Not Safe for Average Americans to Leave Their Homes

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Courtesy of Matt Baume (Flickr CC0)

It is not safe for the average American to leave their homes in the 21st century.

Read these recent national headlines:

  • “Four people critically injured in two shootings in Kent and Tukwila.”
  • “Three shot, including 10-year-old, at Streets at Southpoint on Black Friday; One in custody.”

This all happened within the last few days in Washington state and Durham, North Carolina. I can promise you that the stories will be ignored by most readers. Unfortunately, this happens every day in America, and it has become as common as a traffic accident in the nation’s cities.

Courtesy of Tony Webster (Flickr CC0)

When I leave my home to go to the grocery store, I assume that everyone I encounter carries a loaded weapon. Over the last few years, we have learned that there is no “safe place,” including schools, churches, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, concerts, or shopping malls.

If we decide to live everyday lives, our lives are at risk. Over the last several years, America has experienced more mass shootings than days on the calendar.

The NRA, gun manufacturers, and gun sellers continue to hide behind the 2nd Amendment.

My lengthy research about the origin of the second amendment has convinced me that this is bull. The arguments during the Constitutional Convention between 1787 and 1789 related to the amendment’s wording were angry and seemed to go on for weeks.

The concept was originally an effort to ensure that the new nation maintained a “well-armed militia” to prevent an invasion from other countries. Without a standing army, there was no other solution at the time which would protect the United States of America from potential enemies.

However, there were boisterous arguments between representatives from states that protected their “right” to slavery and those opposed to the ownership of other humans. Although all of the representatives agreed that a militia was necessary, states which supported slavery wanted a guarantee that it would be a crime for slaves to own or possess firearms.

Now read the amendment carefully and ask yourself if it would be written in the same manner if the weapons of mass destruction available today existed in 1787.

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.

Courtesy of Sac State (Flickr CC0)

Although it is clear to any sensible man or woman that this single paragraph is focused on the necessity of an armed militia, the NRA disagrees. Instead, in support of the NRA gun lobby, the right-wing continues to claim that all Americans have the right to own any type of weapon, regardless of their mental or physical condition.

If you are totally honest, and fully aware that our founding fathers had no way to imagine the type of weapons available today, or that America’s government would be so uncaring about human life, which added together have produced more mass shootings than days on the calendar, you would agree that the second amendment must be modified to protect the innocent.

There is no logical reason why comprehensive background checks are not mandatory. There is no logical reason why any average American should possess a military weapon designed to kill as many others as possible in the shortest time or the high output magazines needed to operate them.

Finally, the only fact which matters. The United States stands alone as the only nation with a serious gun problem, and we must do something. Doing nothing while innocent people die each day is not an option.

A mass shooting is defined as four or more individuals shot in a single incident. This is so commonplace most are unreported in the national news.

After the recent shootings in North Carolina, the Durham Police Chief offered a sensible and vital statement. Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews told local media that the shooting occurred between two groups of people who knew each other just before 3:30. Authorities are speaking with several witnesses:

The shootings in this city have got to stop.

Op-ed by James Turnage


NBC News: Four people critically injured in two shootings in Kent and Tukwila
WRLA: Three shot, including 10-year-old, in Black Friday shooting at The Streets at Southpoint; One in custody

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Matt Baume’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Tony Webster’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Sac State’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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