What’s it going to take?

Another school shooting today.  This time a student was shot in a high school in Taft, California.  Police have a suspect in custody.  Not a month ago, we were told of the horror in Newtown, Conn.

What is it going to take before Americans have finally had enough of hearing of children – the future of the country – being gunned down in what are supposed to be safe places?  When will the majority finally say “No more, no more will we put up with the slaughter of the innocents”?

I can hear the arguments now that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.  Well, for those who either haven’t read it, or have forgotten it, here’s the exact wording of that amendment:

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

This is taken from the website of Cornell University Law School.  Just a little different from the blanket “right to bear arms” most people quote.

I’m Canadian and we have much stricter gun laws than our neighbour to the south, so perhaps I don’t really understand how the Second Amendment can be used to justify packing a Glock when grocery shopping.  Yes, we also suffer from violence in schools, but the last shooting I can recall was about five years ago. Yes, there have been other incidents, mainly in Montreal: Ecole Polytechnique, where 14 female engineering students were shot, and Dawson College, where Anastasia Desouza was killed by some nut with a gun.  Yes, I also remember the names of the shooters, but refuse to use them.

Students here in Toronto are more likely to use knives on each other.  In fact, a student at Riverdale Collegiate in Toronto was stabbed just yesterday.

The pronouncement by the NRA shortly after Newtown, “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” (I may not have that quote exactly right), doesn’t really hold water.  To my mind putting more guns on the street would be the armament equivalent of throwing gasoline on a raging fire.  It’s already a problem. More guns, especially in the hands of people not properly trained in the use of firearms – including when that use is appropriate – are not going to solve the problem.  I also recall Mayor Bloomberg of New York, in a press conference recently, turning the NRA’s words back on them when he announced the shootings of five police officers with the words “sometimes the good guys get shot”.

As I wrote above, the gun laws in Canada are much stricter.  Of course we have a problem with illegal firearms.  According to reports, many of these weapons on the street are stolen in the US and smuggled across the border.  More guns on American streets just gives these thieves more places to steal weapons because you know not everyone will store that weapon properly.

How many more children and innocent adults are going to have to die by gunfire before “gun control” becomes more than a course in handling a weapon and becomes a serious topic for not only discussion, but action?


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