Remembrance

I remember. December 14, 2012 the day 26 people, 20 of them children, were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Sandy H NamesI remember. The Second Amendment to the Constitution was introduced by James Madison on June 8, 1789. It focused on the right to bear arms for “military service” rendered to secure a “free country.” The intention was for citizen militias, the same militias that had fought the British with single shot muskets, to defend the new nation. Seven iterations later the Second Amendment stated, “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.”

I remember. On January 10, less than one month after the Sandy Hook massacre, the National Rifle Association (NRA) issued a statement stating in part, “We attended today’s White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation… We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment.”

I believe. The Second Amendment was never intended to allow for citizens to bear semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines. These military grade weapons are designed to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. (That was a very difficult sentence to write.) James Madison would be horrified by the NRA’s manipulation of the amendment he introduced in 1789 and the NRA’s ability to adversely influence government policy.

I believe. Madison would have been equally distressed by the lack of will among politicians to stand up to those who wish to distort the second amendment. Politicians have an obligation the citizens of the United States of America and not to the NRA.

I believe. The media has a moral obligation to address gun control, not only as a political issue but also as a public health issue. Today, more than ever before, the media needs to be the arbiter of rationale public discourse. Slate and @GunDeaths have begun the process creating a crowdsourced tally of firearms deaths since the Newtown massacre.

I know. It is October 31, more than 10 months since the Newtown massacre. As of today there have been 10,042 more gun deaths in America. When will it stop?

Jean

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