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Hartselle Enquirer

Guns Don’t Kill, People Do

As news of the events of Aurora, Colorado begin to be known to the country and the world, two thought processes also begin to air their opinions. Now these opinions just happen to be on opposite ends of the spectrum. Those in favor of gun control came out in full force calling for stricter controls of guns and even going so far as banning the ownership of guns by anyone other than the police and the military. At the other end of the spectrum, including the National Rifle Association, (NRA) are those who continues to defend gun ownership and the Second Amendment, which calls for the right of citizens to “keep and bear arms.”

Eight men, three women and a 6 year old child lost their lives in a senseless act by a crazed man. Whether this man is mentally ill or just full of evil is yet to be determined, but regardless 12 people are dead and 58 others injured; with a number of the injured in critical condition.

When the first 10 amendments (known as the Bill of Rights) were added to the Constitution they were intended to serve as limitations. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms and also to limit some of the federal government’s power. With the second amendment, the keeping of firearms was protected.

However, when the 1st Congress worked on this legislation the thought of the firepower available for purchase now could not even be imagined. Automatic type weapons that can feed multi-rounds of ammunition into an assault type weapon are a necessity for the military, but for private citizens is this really a need. We do have freedom of speech but we cannot use that to hurt others by the spoken or written word. Perhaps this line of thought works for weapons available for the private citizen. The majority of Americans are not in favor of stricter gun control. Many follow the quote “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

As a civilized society do we really want to reach the point that we have to carry a gun at all times, as those in the old west did? Opinions vary with some citizens voicing the opinion that if one person in the movie theatre had been armed fewer would have lost their lives or been injured. Another line of thinking is to limit the amount of ammunition that could be purchased in a given period of time. Whatever laws are changed or added the lives lost and others changed forever must not be forgotten. May those suffering feel the comforting presence of God.

 

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