We as a Nation Must Stop Gun Violence

We, as a Nation, Must Stop Gun Violence

After so many innocent people have been killed by those who carry guns to prove to themselves they are “important” and “want attention,” how much more do we, as a nation, have to endure before we acknowledge that free-wheeling, gun-carrying, tough guys, don’t make us safe? We don’t need this shoot out at high noon mentality. That was back in the days of the old West. You didn’t like someone so you challenged them to a duel. Women and children hid behind closed doors and the men peered over the swinging doors of the local saloon. Surely we as a nation have progressed since then but unfortunately, and all too often, we have not.

Historically, we are not back in the days of the old West. This is 2013, not the 1800s. Towns no longer have a dirt road for their main street. Unless it is a centennial celebration or some other historical event, men don’t walk around wearing spurs and western gun belts.

But emotionally, where are we? How many more times will an innocent person get killed because of this shoot first, ask questions later attitude? How many more times will someone with a gun take it upon him/herself to play cops and robbers? Enough! Encouraging everyone to have a gun in public is not solving anything and certainly does not make this nation safer.

The United States has the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. That is the right to bear arms. Neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden ever said anything about taking away that right. What they are saying is to crack down on illegal guns and to stop these senseless shootings.

The pro-gun advocates keep saying this is a free country. Since when did freedom mean being afraid to go to a parade, or county fair, picnic, or walk down the street because someone with a loaded gun–someone who is not a trained law enforcement officer–might be there waiting? What if that gun goes off, either accidentally or on purpose? Think of the violence. Think of the consequences.

From Newtown to Florida, from Chicago to Colorado, and all the other places where shootings by wannabe tough, gunslingers caused senseless deaths, this is not acceptable. We, as a nation, must say “Enough!”

Written by: Cynthia Collins, Guardian Correspondent
Op-Ed