No. I Don’t Agree.

Juxtapose an event from this weekend and a conversation I had over a decade ago and you have the basis of today’s article.

This past weekend a right wing racist killed three people in Jacksonville, Florida solely because they were Black. We know that because he had a swastika on his assault rifle and the police have found the racist writings he left behind. (We have recently heard similar stories.) At least he had the decency to save the taxpayers incarceration and trial costs by committing suicide. Initially I didn’t plan on writing about this incident – mass shooting, many racially motivated, are just too common in contemporary America. Then I read that the two firearms he had on him were legally and relatively recently purchased.

Allow me to harken back to a conversation I had several years ago with a rabid right winger who was writing for a newspaper I was also writing for. Our discussion went to guns and he said, “You have to admit that we have too many gun laws already.” I replied, “No.” (I’m sure he would call himself a conservative because the radical right has long appropriated that label to make themselves sound legitimate.) For some time, the standard right wing line has been: we already have enough gun laws, we just need to enforce them. The reality is that we don’t!

I spent about a decade on the board of an organization that fought sexual assault and domestic violence. The shooter had a domestic violence record and still was legally able to purchase weapons including an assault style rifle. As a board member I was at arm’s length (and it was a pretty long arm) from actual victims. That was good because as much as I cared I was not qualified to consul. However, I learned that a significant number of abusers had firearms. Conservatives like to talk about common sense (many of them actually favor indoctrination over education); well, it is just common sense not to give abusers weapons. In too many jurisdictions we don’t have those common sense laws and many of the ones we have are being challenged by right wing groups. In too many cases the courts are ruling them violations of the Second Amendment. No right, constitutionally guaranteed or otherwise, is absolute.

Since when is being Black in America a crime punishable by death? No, we don’t have enough gun laws!

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One thought on “No. I Don’t Agree.”

  1. We need one gun law: Private possession of firearms is prohibited. We have amended the Constitution twenty seven times…including to overturn a previous amendment. The question is how long it will take until enough people vote for enough representatives to sponsor such an amendment and have it ratified by the Congress and the States. The 26th Amendment took only four months.

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