Having already blogged my opinion regarding the horrific mass murder that occurred last Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, however, seeing the photographs of the twenty innocent children murdered by an obviously mentally disturbed young man on television yesterday saddened me to the point that I just had to write President Obama and send copies to my three Congressmen today to express my conviction that this nation needs to do some serious soul-searching regarding gun control.
Do we really want to be a nation living in such fear that we feel that we must arm every citizen? For those Americans who already have guns in their homes, they are fifteen times more likely to be killed in a domestic dispute or commit suicide than they are shooting an intruder. Though several other countries have had one mass murder during the past couple of decades, America is the only country that has them on a far too regular basis. It is our culture and easy access of weapons of mass murder that is the cause of all too many tragedies.
There is no reason for any American to own semi-automatic assault weapons or high-capacity magazine clips such as those used by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School. President Clinton signed into law a ban on assault weapons, only to see the bill expire during George W. Bush’s presidency. It is long past time to make this ban permanent. How many more babies have to die needlessly before something is done to curb this horrendous violence and loss of life?
December 18, 2012
The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20048
Dear President Obama,
The horrific mass murder that took the lives of twenty-six people, twenty of them children this past Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut cries out for me to do what little I can actually do about it, that being to put into writing my disgust with the gun culture in this nation. I can already hear gun rights advocates opining that now is not the time to discuss new, effective gun control laws. If not now, what will it take for this nation to appropriately discuss gun control? In a really sad, ironic coincidence, the front page, above the fold headline of my local newspaper (The Columbus Dispatch) read “Senate votes to loosen gun limits” on that dreadful morning, referring to the Ohio Senate passing a bill previously approved by the Ohio House of Representatives. Seeing the photographs of those twenty innocent babies on television yesterday greatly disturbed me and gave me reason to write.
America’s fascination with firearms has evolved into this country becoming the most violent nation on Earth. We are arguably the most violent nation in our planet’s history. There is absolutely no reason for any one to own a semi-automatic military assault weapon or a high-capacity magazine clip, yet politicians who dare have the courage to speak up for sensible gun laws quiver in fear of reprisal from the National Rifle Association come their next election. To believe that arming every citizen is the answer to curbing gun violence, as the NRA advocates is just absurd. Growing up during the hay-day of Westerns ruling television networks, the image I always remember is that the very first thing the town sheriff did when cowboys came into town after a long, hard cattle drive to visit the local saloons was to take away their guns. However, just the opposite is occurring throughout America as more and more cities and states are allowing the concealed carrying of firearms into drinking establishments. It truly amazes me when I hear someone state they feel the need to go to church armed.
Proponents of gun ownership and the firearms industry cite the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution as the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms. However, these folks all seem to leave out an extremely significant section of the actual amendment. The Second Amendment, as passed by Congress on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill Of Rights, 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.” A well-regulated militia, in this day and age, to me and I think most every educated person would agree would refer to the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and the National Guard. Yet, gun advocates never mention this very important phrase of the Second Amendment. Since this horrendous atrocity, I have heard only one person mention the phrase “A well regulated Militia…” on television when discussing gun control. Why is it that the most four most important words to the Second Amendment is entirely overlooked by nearly everyone?
The list of senseless murders and families shattered by mass murder just since the Columbine massacre is staggering. However, up until Friday, what is truly alarming is that the percentage of Americans who believe we need stricter gun control laws is decreasing. What does it take for a nation to realize that something is desperately wrong with our culture of guns and violence? The NRA has convinced a good number of Americans that your hidden agenda is to take away all their firearms. Yet, in the only two firearm bills signed into law by you during your first term in office lessons current restrictions on gun control, contrary to popular opinion. If the photographs of those twenty babies murdered at Sandy Hook are not enough to convince Americans that stricter gun control is needed, nothing will.
If a person wants to own a firearm, fine, let them join a well-regulated militia as required by the Second Amendment. We, as a country always seem to be at war, so there will always be a need for someone who aspires to shoot something. I see nothing wrong with a hunter owning a few rifles, but as a general rule, hunters do not shoot their prey with assault rifles capable of firing hundreds of rounds semi-automatically without having to reload. For anyone to have the ability to purchase military assault weapons capable of creating the type of massacre seen in this country time and again over the past decade is asinine.
I write to implore you to convince Congress to finally pass legislation outlawing assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips. Do so on behalf of those twenty babies and their families.
Steven H. Spring
C.: Congressman Steve Austria
Senator Sherrod Brown
Senator Rob Portman