Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. ~ John F. Kennedy
Like most reasonable people, I’m disgusted with what happened in Newtown Connecticut last Friday. Sadness and disbelief cast a pall over much of the office that afternoon. On Facebook and other social media, I started to see prayer chains, calls for peace and understanding. Nothing bad or offensive, but then I noticed a few outlandish items slowly start to creep in that bothered me. But for clarity and space, I’m only going to focus on one for this week’s column.
“If the staff had been armed this could have been prevented.”
Let that sink in for a minute. Arming teachers. In elementary school. Am I the only person who hears this and thinks, “That person must have been dropped on their head as a small child?” If you think that arming teachers is an answer to this issue, I’m not even sure you should be a part of the conversation that needs to happen.
Guns have never really been an "issue" of mine. I do not own any guns but neither do I live in fear of gun violence but enough is enough. We've had SEVEN mass shootings this year. SEVEN! I'm not in favor of repealing the Second Amendment but I am in favor of well-regulating it with severe penalties (including prison) and stiff fines if your legally obtained firearm is used in the commission of a crime where fatalities result. EVEN if the gun is stolen from you. If you are not responsible enough that you cannot adequately store your weapons, you should pay the price with criminal and civil liability.
I’m also in favor of registering all guns and closing the loop holes in the private gun market. Including mandatory classes and insurance coverage. Yes, I know that criminals will still use guns in the commission of crimes and they will be vigorously prosecuted like always. However, criminals are not going on mass shooting sprees. Seventy-five percent of all the guns used in the more than 60 mass shootings over the past 30 years were obtained legally. (Source: Mother Jones)
John Oliver summed it up best when he said, “One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our gun regulation.”
Not a single person died on that plane yet it spawned an over-reaction that still boggles my mind but we refuse to take action to prevent tragedies that involve firearms. Tim McVeigh blew up a building with fertilizer. Guess what? We now regulate and track the sale of fertilizer. For the love of Mike, I can't even buy the good Sudafed without having to show my license.
This right here:
"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, INSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY, provide for the common defense, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
"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."
It doesn’t get more general welfarey than being allowed to not die in your classroom or your place of worship. Save the tired arguments about forks and pencils. They’re stupid. No one has killed a group of people by eating them to death nor has anyone died in a mass misspelling. I’m also pretty confident that no one has stabbed to death a room full of people with either a fork or a writing tool.
So this doesn’t get twisted into something it’s not, I AM NOT CALLING FOR A REPEAL on the Second Amendment. I’m calling for well-regulating it and if you can’t handle some regulation perhaps you’re not mature enough to be a gun owner.
Barbara Mulvey-Welsh is a mother, writer and blogger raising kids and a husband in Plymouth. Check out her blog at "Did I Say That Out Loud?" Use caution when reading around the family, there is some strong language.