Guest editorial |

Guest editorial

The world has recently witnessed another terrorist attack and this time the target was San Bernadino, a relatively obscure city in California. The target could just have well been Park City, Utah. Since the Paris attack, one might well expect New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, to be the next major targets for a terrorist organization to promote its evil ideology. However, a terrorist attack on an innocent small holiday celebration event in a relatively unknown city is just as effective in spreading fear and anxiety in the hearts of innocent citizens worldwide. One can easily conclude that if it can happen in a small city, it can happen anywhere at any time. At least in past world wars we could identify the enemy and take the appropriate military action to eradicate the menace. Terrorist organizations present a new set of threats requiring a new set of military strategies to eradicate. Until then, we are all at risk!

History tells us that there is always a cause and effect to any major happening. America’s past foreign policies have not endured the Muslim world to our western culture. Our imperialistic attitude along with that of England, France, and Germany for the exploitation of Middle Eastern countries with their vast oil reserves, has promoted a deep seated hatred and distrust for all western governments. Is it any wonder that a radical Muslim ideology, such as ISIS, has risen to destroy western civilization.

Our domestic policies concerning gun control over the past 30 years has only exacerbated the problem making it relatively easy to purchase terrorist weapons. During the Clinton administration, there was some degree of gun control. Assault weapons were completely banned. During the Bush administration, the statute of limitations on assault weapons was not renewed and those weapons became legally and readily available for sale to the public.

With the majority of American citizens favoring some form of gun control, why have our legislators failed to act? I will tell you why. The NRA lobbyists are an extremely powerful organization. They have managed to dupe the American public into believing that any form of gun control is a direct violation of the Second Amendment. I really doubt that our founding fathers had assault weapons on their minds when they wrote the act that all citizens should have the right to bear arms for protection of one’s person and property. The NRA contributes vast sums of money to political candidates’ campaign funds and in return asks them to withhold passing any legislation that restricts the sale of any firearms in this country.

Let it be understood, I am not against the NRA in principle, or the 99 percent of law abiding citizens owning a rifle for hunting purposes or a gun for protection of person and property. The question remains; how can we determine who should be issued a license to purchase a firearm? It is relatively simple; congress must pass legislation banning assault weapons and require an extensive background check on all persons requesting to buy a firearm from any legally authorized gun dealer. It may not completely stop terrorism or the mentally unstable, but it might effectively slow down their purchase efforts and reduce the number of premeditated and accidental deaths due to firearms. We need to ask ourselves at what price am I willing to give up my individual freedoms in order to live in a safer society!

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