Dee from the Desk: Up in arms over gun control
Gun advocates and gun opponents are getting up in arms (some literally) over the renewed efforts for gun control, some have taken to the grounds of constitutional arguments.
Many gun advocates say any efforts to control guns infringes upon the second amendment, you know that one “the right to bear arms.”
The amendment reads: “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.”
Well, okay but when is the last time you seen a militia roving around?
Since we no longer have a “militia” does that make the second amendment moot? Just a question.
Not really having a strong stance one way or another on gun control, I started thinking about this yesterday when a friend said to me that any attempt to “overthrow” the government needs to be done through “ballots” not “bullets” or else we are in really big trouble.
And I though about it: He's right. It's insane to think the reason we need guns is to keep the government in check. You can make the case you need a gun for hunting or protection but any realistic person does not believe they will use gun to take on the government.
It's unrealistic to even pretend a few citizens with a few guns couldn't really stand up against one of the most powerful armies in the world. Let's review some times guns have been used to “take on the government.” We have had 3 Presidents assassinated. That did nothing to help those who opposed the president; it in fact just brought the nation together.
The only way to actually take on the government is to change it from within through elections. So if you are not happy with the direction of the country arm yourself with a campaign sign and not a gun and push for change.
As much as some like to think its 1776 and we are taking on the man and the second amendment will protect us, it is not 1776 and we are not a bunch of farmers taking on Great Britain. Remember in 1787 when the constitution was ratified, we didn't think women should vote and we decided it was appropriate that every three slaves counted as one toward the population. Nevertheless, it is safe to say those views are a bit… outdated.
While people can certainly make the case why they need guns and have the right to bear arms, which they do, the argument needs to move past the spirit of patriotism and taking on the government, and into a more reasonable discussion.
It's your right to have a gun, yes. It is nobody's right to shoot up a school or a movie theatre as that infringes on other people's right to “life.” I think most people agree on that.
The gun debate needs to move away from “sweeping reform” and “constitutional fundamentalism” and more into the realm of commonsense. It's not going to happen until BOTH sides decide to budge a little and be practical.
The “gun debate” needs to also include the “mental health” debate in order to actually affect any change. It also needs to be addressed nationally, not locally. Locally strict guns laws may scare legal gun users and legitimate businesses from the state but it does nothing to circumvent illegal firearms.
We all need to accept that no legislation will be able to prevent terrible tragedies caused by mental illness and weapons. Some of our nation's biggest tragedies were caused by homemade bombs, and airplanes into buildings, not guns.
At the same time gun enthusiasts and sportsmen need to accept that no one is trying to take away their hunting rifles or ruin their sport and understand the fact that weapons are today are a heck of a lot more destructive and powerful then when the Second Amendment was written.
It is clear that there are extremists on both sides of the argument. Some say get rid of all guns others say no regulations on guns whatsoever. Both points are not a solution.
Politicians can role out all the proposals they want and it might just “fuel the fire” because truly no real solution to these violent tragedies will be found until lawmakers and advocates on either side approach the issue rationally and look at all the factors at play: There is a lot more to the gun debate, than guns.
Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news coordinator for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.