A Weinstein Moment in School Shootings



Every major societal change
has its defining moment, that time
when dithering is no longer possible and action unstoppable.  

Martin
Luther King Jr’s I have a Dream, the self-immolation
of Tunisian shopkeeper Mohamed Bouazizi that began the Arab Spring, the #MeToo
movement that rose out of the Harvey Weinstein revelations and now, finally, the
deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High School
in Florida are all such defining moments.
They
have in common that their injustices failed to be addressed over the long term,
were unsustainable in their specific areas of society and were the result of
decades, sometimes centuries, of largely political inaction. 

We find ourselves at just
such a moment. The adult world has failed our kids and the kids are taking
action into their own hands. God love them, they are wiser than the dithering grownups
helpless to come to their defense and are taking matters into their own hands.
David Hogg is their amazingly powerful student-speaker at the moment.
So
let’s have a discussion about that misconstrued Second Amendment issue that has
America not only divided, but frozen in its tracks.
First of all, I absolutely
support the American right to bear arms. But we ought to take into account the
times during which that amendment was added to the Constitution, which is its defining document. Forget the
fact that it guaranteed those rights in a time when ‘arms’ were muzzle-loading
and capable of firing (at most) a couple of rounds per minute. Forget the fact
that it specified a ‘well-regulated militia’ as well. 
Those are a couple of pretty
important things to forget, but
listen-up you gun toters, we are not
coming to take away your weapons
. So, relax a bit and join the conversation.
What
we (and these kids) are coming to
take away are your military-style fast-firing AR-15 and Glock 15-shot weaponry.
You don’t need them to protect your
person, your home or your fear of government. Having access to them hasn’t prevented a single mass-shooting.
Just
as you are disallowed from owning a hand-grenade, rocket-launcher or missile-to-air
weapon, this simply makes sense in maintaining safe communities. The Second
Amendment does not allow you to purchase a Toyota pickup with a machine-gun bolted
to the truck-bed. 
Bear in mind that the Second
Amendment is just that; an amendment
to our Constitution. But the Declaration
of Independence
, our founding document guarantees all Americans the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness. Those inalienable rights
have been taken from our kids in a mindless fear of the very government that
guarantees them.
In
just the past 18 years, there have been more than 188 shootings (#shooting) at schools and universities, killing
more than 200 students injuring at least 200 more. Those lives are gone, those liberties erased, the pursuit of their happiness taken away forever.
Every one of our kids has to wonder which school is next, which friend will die
and will it be me. 
Certainly
the odds are against that, yet their parents still buy lottery-tickets.
Additional barriers for gun
ownership to the mentally ill or emotionally unstable simply will not do it. The FBI knew
about Nikolas Cruz, but dropped the ball. No one can accurately predict a
mass-killer, so we ought just remove the mass-killing weaponry.
A national law is needed,
stating that ownership of weapons capable of extended clips and rapid fire are illegal. All owners of such weapons must
turn them in for reimbursement or take
the risk of arrest, which would
include a mandatory fine and imprisonment for a statutory period.
Enacting such a law is simply
too important to be left up to the states. 

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