Yesterday marked the first of what I think will be many demonstrations in the streets of America and other locations around the globe, protesting gun violence. When I turned on my computer this morning, I was not the least bit surprised to see the counter demonstration to the throngs marching in hopes that there would be some manner of gun control forthcoming from our elected officials. Of course, people have the right to demonstrate and to counter-demonstrate. I suppose the thing that bothered me most was the visual aids some counter-demonstrators brought to the party, their guns. Why for God sakes was that necessary?
I try my best not to be too rude in my blogging; however, there seems to be something wrong with people who seem to have something far beyond a hobby-like affinity for guns. I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about the protest the young people are adding to the mix. He, an African American, was quick to point out that he wanted access to whatever type of gun is currently being sold. If assault rifles are being marketed and sold to the general populations, he wants the opportunity to buy the same. I was quick to point out to him that I couldn’t see the need for having such firepower in the hands of common-every-day citizens. His response was that may be the case, but he never wanted to come up short. The conversation ended with that comment.
Getting back to the counter-demonstrators, who brought their weapons to the anti-gun-violence demonstrations, for some reason they think people marching for some degree of sensible gun control means they are trying to take our guns away. I suppose I can see the paranoid logic in that thinking. You know, the trite notion that if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile has happened in the past. (History has shown us that it oftentimes happens for the good of the order.) The problem I have with that mode of thought is that miles, in the measurement of human lives, are already being taken in America. Aren’t the lives of our fellow citizens more important than a constitutional right to bear arms without some sensible laws in place? Shouldn’t there be stronger legal attempts in place to ensure that guns are being placed in the hands of citizens who are more likely to abide by the law than others? Even that wouldn’t prevent occasions when heated emotions would avail themselves of access to a legally purchased weapon to cause harm to a friend or loved one, who has landed on the wrong side of an argument.
As I watched the news feeds of the demonstrations, I couldn’t help but think how unfortunate it is that there can’t even be a meeting of minds on an important issue such as this. Our young people have taken it upon themselves to make some noise about an issue that became a public health matter years ago. How many more of our future citizens must be gunned down in our schools before our elected officials are moved to do something, something rational, caring, effective? I always sign off by saying: “I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.” The way things are trending many more of our young, school-aged citizens won’t be able to make that statement.
I’m old and blessed…hope will be too.