I’m coming to the conclusion that guns are America’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD). On January 8, 2011, we all were horrified by the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona, where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was almost assassinated, her aide, Gabriel Zimmerman, and a federal judge John M. Roll, and a 9-year old girl were among the six individuals killed and according to news reports of the shootings, 13 others were wounded by gunfire. In December 1993, Long Island had its own experience with America’s WMD when six people were murdered and 19 were wounded on a rush hour Long Island Rail Road train. At another time, we’ll discuss the state of mental illness and mental health care, as well as the dangerously provocative tone of current political discourse, but for now—guns are in my crosshairs.
Guns are inanimate objects, which, in and of themselves, are value neutral. But so is a book. When properly used, someone cannot take a life with a book. The same cannot be said of a gun. With video games and action films as how-to-guides, America’s WMD are being pushed into an angry society. It’s simply irresponsible and short sighted. One of the arguments the law-abiding citizens make is that the criminals have guns, so everyone needs to have guns in order to even the playing field. But if everyone has a gun, then we are all less safe, not more.
America initiated a war against Iraq due to a fable about an Iraqi program of the development of WMD. But at the same time, the US Congress won’t initiate a war against domestic WMD, in the form of Assault Weapons Ban, a Brady Bill 2.0, which would really address the weapons and ammunition that are causing the problems on our streets. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, also known as the Brady Bill, which expired in 2004, called for a prohibition on the manufacturing of semi-automatic weapons for civilian use.
So long as violence committed with America’s Weapons of Mass Destruction continues, we must reduce gun violence. Maybe the Second Amendment needs to be amended to suit 21st century realities. American’s global authority should be as a result of moral leadership, as we do the right thing, within and outside of our borders. Let’s work on Weapons of Mass Construction—jobs, education, health care, the economy, infrastructure and immigration.
To be continued…Guns: Weapons of Mass Destruction, Part Two.