Perspectives

Wake Up America!

By Guest Author: Jim Gilbert

Trigger warning. Wake up America! The quick fix is not the answer this time.

Another shooting tragedy and I’m seriously tired of it.  Now, I’m going to bring up some controversial topics, so if you’re the type to exhibit knee-jerk reactions, maybe you should stop reading now. Today, an east coast governor declared the NRA has “become a terrorist organization.”  Really? Are we really going to go there? Does the NRA take hostages, bomb train stations, throw people from rooftops, or behead individuals they don’t agree with?  Does the NRA indoctrinate children to become martyrs?  If you answered yes to any of these, I am willing to listen to any examples you can cite.

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“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.” To me, those words seem pretty clear.  Understanding their author and the men who ratified them were risking their own lives to establish a nation where one can live free by throwing off the governance of a tyrannical king.  Our founding fathers understood that men will eventually succumb to the trappings of power, and that checks and balances must be in place to restrict that power before it becomes overbearing.  The second amendment is not there to protect your hunting rifle.  It’s there to protect you from a tyrannical government.

The NRA, among many other things, does lobby for YOUR right to keep and bear arms.  Whether you choose to exercise it or not, they ARE fighting to protect your rights.  Do you exercise your second amendment rights?  I do, and I think everyone should.

Do we have an overbearing tyrannical government today? Is it time to take up arms and overthrow this government?  I think we have a number of great alternatives before resorting to such a drastic endeavor.  But, in the meantime, I will keep my arms safe and secure, my powder dry, and practice often to keep my aim true.

So, have I got you fired up yet? I hope so. That was my intent. Because I really am sick and tired of all the mass gun violence perpetrated these days. I truly don’t know what the answer is, but I am certain banning firearms will not solve the problem.  The problem is deeper than that.  It must be.  We have lived in a gun culture for over two hundred years.  But it’s just been the last few decades that mass gun violence has been such a problem.  One must ask, “What has changed?” What drives someone to the point of hopelessness that only course of action they choose is to mass murder.  I’m no doctor, but that seems like a mental health problem. If someone has reached that point, then all the gun confiscation in the world is not going to solve that problem, they will just find another way. Bombs, guns, buses, airplanes are just tools.  Man is pretty good at using tools.  Take away one tool, he’ll just use another to get done whatever he wants done.

It breaks my heart every time I hear about some active shooter somewhere.  If for one second, I believed banning all guns would stop the violence, I would be one of the first to give up my firearms.  We are a nation of short attention spans and quick fixes.  Firearm confiscation, for some, is a tempting quick fix to the problem, but it won’t work.  It’s a temporary solution akin to only giving aspirin to a cancer patient.  You might get some relief but haven’t solved the root problem.

So, go ahead, label the NRA a bunch of terrorists, and confiscate all their firearms.  Just know, when the next wave of mass violence happens after that, some of us, myself included, will be the ones to say, “I told you so.”

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2 Comments

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  • I’ve heard this same discussion so many times recently. I appreciate Jim’s point of view, but the only people talking about “confiscating arms” are the NRA and people trying to rile the crowds. No where has anyone proposed getting rid of firearms or the second amendment? the NRA is not a civil rights group as they used to purport to be. They are a billion dollar company supporting manufacturers that would be greatly affected by any – even reasonable control measures. Whether these measures be as little as better background checks or raising the eligibility age. Half of my family is from Oklahoma and the other half are ministers from New York. I’m a great mix of the two. I am against killing children or letting this happen so easily. There are ways to make ourselves safer without bristling with arms. The mob, pile on mentality only serves to make the world more dangerous and lines the pockets of the people who say they are for your “rights” when the only iron in the fire they care about is their portfolio.

    • Thank you Pat for your comments. I truly appreciate the fact that you make them without the ad hominem attacks that others have made elsewhere. As far as “No where has anyone proposed getting rid of firearms or the second amendment?”, nobody except for maybe former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens…according to his March 27 New York Times op-ed, where he refers to the Second Amendment as “a relic of the 18th century.” In that piece, he advocates getting rid of the Second Amendment via constitutional amendment. This is not a new position for him, as he has been opposed to the current interpretation of the Second Amendment since 2008. It is these type of positions by our established elite that I find really scary. As I tried to address in my article, that kind of action does nothing to address the root causes of the mass gun violence, which is where I believe our efforts need to be focused.

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