Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tazi's Corner #23: How To Quell the Problem Of Gun Violence

Dear Readers:

There is an expression that "guns don't kill people; people with guns kill people". Those "people with guns" are the subject that I would like to address today. By now I am certain that you have heard of the tragic shootings at a mall in Oregon and at an elementary school in Connecticut, my neighboring state. I am sure we are all asking ourselves, "what kind of maniac targets children?". The sad answer to that question is, "a maniac with a gun".

I do not believe that unrestricted gun ownership for all was what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they penned the Constitution. I realize that the exact wording reads as such ("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."), but those words were written at a time when the United States had no standing militias; at a time when the mentally ill were rounded up and committed to asylums, prisons, and other institutions where those society deemed irredeemable were sent. Did they not have the same "right" to bear arms guaranteed to "the people"? 

"The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"! When these words were written, there were many to whom they did not apply, most notably people of color. My point here is that over 2.25 centuries that our Constitution has been in existence, there have been many changes to how its amendments have been applied, and that the Second Amendment has never truly been applied as it was written. The "right" to bear arms has been infringed upon for many in order to secure the public safety of the day. 

Personally, I am not against guns. I find them to be fascinating pieces of machinery that, when properly handled, are a useful tool in the human arsenal. If I had one, I would probably find a way to use it to increase my kitty snack ration; I hear guns are a good way of getting people to do what you want! No, I am not against guns; I am not even against semi-automatic weapons which, in the proper hands, are a life-saving weapon in times of war and beautiful collectors' pieces in times of peace. No, I am not against guns or the sale of them. I am, however, firmly opposed to the sale of ammunition - in bulk amounts, that is. 

Without ammunition, a gun is practically worthless as a weapon, and completely worthless as a weapon of mass murder. A civilian must undergo a background check and a waiting period to buy a single gun, but can purchase upwards of 5,000 rounds of ammunition without a single piece of red tape to slow them down. Does this strike you as problematic? I am not saying that it should be illegal to buy ammunition; just that there should be some sort of limit on how much ammunition can be purchased by one person within a specific time period. We register guns; why not register that which makes them dangerous?

I would think the NRA and its members would be supportive of placing reasonable limits on ammunition purchases by a single, non-government/non-commercial customer. Gun collectors do not need that much ammunition! Many collectors do not need ammunition at all, since they do not operate their pieces.  Hunters do not require 5,000 rounds in a semi-automatic to take down a moose; if they do, I would hate to see the moose they are facing! 

Freakishly large and disturbing? Yes. Legal to hunt? No.

Just because you can buy as much ammunition as your bank account will allow does not mean that you should be able to do it. More and more, it appears that the safety of the general public depends on this type of legislation. The time has come to seriously explore ways of implementing it while at the same time protecting Constitutional freedoms. 


Editor's Note: I don't have children of my own, and I never will. After what happened in Newtown, CT this week, I can only be grateful that I will never experience that kind of fear and heartbreak that only a parent can know. However, I am not blissful in my ignorance; my heart goes out to all who have lost a child - in the tragedies of this past week and in general - and for all of those who now fear for their own children's safety. I don't know how you do it...every time Tazi goes outside, I freak out whenever he wanders out of my sight; I cannot imagine how I would react if he were human, if I bore him inside of prayers are with you all.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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