Commentary on Gun Violence in America

As we are forced to watch gun violence escalate in Indianapolis and around this country, Republicans holding elective office continue to hide behind the Second Amendment. As they continue to do nothing while making exceptions to that amendment when it applies to their personal safety, they, like Nero, sit quietly by and watch Rome burn. It is time to hold them accountable.

To begin with, many constitutional scholars embrace the doctrine of Original Intent. In other words, if you want to look for the meaning of any amendment, then look to see what the founding fathers meant at the time it was approved in the late 18th century.

Applying that philosophy, the right to possess firearms as defined by Hamilton, Madison and Jefferson referred only to flintlocks and muzzle loaders. Since those forefathers could not possibly imagine how science would alter firearms in the distant future, it is absurd to suggest that the Second Amendment encompasses any other weapons than existed in 1787. How could anyone come to a different conclusion using a constitutional interpretation that many conservatives embrace?

But I don’t pretend to be a constitutional expert, so let’s examine how our elected officials find exceptions to the Second Amendment only when it applies to their safety. More to the point, if the right to possess firearms is as constitutionally sacred as they argue, why is it that you can’t be armed when you enter a building containing their offices? In other words, using their position on the right to possess a firearm, what exception exists to establish taxpayer paid metal detectors to search every person before entering all government buildings and courthouses?

What exactly are our elected officials afraid of? Why is it that the one place you can be all but certain there will be no gun deaths is in buildings having metal detectors at their entrances?

Any elected representative refusing to support constructive gun legislation should be asked one simple question. If citizens have to walk into a store, drive down the street and enter a movie theater or school grounds where people are allowed to carry firearms, then why can’t I do the same thing at your office?

The policy that has been established in this country to protect our congressmen, senators and judges is equivalent to providing taxpayer paid polio vaccines only to those same people while denying it to the general public. The arrogance of our leaders is shocking, and someone has to demand that they explain their failure to protect anyone but themselves.

In the end, the answer remains very simple and totally consistent with the Second Amendment. Treat guns like automobiles and demand that everyone be registered and insured. Furthermore, simply require the owner of a firearm to possess a license that has to be periodically renewed. Nothing would be lost and everything would be gained.

We all know that it is all but impossible to console the grieving families who lost loved ones as a result of gun violence. However, we can take a step forward that saves lives without damaging our Constitution. Let’s stop mocking every American’s guaranteed right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and finally do something about gun violence that makes sense.