Attention National Rifle Association:
I believe in the Second Amendment. I have studied history and I know that when a government wants to turn it’s citizens into subjects, the first thing they do is deny access to weaponry. The founding fathers made this amendment a part of our constitution as a way to keep constant, subtle pressure on government to maintain the freedoms they envisioned for us all.
But the NRA has lost it’s way. NRA pressure against any and all forms of firearm limitations has skewed our society towards daily violence and mayhem.
These episodes of mass killings in public places are no longer sporadic. They are no longer infrequent and no longer tolerable. I call on the NRA to recognize that if these episodes continue the upswell of emotional demands to ‘do something’ could bring about the demise of the Second Amendment itself. That is not desirable; for you, NRA, or for America. You see, I do believe in history and I do believe in the Second Amendment. But something’s gotta give before the whole is torn asunder.
Many of the individuals who have acted out and killed the innocent in large numbers have shown signs of mental illness or emotional instability. Enacting measures to prevent these instances of violence will be difficult. We are a nation devoted to freedom, devoted to the idea that every adult has rights that should not and cannot be taken away from them. No matter what.
It will be a struggle to craft a means of detecting varying levels of mental breakdown that can cause a person to commit mass violence. It will be a tough discussion. Where does bluster and braggadocio leave off and deranged thoughts and intent begin?? We are not now allowed to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater, so there is a precedent on limits on freedom of speech. But at what point do we get a warrant to search the home of and take firearms away from a vocal complainer who speaks rashly? Do we really want to?
If we take access to firearms away from an individual being treated for depression, for instance, what happens when that person is deemed cured? Do they get their gun back? Do they have a stigma on their record everywhere they go, a Scarlet Letter of mental illness? That cannot possibly be fair. Almost 10% of Americans take anti-depressants. And that is only one form of issues that afflict us. I don’t know how we can do this without trampling badly on many people’s rights.
But we have to start a discussion now. We have to have a reasonable discussion with reasonable conclusions and not have that discussion truncated by unreasonable NRA threats to put campaign dollars against any elected official who participates. The NRA must cease throwing everything they have at every single attempt to bring rationality to gun purchases. At the very least, we need background checks at gun shows. Find a way, NRA. Find a way to be rational yourselves and find a way to protect America’s children from the irrational. Find a way, NRA. Find a way to talk. Find a way, or watch the Second Amendment die.