I am sitting here watching the news, and I am just speechless.
I am listening to the story of a “neighborhood watch” member- a civilian with no police training- who shot and killed an unarmed teenaged boy. The boy scared the man for unknown reasons; perhaps it was the color of his skin, perhaps it was his hooded sweatshirt. Neither, as far as I know, is a crime; but the man with the gun felt threatened, so he followed the boy and shot him down on the street. Shot him dead for no reason that anyone has been able to explain.
I am listening to a story about a trial in the city of Boston, the trial of some gang members who shot and killed a mother and her baby because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The shooter saw the Mom, saw the baby, and shot anyway. He had a gun, so he used it.
A few days ago, I had to explain to my fifth grade students how a student with a gun got angry at some other teenagers and shot up the school cafeteria. I had to try to reassure them that a similar situation wouldn’t happen in our school, in our town.
Where are the screams of outrage? Where are the marchers in the streets, demanding that we get the damn guns off the streets? Where is the anger?
How can we possibly think that it is acceptable for “neighborhood watch” people to act out their Clint Eastwood fantasies by shooting at anyone who looks suspicious to them? What kind of a country would say that any person who wants to own a handgun- a HANDGUN whose only purpose is the killing of human!- can own one?
I am disgusted, angry, sad and outraged. If we truly care about human life, if we value the lives and the safety of our children, we will demand that guns be firmly controlled and used only by those who are trained and only in very limited places. If we honestly want to be safe, we will push for an absolute ban on semi-automatic weapons and handguns. These weapons have no place in a civilized society.
If you are telling yourself that the famous and oft misquoted founding fathers intended to put handguns and semi-automatic weapons into the hands of the general population, you are ignoring history and trying to rewrite the past. They wanted to insure that the people could form militia’s, complete with muskets and bayonets. Read your history; even the grammar in the Second Amendment to the Constitution makes it clear that they were not talking about the right for individuals to shoot up their neighborhoods.
Read the text, and make up your own mind:
As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
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.I would like to ask Gabby Giffords and her family what they think these words mean. I would like to ask the families of the children killed at Columbine and at Virginia Tech. I would like to talk to the family of the boy who shot down in cold blood just because his skin was brown and his hood was up.Enough.