I have had many debates with people about the "right to bear arms" which Americans seem to prize so greatly. The majority of people I've come into contact with about this "right" have been people who enjoy target shooting--particularly in Utah's West Desert where I work during the summer months on wildfire suppression, prevention, and investigation. I have never been a huge fan of guns, I'll be honest, but I didn't really mind them so much either. My line of work during the past two summers however, has changed my apathy into discontent. And what happened today has changed that discontent into bitter sadness and anger.
I've been told that it's a good thing that in our country it is easier to buy a box of bullets and explosives than it is to vote--because it protects the government that leads us, and protects our rights as citizens. I've been told that the reason we need the right to bear arms is so we can overthrow the government if it becomes corrupt. I've been told it's important to have the right to bear arms so we can protect our own families in our own homes.
But you tell me what is so important about the right to bear arms when that right is exercised in such a way that it takes the lives of 27 people in an elementary school and devastates families all across the nation. Tell me what kind of government was being overthrown this morning in Connecticut. And more importantly, tell me why the only way Americans think we can take control of our own lives is through violence.
How much good has come from the right to bear arms? Give me one good story.
Some people might say this is only one thing. Only one person who misused their rights to commit a vicious crime. But what about all the others?
Here's a "short" list of shootings in 2012:
Black Friday 2012 Walmart Shooting
Oregon Mall Shooting
Pennsylvania Man Shot Ex-Wife During Church Service
Minneapolis Office Shooting
Fatal Jacksonville Shooting
4 Die in California Shooting
Walking Dead Fan Shoots Girlfriend
Shooting on California Indian Reservation
Shootings at House Parties in Alabama
Beaver Falls Fatal Shooting
Chardon High School Shooting
Oikos University Shooting
3 killed in shooting near Texas A&M
Overnight Shooting at Pine Creek Apartments
Are there any missing from my list? I'm sure you can name at least one that happened in Colorado somewhere that was a big deal and there are probably SO many more. :(
Why do we overlook all of these instances and still yell for our right to bear arms? Why do we overlook all the terrorism in our own towns, states, and nation and "fight" against terrorism in other nations?
Sorry to be so political. Mostly, like a lot of people in the world today, I'm just sad.