By Mike Leibsohn – an American –
I am so saddened and angered at this most recent school shooting; I fail to comprehend by what logic people think that it’s necessary or even logically acceptable for private citizens to own assault rifles. Freedom, shmeedom; the text of the 2nd Amendment clearly states, “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.” In case nobody noticed, we already have a “well regulated militia”, it’s called the United States Armed Forces. In addition, we have local and state police, Coast Guard, and numerous other federal, state, and local agencies charged with the specific mandate of maintaining law and order, by force of arms if need be.
I have long since accepted the argument of personal protection, for which a handgun properly secured in one’s home or business should be more than sufficient. I firmly believe that in order to legally obtain a handgun, one should have to undergo a thorough background check at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as a mental health background check, and undergo a one- or two-day course, during which instructors can both explain and train on proper gun safety issues, as well as be alert to any suspicious persons who may have slipped through the earlier stages of the screening process.
Rifles and shotguns used for hunting, with proper licensing, should also be part of a reasonable compromise, again with the same strict screening procedures as well as a limit per household or per licensed user. Under no circumstances should any private citizen in any developed country privately possess an assault rifle, hand grenade, or any other military-grade weaponry; obviously this extends to accessories such as the bump-fire stock which essentially functions to convert a weapon into a fully-automatic firing configuration. I repeat: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES.
Education is an issue here; all those gun-toting, Trump-hailing NRA fanatics should study our Constitution and the historical circumstances in which it was conceived and implemented, before using it as an argument in favor of putting themselves and their families at constant risk. There is absolutely no excuse for these incidents; it’s not too late to begin implementing change, seeing as a handful of American citizens remain who have not yet been shot dead in their workplace/school/home/street corner/etc. Our reality is constantly changing every day and we as human beings and citizens of the world are responsible for guiding that change in positive directions to the best of our ability. Citing historical precedent is like comparing apples to carburetors; at the time the 2nd Amendment was written the slave trade was in full bloom, only white males could own property or vote, and the overall population of the 13 states was approximately 0.75% of what it is today. That’s right, less than one percent. There was no electricity, no railroad, not even a national anthem (officially approved by Congress only in 1931).
What we need to do as a nation is to declare a two-week federal holiday during which no businesses are allowed to operate and people must stay at home and practice meditation, reading, and working in their gardens. Now is the time to put our egos to the side along with the preconceived notions that are entirely a product of the comprehensive brainwashing that society (by way of our parents) subjects us to doing the early years of our lives, and to think seriously about the things that matter most in our daily lives. You know, like pizza, miniature golf, and not getting your head blown off by a confused teenager with access to a fake ID and a local gun show