Monday, 17th December 2012
THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS: SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ANALYSIS – In the aftermath of the horrific killings of 26 people, 20 of whom were no older than 7 years of age, the analysis of Americas Gun Laws and the 2nd Amendment of the Right to Bear Arms, is now raising its head.
I am British and therefore find it difficult to understand why Americans are so intent on their Right to Bear Arms that is openly allowed to own all manner of handguns and assault weapons. Pre-1996 the British public was allowed to own handguns, but even then this practice was heavily restricted. In 1996 a lone gunman, Thomas Hamilton, entered the Dunblane Primary School in Scotland and took the lives of 16 innocent children.
Directly due to this event and public outcry the UK Government introduced a new set of laws making it illegal for any member of the public to own a handgun. UK Citizens are still permitted to own shotguns and rifles for sporting or hunting purposes but the application and granting of such a license is heavily monitored and restricted.
Almost all gun related crime is undertaken with weapons that were obtained illegally and therefore, even with the UK’s restrictive gun laws, gun crime still occurs but nowhere near the level of that of our cousins across the pond.
What most, I have spoken to, cannot grasp is why a school teacher would feel the need to have two handguns and an automatic assault rifle at home; and more importantly in a home with a person that is known to be mentally unstable. How and why, was Adam Lanza, allowed such easy access to an arsenal of deadly weapons with such devastating consequences?
From the reports I have read on Fox News, CNN, Daily Mail and a plethora of other media sources I am amazed and even shocked at the ridiculous statements coming from U.S Government Officials including Rep. Louie Gohmert who stated on Fox News;
“I wish to God Principal Dawn Hochsprung had been in possession of an assault rifle, so she could have taken his head off before he had a chance to take so many innocent lives.”
How can anyone make such an incredible statement in the wake of such a tragedy? Is the answer to gun crime simply to have more guns? According to Louie Gohmert changing the 2nd Amendment for the Right to Bear Arms is overly sentimental in the wake of Sandy Hook and went on to say that America needs more guns in order to protect itself against tyranny and oppression…
“The 2nd Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms ensures against the tyranny of the government, if they know the biggest army is the American people, then you don’t have the tyranny that came from King George.”
Mr. Gohmert, to bring up the War of Independence in justification of the continuation to the 2nd Amendment is not only arcane but extremely short sighted. If you look at any possible tyranny then it is likely to come from within. On that note even if you armed all 350 million Americans and the Chinese decided to evade you would still be out gunned approximately four to one.
There is one thing that we can rely on in the wake of this tragedy and that is lobbyists, Congressman, Senators and Governors who have significant interest in the production of small arms will always stand on their soap box defending the 2nd Amendment.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from one thing is certain and that is people around the world are grieving alongside the parents who lost their children at Sandy Hook. Myself, and many people like me, are voicing their concern over the American Citizens Right to Bear Arms and while the likes of Mr. Gohmert would like to see Principals and Teachers armed in the schools, would it not be better if nobody was armed in the first place? Maybe Mr. Gohmert should be asked the question; ‘Is the 2nd Amendment worth the life of so many innocent children and indeed countless others who have been victim to gun crime?’
This has always been a contentious subject with the American people but I often suspect that those lobbying in power have a strong hand in keeping the 2nd Amendment alive and well; not for the well-being of the American people or their right to protect themselves, but rather to ensure that the profits continue to rise as a result of more guns and weapons being made available to the likes of Adam Lanza.
The debate for gun ownership can go either way. As someone recently pointed out – it is not so much the method of killing but the intent and those who want to kill, regardless of whether gun ownership is abolished, will find a way to commit murder. I was pointed to an article ‘Better we should all be police than our country become a prison‘ which provides some interesting facts for pro gun ownership.
There is no doubt in my mind that the debate for gun control will continue without resolution as it will inevitably please some and displease others. The choice of gun ownership, within the United States, is the choice of each and every American citizen and ultimately they have the power to reduce the amount of firearms simply by abstaining from the purchase.
To the parents of Sandy Nook - Our hearts are with you. No words can comfort you or make your loss bearable, but know in your hearts that the world is grieving with you and praying for you.