I feel I must comment on the recent tragedy in Colorado. I cannot imagine the horrors so many families are living through right now. Losing a loved one at a movie premier is as far-removed from the realm of possibility as hearing that people were shot at a local baseball game. Movies are such an integral part of our culture and entertainment, that it feels odd when they are no longer made to feel like safe havens. My prayers are with the families, the victims and the surviving witnesses.
While I largely disagree with the media coverage calling for bans on certain guns and tying this murderer to particular political affiliations, I must say that I see the value in re-evaluating the 2nd Amendment in light of chaos. I think that an honest, hard look should be taken at all of our policies from time to time. It is the only way we stay balanced and true to our course. That being said, I do not think this is a Second Amendment problem.
I don’t believe that the 2nd Amendment can be blamed because a right to bear arms does not equal a right to murder. It does not equal a right to terrorize. Unfortunately, there are crazy people, who are damaged either psychologically or emotionally or both, who do crazy things. I’m not denying that guns made it easier to carry out this monster’s intention. But it cannot mean that we limit the average citizen’s access to weapons anymore than we should limit a person’s access to the religious service of their choosing simply because disturbed people have taken advantage of power which comes with spiritual authority. Cults, abuse and scandal didn’t lead us to scrap the whole idea of religious freedom or a right to gather peaceably. Likewise, assaults like this most recent one, shouldn’t mean we throw in the towel on a right to bear arms.
The Constitution states that “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.” Much debate arises from the phrasing here. Some people say that the framers meant that the Militia had a right to bear arms. Some say that it is a series, meaning that both the Militia and the people have this right. (More debate on that here. http://www.constitution.org/mil/rkba1982.htm ). Some say that the Militia would be equivalent to the National Guard or the police force these days. Some say that Militia have been, and forever will be, a group of willing citizens who join together to protect themselves and their property against all kinds of invaders-foreign and domestic.
The debate continues into what kind of “Arms” are meant. Does this mean any man on the street has the right to an Ak? To a tank, if he can afford one? To rocket launchers? I must say that I am neither educated enough on this, nor on the ways of war to make a decision here. I do, however, believe that every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms to protect themselves, their families, and their property from every danger. In my mind this ranges from the person who breaks in to do harm or steal to an invading armed force.
People call my view extreme, but I say you need only look at history to see that governments can be overthrown. Cities and states can be taken. Governments do turn on their people. And I believe the framers of the Constitution knew this history as well. I also believe they saw the value in having every man (theoretically) armed if such a thing ever were to happen. They lived through a time when the soldiers that were supposed to be establishing peace in the name of their king would come take up residence in their homes without their permission, use all of the goods stored, leaving them vulnerable and the soldiers were accused of worse. They knew that it should never happen again. Not here. They looked at history and saw the abuse, and they looked to the future knowing man was capable of all kinds of things in the name of power. They believed the common man had the right to stand up and say “Not on my land.”
I believing in protecting that knowledge and foresight.
We should be sad. We should evaluate the mind and soul of America today. We should not allow tragedy and fear to define us or change us.
We should not limit freedom or our right to protect it.