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When the American Constitution was drawn up after America became an independent republic in the late 18th century, or thereabouts, one article in the Second Amendment mentions that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Not a bad idea, because it would be very hard to wrestle a buffalo into submission with your bare hands, or to render a poisonous snake harmless. A gun would also be a big help to tame the wild west. Too many horse thieves and cattle rustlers were roaming the country trying to make a fortune.
Later on, train and bank robberies were quite often in the news. Gold and silver were discovered in many parts of this new world. To protect it, and to keep it from falling into criminal hands, some measures had to be taken for safekeeping.
At the time, it was not possible to have a police force large enough to cover the entire country. So why not let the people take care of the security themselves? The article: "The Right to Bear Arms" probably had a reason to be there.
It seemed like a very good idea at the time, however, things changed in this world, and people changed with it. The law enforcement expanded, and covered pretty well every part of this great land. Other changes gradually took place, for example, you never hear about shotgun weddings or lynchings anymore.
But the law about guns has never changed. Some people have been protesting the use and misuse of firearms, and want a restriction put on it. Others were so afraid it would be an invasion of their right to privacy, to do what they want, so they formed a club called the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Charlton Heston, a famous movie star who was strictly anti-gun, was now converted to pro-gun. And, to impress government and fans, they made him president of the club (1998-2003). The idea to lend some prestige and dignity to the club was a good idea, he could possibly change the minds of skeptics who claimed that those old laws should be modified to meet our present needs.
Why does the law need to be brought up to today's standards, according to the anti-gun proponents? For one thing, buffalo hunting is history, and snakes can be controlled without the use of guns. Private protection of limb and property is now done by experienced law enforcement officers. Thus we don't have to go after horse thieves or cattle rustlers anymore. What follows is that there is no longer any need for the private citizen to walk around with firepower anymore.
Probably the reason why most civilized nations in the world ban the use of hand guns is because of misuse. And rightly so! Look at the statistics, no other country has as many murders, per capita, with hand guns as the U.S.A. Not only grown ups kill each other, but the children get the hang of it and start copying their parents.
Every day, there are stories of killings with guns. Look at the 15 year old who came to school, pulled a gun out of his bag, and let go, killing 2 other students and wounding several others. (Kipland Philip "Kip" Kinkel, born August 30, 1982, is an American spree killer. In May 1998, at the age of 15, he murdered his parents and engaged in a school shooting at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon that left two students dead and 25 others wounded. He is serving a 111-year sentence, without the possibility of parole. ~ Wikipedia.)
The big question is, what can be done about it?
My personal philosophy is to ban all hand guns, except for police officers and special agents. Make rifles legal only to registered owners.
Will that satisfy the National Rifle Association? Let us listen to the N.R.A. and Mr. Heston, who says, "We have the right to bear arms and protect ourselves". Good idea, we should all carry a gun with us all the time, no criminal would dare to threaten us. Of course, the robber has to be fair too, and give you time to dig your gun out of your pocket or purse.
Also, when you are asleep, and a slimebag comes into your bedroom, like Mrs. Nancy Reagan, you have a right to produce your gun before he shoots you, right, Charlton. I don't think the criminal will let you get your gun, unless you ask him nicely.
Sometimes it can be a blessing to have a gun handy: remember the wife who lost her husband to another woman? He denied having an affair, but she found out. One night, when he came home late, she saw a burglar walking in front of the window, and she shot him point blank. Oh, I am sorry. Nobody could prove it was not an accident.
Could the tragedy have been prevented in the school if we go by the philosophy of the N.R.A.? Yes, of course, if every boy and every girl had been carrying a gun. And knowing how to use it, or not knowing, would not make any difference. The result would be the same, about 50 to 1, how do you think the outcome would have been? Of course, the perpetrator would have bitten the dust in no time.
And look at the aftermath of those terrible events, the doctors, paramedics, hospitals, police, ambulances, news reporters, photographers, TV stations and many more people have a stake in those disasters.
Maybe it is time for all of us to join the N.R.A., support the use of guns, and make it mandatory for every citizen to carry one.