In the wake of the massacre of twenty-six innocent lives, twenty of them young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by a heavily armed, obviously mentally deranged young man, the time for a serious gun control debate has finally come. However, what transpired last week on the Piers Morgan Tonight television program was alarming. While interviewing radio personality Alex Jones, who had previously started an online petition to deport the British born Morgan after he had the nerve to opine that America needs stricter gun laws, the conversation soon turned into a very heated, one-sided angry outburst by Jones.
At one point Mr. Jones screamed, “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms” at the composed Piers Morgan. A few minutes later, Jones stated that the horrendous attack of September 11th was carried out by the “criminal elements of the military-industrial complex.” Watching replays of this fiery debate, my thoughts were this is one person (Alex Jones) who should not be allowed to own any type of firearm, yet he told Morgan that he owned approximately fifty guns. He is one person I would not want to live next door to nor meet on the street. Jones, as evident by his disturbing meltdown on primetime television while trying to have a sensible conversation about gun control should become the poster child for why stricter gun control is very much needed in this nation. Alex Jones is not the only person who presents a terrifying argument while attempting to express their views on gun control. In just the past several weeks, James Yeager, Larry Ward and Ted Nugent have all advocated shocking views regarding America’s fascination with guns and any attempt at reasonable gun control.
America’s love affair with firearms has evolved into this country becoming the most violent nation on Earth. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to own a semi-automatic military assault weapon or a high-capacity magazine clip, yet most politicians do not have the courage to speak up for sensible gun laws for 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. It amazes me when I hear someone talk of going to church armed. Are we so fearful of our fellow-man that we cannot pray in peace without the feel of a weapon at our side? There was even a recent letter to the editor of my local newspaper by a preacher who wrote that “Just ask the citizens of cities with strict gun-control laws who have to cower inside their homes every night, terrified of the armed criminals who roam freely though their streets.” Granted, in America’s decaying inner cities, crime is appalling, yet statistics show that gun owners are fifteen to twenty times more likely to be killed by their own gun, be it accidental, suicidal or via domestic violence than using it to protect themselves and their property from an intruder.
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 gun enthusiasts all fail to mention an extremely essential 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, would refer to the 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 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I have heard only three people mention the phrase “A well regulated Militia…” on television when discussing gun control. Why is it that the four most important words to the Second Amendment is entirely overlooked by nearly everyone when discussing the right to bear arms?
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 or somebody. 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. If a hunter needs thirty or fifty rounds to take down a deer, maybe they should not be hunting in the first place. 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 several decades is asinine.
How long will it be before the next mass murder occurs in this nation? The odds and statistics indicate not long.
Steven H. Spring