Children Are More Important Than Guns

I have made my hatred for guns clear, but apart from watching ‘Bowling for Columbine‘, and feeling sad/shocked/horrified about the various gun-related tragedies that seem to consistently target the people of the United States, I’ve never quite voiced my opinion of US gun culture.

Let me change that.

I don’t think that the right to bear arms is more important than the right to live. I don’t think the second amendment matters more than the people who continue to die gun-related deaths in the United States. I don’t think this is ever going to end; fourteen years after I cried for the children of Columbine High School, today I shed tears for the children of Sandy Hook.

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Terrified children wait outside Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday. Image courtesy: Michelle McLoughlin/REUTERS

When the US constitution was drafted, it was a different time; the country was young and peace was still fragile. The guns were lethal at the time, but nowhere near as lethal as the guns of today. When the founding fathers wrote the constitution, it took about a minute to reload a musket with gun powder; now you can fire off several rounds of bullets in one minute using an automatic weapon or a larger weapon (like AK-47s which are apparently available on the US black market if you know the right people, and like the one that Adam Lanza used).

This, by the way, is the gun in question. This is not a recreational weapon, or whatever you need a gun for. This isn’t a hunting rifle (and yes, I detest hunting with a passion). This is a weapon for use on battlefields; this gun was designed with one purpose and one purpose only: to inflict maximum casualties in minimum time.

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This is a .223-calibre assault rifle. Image Courtesy: http://reagan-was-a-horrible-president.tumblr.com

So, USA, you find yourselves at a crossroads. Again. Tell me, please, what will it take? It didn’t take the 12 children and 1 teacher murdered at Columbine, Colorado. It didn’t take the 32 people who were killed in the Virginia Tech massacre. It didn’t take the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords which didn’t kill her, but which did kill 5 other people. It didn’t take the 12 people who died in the Colorado movie theatre tragedy. It didn’t take the 6 people killed in the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin. What about now? Will it take the 27 who died in the Sandy Hook tragedy?

Constitutions can be amended for a reason; they must always reflect the reality of the world we _currently_ live in. Enough is enough is enough.

8 Comments

  • Adventures in Anderland 16th December 2012 at 1:05 am

    It’s depressing to me, but sadly, I look at my fellow Americans and while most people *I* know are outraged and are usually anti-gun or at least anti-assault rifle, I don’t think there IS a tragic enough massacre that will change the direction in my lifetime.

    Reply
    • Awanthi @ I Speak Awanthi 16th December 2012 at 1:08 am

      I am afraid of that. It’s the true tragedy, I think; imagine the future lives that could be saved, if only a courageous enough decision could be made. It’s depressing. :/

      Reply
  • Dionne 16th December 2012 at 1:51 am

    You are right, children, or shall I say human beings are much more important than guns.

    Reply
  • Linda Maloly 16th December 2012 at 2:26 am

    I truly wonder whether things will change in the years I have left on this earth and it breaks my heart. The bigger problem is that many people are in favor of getting rid of the automatic assault rifles, etc but the killer in Sandy Hook took his mother’s 9mm handguns (one a Glock and the others were Sig Sauer 9mm handguns) to kill her and then those at the school. Handguns are the one gun that our foolish gun-lovers won’t give up and that means this will continue. There was an assault rifle found, but so far they haven’t found any evidence at the scene to prove the rifle was used. I wish our laws either forbid all guns altogether or were at least as tough as the laws in Canada (at least that’s what I’ve heard from several friends who live in various areas in Canada). I don’t believe any country in the world has the same ongoing problems with gun violence and I’m sick of it and the NRA gun lobby and its board.

    Forgive my rambling. I have a friend who lives in Newtown and lived in fear that she might have lost a grandchild, but (miracle of miracles) I saw her in one of the still photos! She had her granddaughter in her arms as she was leaving the scene. She only retired a year ago, but that meant she was able to get to the school before her daughter or son-in-law. I can breath easy for Pam and her family, but my heart is still breaking for those who weren’t as fortunate.

    If anything else in society caused this kind of tragedy there would be immediate action, but the gun-lovers in Congress don’t want to crawl out of the pockets of the gun lobby. People say this shouldn’t be made into a political argument, but that’s exactly what it is because most of those who are in favor of guns belong to the right wing.

    Heartbroken and disgusted 🙁
    Hugs,
    Linda

    Reply
  • Strangebee 16th December 2012 at 10:12 am

    The problem comes more from the fact that we let our people with mental problems slip through the cracks. If someone is crazy enough to go after people with a gun, they will go after them with a knife, axe, or whatever they can find to do the most damage. Look at China where they have had quite a few people murder schoolchildren with knives. Guns do more damage, yes, but the people wanting to make someone else hurt will find a way no matter what. That being said, I wish we’d at least license guns the way we license drivers. Insurance and everything. Then again we have a problem with uninsured drivers as well, so who knows what it is going to take.

    Reply
    • Kafkaesque 16th December 2012 at 10:41 am

      No-one was killed in the recent China case. Injured, yes. Killed, no. With a knife, there is no way that anyone – mentally ill or sane — can do the same sort of damage in a blink of an eye the way they can with a gun. So, for me, the knife analogy I hear so often doesn’t hold a ton of weight. That said, I absolutely agree that mental illness needs to be treated, and not solely due to the gun issue. However, I do not think that is the predominant cause of the problem by any means. It’s guns first and foremost, and that is what needs to be dealt with in a top-down approach. Start with the guns first, then deal with all the other causes of this ghastly epidemic of gun violence. I agree with your point about licensing guns, though, much as we do cars and other things. There may be some who still fall through the cracks but not as many as there are now.

      Reply
  • Sherry-Lynne 16th December 2012 at 11:46 am

    Sandy Hook Elementary is a twenty minute drive from my house. I still cannot fathom it.

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    • Sherry-Lynne 16th December 2012 at 11:58 am

      I live a short 20 minute drive from this school. At this point, I am in too much pain. Both sides of the isle are are using this tragedy as a soap box for a political agenda. I don’t think this is the time for that just yet. We need love, comfort, and (better mental healthcare).

      Reply

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