Based on the English Bill of Rights (1869), as the US Supreme Court has said, the English law was to reinstate Protestant‘s rights to have arms after being disarmed by James II. The American cousin was no doubt influenced by both the English law and the conditions of occupation by the British military leading up to the American Revolution.
The intent of the law was to prevent the government from militarily taking over the nation. This was back in the days where the citizenry and the government had access to pretty much the same weaponry.
In 2012, well, let’s just say that your personal arsenal wouldn’t be much of a match for Marines with BDMs or a Naval Carrier Group with fully loaded warplanes.
Additionally, since the Civil War, there really hasn’t been much in the way of a tyrannical government to fear. Sure RWNJs and Tea Partiers like to claim that this (or really any Democratic administration in the last 50 years) are putting the US on the road to tyranny, you and I both know they’re full of s**t.
Today, in Newtown, Connecticut, was the 36th mass school shooting since Columbine in 1996. That’s 2.5x the number of school shootings during the same period in the rest of the world combined. The dots on the map at the top of the page represent every mass shooting incident in the US since 2005.
After every single one, the cycle goes:
2. Now is not the time
3. Police investigations.
4. Questions about “is now the time?” shouted down
5. Half hearted follow up stories
6. Distraction and everyone forgets.
It was said after Columbine.
It was said after Virginia Tech.
It was said after Gabby Giffords, a sitting member of Congress, was shot in the head.
It was said after Aurora.
It’s being said now.
Bob Costas was pilloried by RWNJs for daring to bring up America’s obsessive gun culture during halftime of a Monday Night Football game. They weren’t upset because he was right that Jovan Belcher and Kassandra Perkins would probably still be alive if there weren’t firearms in the house.
No. They were upset that he dared say anything at all.
To some people, it’s never the time to talk about gun violence.
A man named James Huberty walked into a McDonald’s and opened fire, killing 21 people (including 5 children) and wounding 19 others. It would become a scene, and a story, repeated far too often over the next 28 years.
You see, Huberty was a survivalist who:
“…saw signs of what he thought was growing trouble in America, and believed that government regulations were the cause of business failures, including his own. He believed that international bankers were purposefully manipulating the Federal Reserve System and bankrupting the nation. Convinced that Soviet aggression was everywhere, he believed that the breakdown of society was near, perhaps through economic collapse or nuclear war. He committed himself to prepare to survive this coming collapse and, while in Canton, provisioned his house with thousands of dollars of non-perishable food and six guns that he intended to use to defend his home during what he believed was the coming chaos.”
That’s common talk nowadays on Right Wing Nut Job radio and the underlying theme of just about every NRA political flyer.
The power and money of the National Rifle Association have managed to pervert the 2nd Amendment into essentially a firearms free-for-all, where any regulation is vigorously opposed. They whip up their lemmings into a frenzy of fear that some all powerful government entity, national or international, is going to go door to door confiscating all their firearms.
This has led to toothless gun laws with meaningless penalties and a firearm homicide rate per 100,000 people that is higher than the West Bank and Gaza and nearly 4 times higher than the next industrialized nation.
Therefore it is time.
It is time to repeal the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution and start over.
It is time for strict licensing with mandatory training classes, liability insurance and licenses that must be renewed on regular basis.
It is time for firearm registration with 14 day waiting periods and thorough background checks.
It is time to limit, as the UK does, the maximum caliber of weapons the public can own along with the firearm’s capacity.
It is time, as Norway does, to require the purchaser to have a valid reason to own a gun.
To own a gun in Norway, one must document a use for the gun. By far the most common grounds for civilian ownership are hunting and sports shooting, in that order. Other needs can include special guard duties or self defence, but the first is rare unless the person shows identification confirming that he or she is a trained guard or member of a law-enforcement agency and the second is practically never accepted as a reason for gun ownership.
It is time, as in Norway, for mandatory gun safes and to allow law enforcement to inspect homes for compliance.
The proper response to a tragedy, like the one today, is not to do nothing, but to work and put laws in place to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.
I will be perfectly honest… I’m done hearing the pro-gun arguments.
I’m done hearing the “responsible gun owner” argument. The weapons used in Columbine, Aurora, Kansas City, Clackamas, and Newtown were all legally purchased.
I’m done hearing the ridiculous comparisons to swimming pools and car accident fatalities.
I’m done hearing the “if you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns” mindless pablum.
20 children, all between the ages of 5 and 10, were killed today in one school, in one city, with legally purchased firearms in the United States.
The time to talk about gun violence was yesterday, is today, and will be tomorrow.
Saying it isn’t time and doing nothing means those 20 children will have died in vain.