we all agree that individuals with unchecked mental health issues should not have access to high power assault weaponry. we all agree that children and other unarmed innocents should not be gunned down and slaughtered. ever.
this is the beginning for crafting 21st century gun regulations.
it’s time for the grown ups to talk. not shout obscenities and run from rooms slamming doors to make sure that their point is the last point heard. if groups like the NRA can’t handle having a thoughtful, responsible conversation about gun violence in this country, it’s time they back away from the table. throwing out suggestions like arming teachers and other adults in school, is not an intelligent answer to a very serious and life changing issue.
on the same scale if gun control advocates cannot site the 2nd amendment and the intentions of it’s inclusion in our constitution, they too need to back away from the table. you can’t scream at the person who believes its the God given right backed by our nation’s constitution to bear arms to suddenly and without question hand over their guns (possibly passed down for generations).
law enforcement agencies need real guidelines. and politicians need to craft laws and regulations that will not disproportionately target minorities and individuals living at or only slightly above the poverty line. if you don’t know what i’m talking about please review the literature on our nation’s current prison inhabitants currently serving time for gun violations:
According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, for Fiscal Year 2011, 49.6% of those sentenced to federal incarceration with a primary offense of firearms violations were black, 20.6% were Hispanic, and only 27.5% were white.
it’s time for an intelligent, thoughtful, responsible conversation about gun violence in the US. it’s time for individuals and organizations to stop hiding behind their bibles and other demagoguery to threaten, scare or guilt us to change. let’s look at the facts:
according to the center for disease control in 2011, there were 31,347 firearm deaths. the city of bangor, maine had a population of 31,000 in 2011. so did hazelton, pennsylvania. and saratoga, california. and brecksville, ohio. and lewiston, idaho. and inkster, michigan.
how is it that a city population’s total can be eliminated in our country every year due to firearms and we continue to think of it as this esoteric issue to be debated only by those powerful and well connected enough to get an audience?
minorities are searched randomly on street corners everyday for illegal arms. jailed as a result of these illegal searches. charged with weighty gun laws they cannot defend against because many of them are poorly represented. in cities there are metal detectors in schools and movie entrances. children and teens are treated like criminals regardless of class, they are all assumed to be armed and dangerous. guards follow them and those in authority don’t allow them to speak for themselves. they too are subject to illegal searches and have their property seized without question. they too are jailed due to poor representation and a general assumed guilt.
in the meantime, mad men run into suburban movie theaters and elementary schools or take position on rooftops in town squares or college campuses and gun down people they don’t know. the evening news makes them famous interviewing their cohorts and sharing their statistics even as families scramble to put together emergency funds for funerals never planned. we rarely hear the stories of the victims. we rarely see their faces. we rarely are given a chance to send our condolences to their families. they generally become the unknown. a portion of the 31,000 we don’t think about but thank God it wasn’t us.
it’s time we have an intelligent, thoughtful, responsible conversation about gun violence in the US. no more pandering. telling us things are going to change when in reality no one has any intention of taking real action. if you do nothing else about this issue, you need to make yourself aware of the statistics in your community. you should know the truth about gun laws where you live. and given the two commonalities we all agree on
- individuals with unchecked mental health issues should not have access to high power assault weaponry.
- children and other unarmed innocents should not be gunned down and slaughtered.
start here. law enforcement agencies have community relations committees. you can join yours. all political officials have office hours. make an appointment to talk about gun law and regulations in your town. arm yourself with facts and leave the demagoguery to the demagogues.
this is the beginning.