Matt’s Take: When Will We Ever Learn
August 10th 2012 · 3 Comments
An idiot has enraged me once again.
For the sake of the victims, and anyone reading this article, I will not mention his name. Henceforth, he will be referred to simply as ‘The Idiot’ which is all that he is. Anyone who dresses in riot gear and enters a theatre armed with an arsenal of (of course) legally purchased weapons and senselessly murders 12 people, who had no doubt spent the hours leading up to the massacre with baited excitement in anticipation of a new movie, deserves a courtyard hanging.
The Idiot, with his orange hair and team of excuses, shook the town of Aurora, Colorado on July 20th (a town less than 20 miles from Columbine High School) and once again brought the issue of guns, gun control, and gun ownership to the forefront of the American society.
We’ll now be treated to the trial of the idiot for the next handful of years. Everywhere I turn, there’s his stupid face. Pro-sports have adopted a stance of refusing to show people that run onto the field on television. By taking away their fame, they drastically cut down on the incidents. I wish the news media and papers would adopt the same philosophy.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie immediately entered the debate when questioned by reporters about tougher gun laws. “I am a little bit disturbed by politicians who in the immediate aftermath of this type of tragedy, try to grandstand on it, and I’m not going to be one of those people. I feel awful for those families. This is just not the appropriate time to be grandstanding about gun laws.”
With all due respect, when would be a good time to discuss the matter, sir?
The Constitution was forged at the hands of mere men. These same men that thought women and Blacks did not deserve the same rights. People and their mindset are a product of their environment. To think that something can’t or shouldn’t be changed or learned from over time is preposterous.
Thomas Jefferson was a proponent of the Constitution expiring, being revised and rewritten every 20 years. Thomas Jefferson was an eccentric and brilliant thinker who had the foresight to understand that a document written in the 1770’s would not be applicable to people in the 1870’s, the 1970’s, or in 2012.
Understanding the concept of evolution, in this case a changing of culture and what is perceived as necessary in the times we live in now, is crucial to the understanding and guidance of laws. If I want to get a message to someone in the next town, I don’t tie a note to a pigeon. If I want to travel to France I don’t board a ship and plan on being at sea for 6 months. So why is it so taboo to suggest correcting a two-century old thought about gun ownership?
Back when the constitution was written, the weapons at hand were single fire muskets that took 10 minutes to reload. The idiot wiped out a dozen people and injured 58 others in 7 stinking minutes. I doubt George Washington could have predicted the types of weapons that would be readily available in this day and age.
Aside from it being a “Constitutional Right” to own guns, another reason cited for their ownership is self-defense. However, truth be told, guns used as self-defense for violent crimes rank less than 1% a year. There are, however, over 5,000 accidental gun deaths in the United States every year.
In countries where guns are not readily available, overall crime (not just gun infractions) is considerably lower. The United States has close to 20,000 murders every year, over half being gun related. Britain has less than one-hundred. Japan? Less than fifty.
And why so many? The Idiot legally purchased his first weapon, a .40-caliber Glock (semi-automatic) pistol at Gander Mountain less than 2 months before the rampage. Six days later, he strolled into a Bass Pro Shops and legally bought a Remington Model 870 shotgun. A week later, it was a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle. Weeks later, he added a second Glock pistol (you can’t have just one, don’t you know). A total of 6,000 rounds of ammunition and 350 shells for the shotgun were ordered off the internet – all legally.
And we think this is okay? The late Charlton Heston (actor and former NRA president) boasted to have owned over 30 firearms that he kept for defense. Why would he (or anyone for that matter) need 30?
I know that guns aren’t going away. Incidents like Columbine, Virginia Tech, and now Aurora will always raise the issue of debate but as usual nothing will ever be done about the problem. The truth is, if there were stricter gun laws, there would still be crime. But I would wager not to the magnitude that it is at today.
So if you agree with the Second Amendment, and don’t support a full out prohibition of gun ownership, maybe we can employ the stance of comedian Chris Rock. While obviously joking, it’s actually a great way to solve the gun problem and still allow citizens the right to own firearms. “You don’t need gun control, you need bullet control. All bullets should cost $5000. If a bullet cost $5,000 there would be no more innocent bystanders.”