Guest editorial: Right of safety is greater than right to bear arms
It happened again, with sickening regularity. Another mass shooting, 17 dead and 14 injured. And, of course, the Gun Lobby is saying, “Now isn’t the time to bring up the argument of the 2nd amendment. The left is using this tragedy to further its political agenda. First give us time to grieve and then we will discuss it.” Well news flash, YOU, the gun lovers, have never discussed it. You bury your heads in the sand, cover them with the second amendment, and the shootings continue to happen. I can only conclude that the gun lobby feels that the mass shootings and the tens of thousands of other deaths from firearms that happen every year in this country are a reasonable price to pay for the right to bear arms.
But death is not the only price we pay. We are losing our freedom so that you can bear arms. We are turning our schools into fortresses, our hospitals have armed guards and metal detectors, we are searched at public events. Active shooter drills are being held at every workplace. We are spending untold millions of dollars to keep us safe from gun owners. And guess what, it doesn’t work. The shootings continue. We live in fear, because after all you have the right to bear arms.
What about the rights of the rest of the nation? Neighborhoods, the workplace, hospitals, schools, parks, churches, nightclubs, concerts, theaters, post offices, restaurants, and homes are no longer safe. No one knows when or where the next armed nut job, exercising his/her right to bear arms, will strike.
Do we really think that our right to bear arms is greater than our right to be safe in our own country? A friend of mine travels all over the world. She goes to the most out of the way countries, places where there is political conflict and places that are considered dangerous for Americans. I asked her, “Aren’t you scared to visit these countries”? She replied, “That’s funny, because the people of those countries ask me, ‘aren’t you scared to live in the United States?’”
So here’s my challenge to the gun lobby: Prove that the cost of the right to bear arms is worth it. Show me that more people have been saved by having a firearm than killed by a firearm. Prove that the cost of taking care of all the gunshot victims and the cost of personal freedom that we give up is offset by your right to bear arms. Convince me that whatever it is you get from owning a gun is worth the lives of all the people killed by guns in the US each year. Prove it to all of us.
Now IS the time to have this discussion. I agree, guns don’t kill people, PEOPLE WITH GUNS KILL PEOPLE. I don’t get where the confusion is. Whether you like it or not, you are saying, in a very loud voice, that the mass shootings, the carnage of all the deaths and injuries, and the loss of personal freedom that results from unfettered access to guns in this country is a reasonable price to pay for your right to bear arms. And I am saying right now, NO IT IS NOT.
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In the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, PJ Falten has been thinking about the “fallen heroes who gave their lives so that something like last Wednesday could never happen on sacred ground. … What would they have thought?”