Monday, July 4, 2016

Freedom is not free...

When the Second Amendment (the right to keep and bear Arms) was penned into the Bill of Rights in 1791, the United States consisted of the Original Thirteen Colonies plus one. There were less than four million citizens in all the States.

The Founding Fathers could never have imagined a United States spanning from Sea to Shining Sea (plus two detached states) with 324,000,000 citizens. (The term Manifest Destiny wasn't coined until 1845.) Yes, that''s an unfathomable amount of change in 225 years. 

In 1791, the weapons of choice were muskets (3-4 shots/minute) and single shot pistols. The Founding Fathers weren't Star Wars" visionaries. They didn't foresee a U.S. where ordinary citizens could legally purchase semi-automatic weapons capable of inflicting heavy casualties. These are Arms of mass destruction. 

Times change, people change and laws need to change. Semi-automatic weapons aren't reasonable under the guise of Second Amendment rights. AR-15's and other keep-pulling-the-trigger-until-you-need-a-new-clip weapons weren't the intent of the Second Amendment. 

The Founding Fathers were reasonable men. The U.S. Constitution  was written during the Age of Reason (or Enlightenment.)
From a West Georgia University article: a new age enlightened by reason, science, and respect for humanity

There's the kicker! Respect for humanity! 

It's time to find a common ground on the issue of gun control. Like so many Americans, I'm fed up with the NRA's unyielding stance concerning their sacred Second Amendment rights. 

What about the rights of the kindergarteners in Newtown, Connecticut?

What about the rights of the college kids at Virginia Tech University?

What about the rights of those popcorn eating movie goers in Aurora, Colorado? 

What about the rights of the nightclubbing adults in Orlando, Florida?

They can't speak up for their rights. These victims have been silenced forever. 

Back in the day when I was in the work mode, a fellow firefighter (who I hardly ever agreed with) opined.
"A well-armed society is a polite society."

In my world a well-armed society is one spiraling toward anarchy and chaos. It might be fun to watch a "Mad Max" movie, but I wouldn't want to live in it. 

Sometimes we need to give up a few freedoms just so others won't be denied theirs.  
I'm OK with that. 

America is still a great big beautiful country to live in. Come along this summer and I'll show you. 

Have a safe and Happy Fourth of July,


  1. Hi Jeff, I don't live in the USA so I have no real right to comment on this. I do live in Northern Ireland where we have had (in the past and currently) a problem with guns (and bombs), although it is a different problem of course.

    The thing I always think when I hear the phrase "A well-armed society is a polite society" is where are all of these well armed people when someone has gone crazy and is gunning down innocents? I do not recall hearing of any occassion when a gun crazed maniac was killing people that a passerby (victim) shot the crazy or even returned fire.

    I know that there have been a few occassions that I have thought 'I wish I had a weapon' but most times I'm thinking 'Thank God they don't have a gun'.

    Good Luck