"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Monday, April 23, 2007

Virginia Tech and Gun Control

I've been following the stories about the Virginia Tech tragedy. I find it appalling that the White House's first response was to affirm the "right to bear arms." I know the gun lobby is powerful, but that is beyond insensitive.

Here is the text of the Second Amendment:

"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."

It doesn't say anything about individuals keeping automatic weapons for personal reasons. That comes with interpretation. A militia was probably necessary when this country was a sparsely populated group of rural, farming colonies. Now, we have police forces, which are militias, in effect.

I find it sad that so many people oppose gun control here in the U.S. Our original Second Amendment right had nothing to do with individuals owning semi-automatic weapons. And it's distressing that some people want to live in a society where everyone carries a gun -- that that is their idea of safety. How unsafe they must feel in the world. Whereas human beings are fragile and faulty, and we react out of passion or stupidity as often as thoughtfulness and good judgment, therefore we need gun control. Putting guns out of reach would prevent many fatalities.

Suicide rates are strongly impacted by the presence of firearms in the home.

1 comment:

John Baker said...

It is so heartening to see someone standing up for gun control. Most of the friends of the United States of America would support you whole-heartedly in this quest. It takes courage to face down the pro-gun lobby, so I wish you and others like you all the strength necessary.