Reflections

A story by: Bob Grady | Added: 2013
Waterbury, CT
December 14, 2012

There are some questions I would like to pose. They concern situations like the Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook Elementary, Gabby Giffords, the Colorado shooting and the approximately 3300 people who died because of shootings since the massacre of 20 first graders and six school personnel on December 14, 2012. Many of these deaths occurred because of the use of weapons that could fire multiple bullets in a very short space of time. Many of those weapons got into the hands of people who should not have had access to these weapons. Perhaps some common-sense laws to help prevent situations like the above could have been enacted. But the United States Senate voted them down because of a unique Senate rule which requires 60 votes to pass a law rather than a simple majority even though 90 percent of the American people were in favor of laws like the proposed bi-party compromise one. Some Senators voted their conscience but most voted politically because of the possibility that groups who oppose any change in the present gun law situation might oppose their re-election because they did not vote the 'right way'. The biggest obstacle to common sense according to these groups is the 2nd amendment: 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. When the Founding Fathers added that amendment, we had just fought and won a war against a well-trained foreign army and it made sense to be prepared for any emergency. Besides, the young government was new and did not have much money in the treasury to keep a standing army. Almost everyone had a rifle for hunting and protection anyway. However, one must look at the date of that amendment-December 17, 1791- and one must remember what individual Arms were at that time. Usually, it was a flint-lock rifle that fired one shot and required the shooter to reload by replacing the ball and powder, ramming the wad and cocking the trigger-not as easy or quick as just pulling the trigger and sending thirty bullets a minute out to kill someone. Today, we don't have militias but we do have the National Guard and the mighty Armed Forces of the United States. We still have the second amendment but does the word 'Arms' still have the same meaning? If it does, then perhaps there is no right for an individual to possess a military style weapon. What sportsman would shoot a deer with a high capacity weapon? When will our representatives have some common sense and courage? When is enough, enough?