“When in God’s name will we (the US) do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”
President Joseph Biden
A national conversation on the right and need of American citizens to possess “certain types” of firearms is long overdue.The latest evidence of a needed ban on assault style weapons occurred in yet another deadly and senseless shooting (a massacre) at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. A small and usually quiet and quaint community of 16,000, Uvalde is located in the Texas Hill Country, 84 miles west of downtown San Antonio and approximate 60 miles east of the Mexico –United States border.
On Tuesday, May 24, only days before the end of the school year, an 18 year-old resident of the community, who had purchased two assault style weapons on his 18th birthday, and over 1200 rounds of ammunition, began his day by posting a manifesto suggesting some sort of violence. This 18 year-old who was living with his grandparents as a result of his incorrigible behavior, then reportedly shot his grandmother (who survived the shooting) took her truck and proceeded to Robb Elementary school, crashing the truck in a canal and walking on foot the rest of the way.
Arriving at the Elementary School, the perpetrator entered through an unlocked back door walked down a hallway and entered a fourth grade classroom and enacted terror, fear, and deadly assault on the teacher and students. Twenty-one people, mostly children, third and fourth graders, innocent and unsuspecting youth were mutilated as the 18 year-old fired his assault weapon at close range.
The high-powered assault weapon ripped through the young victims so viciously hospital personal with experience in war zones, were hesitant in allowing parents to see their deceased children and denied further emotional heartbreak.
A national conversation to amend the Second Amendment which was established when America was still experiencing threats from the British and foreign powers in (1780s) to allow for a “Well regulated Militia,” being necessary for security of a free state. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” List the document is now in need of amending.
In spite of the mass killing of young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012; in spite of mass killings at colleges and High Schools across the country (from Florida to California) and states in between, and in spite of the concert venue in Las Vegas becoming target practice, as unsuspecting concert attendees were in direct line of fire of an angry and deranged individual the GOP (Republicans) in the pocket of the NRA (National Rifle Association) have failed to draft or support legitimate legislation to address gun reform and assault weapons.
In 2019, a peaceful and serene community (Poway, California) of approximately 48,000 was abruptly thrown into the national spotlight secondarily to 19 year-old, entering a Synagogue (Chabad of Poway) and firing his assault style weapon at those assembled for prayer.
Recalled one Synagogue member, “It was only by the grace of God that his weapon appeared to jam or stick. Surely if that did not happen, many more would have died.”
The Poway shooting occurred in close proximity to similar a shooting in New Zealand and across the US leaving a path of death and destruction.
Ironically, following the deadly shooting in New Zealand (2019) the governing body in that country (Parliament voted 119-1) to quickly pass legislation banning assault weapons and enacted laws that elevated the requirements to purchase and possess a weapon in the Country.
In the US, no legislation has been passed and the irony, an 18 year-old in the US, cannot purchase a lottery ticket, alcohol or tobacco, yet they can enter a Gun Shop or Trade Show and walk away with a deadly weapon……..what is wrong with this picture???
The Republican lead Senate has failed the American public time and time again under the leadership (or lack thereof) of Mitch McConnell and his GOP colleagues.
Collectively, the GOP is quick to go to their talking points of 1). Mental Health issues are the cause and 2). Blame the victims as Texas Senator Ted Cruz did, in the Uvalde case.
Shootings in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 unsuspecting movie-goers dead and more than 50 others wounded as well as the assault in a South Carolina church has not moved the consciousness of many Senators who fail (or refuse) to oppose gun reform realizing the NRA will not fund their campaigns?
While the right to own and possess a weapon is a Constitutional right it is becoming more of a “political issue” (which it should not be) and people are dying as a result of the ease in which a person can purchase high powered weapons with extended magazines (bullets) and armor that presents a problem for most law enforcement agencies around the country.
The Second Amendment which is often evoked to quell any challenges to ones right to own a weapon could not have been intended for the types of weapons individuals are buying and hoarding in their homes.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long called for action by elected officials to address the issues with purchasing weapons in general and assault/high powered weapons in particular.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California (D) the author of the most recent ban on assault weapons which again failed in the Senate due to the lack of the a Filibuster, asked the question…“What average citizen needs a weapon of that nature in their home?”
“No one in Colonial times had a personal canon at their immediate disposal. The time to amend the Second Amendment and put an end to the purchase and sell of Assault weapons is long overdue,” noted Feinstein.
Notable: Where are those supposedly “Right to Life” Folks in yet another massacre?
Time to amend the Second Amendment……
Guest columnist D.L. White can be followed on Twitter @dwhiteQ2.