Restrictions on other rights exist...why not on gun rights?In reading the following, many people are going to accuse me of making a political point out of a tragedy that occurred earlier this morning in Aurora, Colorado.
Let those who make that critical point have their say -- but I feel that it's no political matter. There's just as much a moral conjecture to be made, and at this point I'm frankly sick and tired of seeing members of my own generation lash out in (and be victims of) such deplorable and violent acts.
I say what I say here not because an opportunity has arisen to do so, but rather because the incident that occurred today needs to prevented from happening tomorrow.
A lone gunman let loose a small arsenal of weaponry upon a movie theater today, killing a dozen and injuring scores more. Theatergoers were expecting to see a movie about a masked hero, but instead were victims of a different, real-life masked man who clearly has psychological troubles.
That will be the expected defense of gun advocates -- "guns weren't the problem here, the man who committed these heinous acts was the problem," we will hear. It's the old saying that we're subjected to day-in and day-out on this debate: "Guns don't kill people; I do."
The point of that idiom is that it takes an individual, an actual person, to bring about such terrifying acts. Yet, in that mode of thinking we're left without consideration of the weaponry used. Certainly a handgun has a much smaller capability of bringing about violence than an assault weapon with a higher magazine count, but that consideration is tossed aside nonetheless.
We're led to believe, by passionate gun supporters, that it's a nearly all-or-nothing situation, that we're either allowed access to all weapons...or we live in tyranny. Any steps that infringe upon ownership, even if it's reasonable, are viciously attacked.
Regulations on gun ownership, both on whom can own guns and which weapons are permissible, should be rigorously debated. I do believe that the right to defend oneself is a natural one, and must be protected. A restriction of this liberty is an injustice, one that must not come to fruition.
But some of those vigorous defenders of the Second Amendment forget that restrictions exist elsewhere on other rights. And while those rights, though also vigorously defended, have understandable restrictions, gun enthusiasts fail to recognize that, hey, perhaps a Smith & Wesson AR-15 assault rifle isn't right for someone like James Eagan Holmes to own.
Perhaps a person shouldn't be able to shoot off dozens of rounds of ammunition before anyone can properly react to the events taking place.
Perhaps those who purchase guns need stronger background checks to determine their mental state, or perhaps we just need to regulate online gun purchases a little better.
Nay, say those defenders. The actions of a few aren't enough to restrict even the deadliest of weaponry. Disregard the fact that these events occur over, and over, and over again.
Clearly, something has to be done. I don't have the answer, and I'm not sure anyone ever will. There will be gun violence for as long as there will be guns. But there has to be a response to these acts of savagery. We cannot continue down this path of violence, of feeling pain when a loss of this magnitude occurs; but then simply shrug our shoulders and say, "the guy was crazy," and carry on with our lives
We can do better than this. Restrictions on some weapons can be made tighter, and some weapons may not be safe for societal use at all. Those restrictions are reasonable. If we can't yell "BOMB!" on an airplane, if we can restrict certain religious cults due to their abuse of others' rights, certainly a "rifle" that looks like this can be restricted a bit more: