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Second Amendment

Victory Over Death

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The tragedy in Aurora, Colorado is almost too recent to write about, the grief of the victim’s’ families too near. The shots fired by James Eagan Holmes in his senseless, psychotic act reverberate around the world; but they fall on deaf ears back home. The gun smoke had not cleared before lawyers and lobbyists began their campaign to vilify the man and exonerate an industry that pays their bills, and pays well. Meanwhile, our legislators, our civic leaders, wring their hands in helplessness and mouth meaningless platitudes to families too insensate and overwhelmed to understand them.

The Colorado legislature will do nothing. Congress will do nothing. It’s an election year after all.

Who will risk the wrath of the NRA, one of the most powerful lobbies in the nation? Who will hand an unscrupulous opponent the gift during a campaign of turning this into a Second Amendment issue? Voters won’t even remember the shooter’s name by November 6th.

This is not a Second Amendment issue. I fully support the citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. But every right has its limits. Freedom of speech does not extend to libel, defamation or hate crimes. Freedom of religion does not allow me to declare holy war on unbelievers. The right to bear arms does not mean I can keep field artillery in my backyard.

I served in the US Army where I learned the proper use and respect for firearms. I am also a hunter, a target shooter and a life member of the NRA. I’ve owned guns for more than 20 years and have a Spanish firearms license as well. For all of that, I cannot conceive of any circumstance where I could possibly need a 100-round drum magazine as a civilian. Nor a 30- or even 20- round magazine.

As a hunter, if I can’t bring down my deer with a single shot, I simply won’t shoot. As a marksman, I was trained “one shot, one kill” not “spray and pray”. As a father and husband, I will defend family and hearth from intruders intent on harm. But I honestly don’t expect Attila the Hun to pillage my neighborhood anytime soon, so why would I need 30 rounds of ammo per magazine? I’m not that bad a shot.

When will it end? How many more Columbine’s, Blacksburg’s and Aurora’s? How many more deaths? It will continue until we as a people unite our voices to clamor for change. Until we send a message to those who oppose reasonable regulations on gun ownership that they are in the vanishing minority.

      

Will any of this stop another massacre? No. Not until we as a society tackle even thornier issues of the levels of violence we tolerate, the amount of disassociation there is from the nuclear family, and better ways to identify and treat mental disorders. None of these can be legislated by government, of course. They will depend on us, as Americans, changing how we think, how we feel and what we teach and expose our kids to.

As a hunter and sport shooter, I’d be willing to tolerate a little more regulation now, rather than complete ban on classes of weapons because the killings go on. As an American, I wish for a peaceful civil society with fewer criminals, fewer jails, and more productive citizens. As a father, I’d like to see my children go to the movies or playgrounds and not worry that they might be shot. As a Christian, I will be praying that more comes out of this tragedy than prayers and platitudes, however sincere. Christ’s sacrifice brought us victory over death. It is my dearest hope that the sacrifice in Aurora may bring us victory over ourselves, and unite us to stop the madness once and for all.

Veronica Moser-Sullivan         6
Alexander J. Boik                   18
Micayla C. Medek                 23
Alexander C. Teves               24
Jessica Ghawi                          24
Jonathan T. Blunk                   26
Matthew R. McQuinn             27
Alex M. Sullivan                     27
John T. Larimer                       27
Jesse E. Childress                    29
Rebecca Ann Wingo              32
Gordon W. Cowdon              52

 

 

 

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“Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.“

John Adams

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