate using a gun which he should not have been able to purchase. The system did not work, so nine persons died.
Today we are grieving once again as a nation because someone whose heart was so full of hatred for LGBT persons that he chose to make them the target of his murderous rage. Omar Mateen was not motivated solely by his allegiance with ISIS or any radical Moslem ideology but more so by his hatred and fear of those whose sexuality he could not accept or tolerate. This was not a terrorist attack carried out by a Radical Islamic Jihadist whose sole motive was to kill Americans but a hate crime committed by an American terrorist who just happened to be a Moslem. 49 persons are dead and 50 plus are critically wounded as a result.
The most appalling thing about this horrific crime is that Mateen was able to legally purchase an R15 assault rifle, a weapon whose only purpose is to take out as many targets – humans – as possible in the least amount of time. Similar assault rifles were used six months ago in the San Bernardino shooting [14 dead, 20 wounded], in 2012 in the Aurora, Colorado theater rampage [12 dead, 58 wounded] and in a Newton, Connecticut elementary school shooting [28 dead 2 wounded]. There is no plausible reason why any individual should be allowed to purchase or own any type of assault weapons. Why are these weapons of mass destruction still available to the American public? Only the military or law enforcement agencies would have any conceivable reason to purchase such death machines.
How can anyone in their right mind say that to ban the sale of these terrorist’ weapons is a violation of their 2nd Amendment rights? The Constitution reads:
“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.”
I’m no expert on the Constitution, but clearly there is no wording that says:
“and these arms that the citizen is allowed to bear can be any type of weapon invented by man, no matter how deadly or dangerous to the well being of the people.”
Now we will be subject to yet another round of volleys as both sides of the ‘right to bear arms’ camp go at each other with sound bites, and angry tirades, and the truth will be lost. Statements like “Guns don’t kill, people do,” and “Criminals will get guns anyway,” make me want to scream and pull out my hair. Both statements are literally true, but neither in no way makes it OK to continue to legally sell these powerful weapons to anyone who has the money and wants to own one.
You could say “Cars don’t kill, drunk drivers do.” Yes, that is true, but how does the law deal with our right to drive. We must first prove we can handle a car and if at anytime we show we cannot, such as a DUI conviction, we may lose our right to drive. And yes, some will still get behind the wheel, just as there will always be those who skirt the laws and obtain guns through illegal means. But does that mean we should not have laws controlling what can be controlled. Maybe someone will not have a gun and not be able to obtain one, when he/she goes over the edge and wants to go to a public place and take out as many persons as possible. Maybe that person will only have a hand gun that has to be reloaded, and maybe only two persons will die, not 50 before he/she is taken out. Why is this such an impossible thing to comprehend? Why is it so difficult for this country to do something and stop the madness? At least allow our laws to reflect what is best about our nation, what is good and right for all of us for the wellbeing and safety of all citizens of this nation.
The lawmakers in Washington have never passed any substantial gun control laws, even though there have been numerous opportunities to do so because the high powered lobbyist, [aka NRA] continue to keep those in power who do their bidding. The Washington Times reported that “Gun rights lobbyists gave more than twice the amount of money to congressional campaigns in 2014 than gun control advocates” in a January 2016 piece.
Now is the time to take a stand. Find out who represents you in Washington and let them know how you feel. Email, call or write. Use your voice and let them know that you are watching how they respond to this latest crisis and that you will use your vote in November to let them stay or kick them out of Washington if they fail yet again by allowing their souls to be bought by the gun manufacturers and the NRA.
You can contact the following Kentucky or Ohio lawmakers in Washington via these websites.
The two US Senators from Kentucky:
Mitch Mc Connell http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/
Paul Rand https://www.paul.senate.gov/
Six US Representatives from Kentucky:
The two US Senators from Ohio:
Rob Portman http://www.portman.senate.gov/public/
Sherrod Brown https://www.brown.senate.gov/
Sixteen US Representatives from Ohio: