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Orlando Massacre – The Gun Culture Needs To Wake Up

Fear Of Government Is Just A Ruse For Boys And Their Toys

By William Legault

 

307616_410157745726836_578100825_nI expect that what follows may anger some friends of mine.

There are many ways to describe America as we today know it.  We will not list them here, you can run those through your head in an instant.  Many of us would use the same old-school and somewhat unrealistic terms, while others may lean more towards some of the less complimentary words or phrases that have become more common over the last fifty years.  There are those who object to the use of the word America when describing the United States by pointing out that we are only a geographical part of The Americas.

One old-school way to describe America is still as true today as it was 100 years ago, 200 years ago, or even 300 years ago. America is a gun culture. It has been true from our European beginnings, whether it be the Spanish in conquering the Inca in Peru and the Aztec in Mexico, or the English and French when they came to North America.

Pulse_Club_SWAT_vehicle-courtesy-Orlando-PoliceEnough of the history.

Hatred is a part of being human. We have all hated in our lives.  Some of you may have acted on that hate in one way or another, especially as a child.  In our adult lives we learn to recognize and control that feeling. There are however, some who never gain the personal discipline required to rein in emotions.

At The Pulse Nightclub in Orlando the other night, a mentally defective person acted out his hate in the most extreme way possible, with a semi-automatic rifle.  As a result of this act people are dead, and more will probably die as a result of their wounds.

In the gun culture of America it is easy to start an argument.  The mere mention of the words “assault-rifle” is guaranteed to do it.  One side of the argument will use the term, and the other side will argue that  it is a term created by the media and that assault rifles do not exist.  The AR-15 and other versions of military automatic or burst weapons are legally described as semi-automatic rifles.   These rifles are capable of very rapid fire.  Someone with a little time spent practicing and with a properly maintained weapon can fire off 30-rounds easily in less than a minute. I have seen it done much more quickly. A magazine can be switched out in a matter of seconds.  When the rate of fire and magazine capacity is taken into consideration, the term “assault rifle” is accurate in every way.

20160612_190225The second amendment is frequently a subject in these arguments because of the phrases “a well-regulated militia” and “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’

You don’t have to be a constitutional scholar to know what is meant by the word militia.  Militia is not you, or even me (although it once was).  Unless you are in the military you are not militia.  Those who are in the military are not allowed to take their military weapons home with them.  They are allowed to own personal weapons within the laws of whatever state or country that they are assigned to, but if they live on post even those weapons are required to be registered with their commander.  Overseas even personal weapons are required to be are stored in the unit armory.  Even the ‘“militia” has to play by the rules.

The “right of the people to keep and bear arms” is a slightly tougher nut to crack for some.  Semi-automatic weapons, automatic rifles, high-capacity magazines, and modern ammunition did not exist in 1787.  None of the founding fathers had any idea what the future would hold with machined weaponry. They were concerned with hunting for food, home defense, and also the “well-regulated militia” concept. If Sam the Blacksmith walked down to the corner tavern with his flintlock or long rifle to shoot people he would only get off one shot before being wrestled to the ground and disarmed.  Mass shootings by a single person were impossible.  Jefferson and his ilk, if they wrote that amendment today would have a different perspective.

My father taught me to shoot pistols, rifles, and shotguns at a very young age.  By the time of my twelfth birthday I was a decent pistol and rifle shot.  Over the years I have owned both pistols and rifles and have hunted in five different states.  I no longer own any guns and I no longer hunt.  I choose not to,  but I respect those that choose otherwise .

I still shoot on occasion with two friends.  Both own legal AR-15’s and they always bring them when we go to the range because they are fun to shoot.  I do not shoot them, my preference is the pistol.  My fun  shooting such weapons came in the military.  Each of friends are both good men, responsible citizens, and store there weapons in large, heavy safes.  They are not unstable people and have the legal have every right to own them.

20160612_183728It is long past time however, to pass laws to further limit access to any civilian rifle that allows a rate of fire controlled only by the speed in which you can compress a trigger.  Outside of a war, there is no need for that.  If your fear of the world and your government is so strong that you need to have an AR-15 then I suggest your world view is the problem, not the government.

Too many people who are of questionable mental capacity have access to to murderous weaponry in order to protect our “rights.”  It is long past time to do what needs to be done to protect everybody’s rights.  No one has the need for an AR-15 or anything that resembles one.  Our right to safety overrules the right to own an expensive toy.

I have the right to go to a club, or to march in a parade without worrying about a whack job with the capacity to fire dozens of rounds in a minute or less.  Our children have the right to go to school free of the fear that a crazy person is waiting to shoot up the school.

My America is not a place of hate.  Is yours?

Enough is enough.

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