“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” (Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate which passed the Bill of Rights.)
“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.” (Second Amendment to the Constitution.)
“The great object is that every man be armed… Everyone who is able may have a gun.” (Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution.)
My first exposure to guns was when I was about ten years old. My father would take us to trap shoots; but back then we called them turkey shoots. No, they didn’t shoot turkeys, only clay pigeons. A fresh or frozen turkey was the prize.
I was proud of my father, because he excelled in this sport.
At the same time I was attending the target shooting events with my father, I became aware of the Vietnam War. I now saw televised, in graphic detail, that guns can kill. I was adamantly opposed to the war, but at that age had little recourse to appreciable protest.
Then I became of age and got married in 1977. My future ex-husband was (and is) an avid hand gun collector. He had 9mm’s, semi-automatics, and others, some of them illegal.
When my son was about four years old, my husband left Luke in the car while he ran into a convenience store. Luke found the loaded Walther underneath the car seat and pulled the trigger. Fortunately, the gun was aimed toward the back of the car, so the bullet went through the trunk. Fortuitous also, there was no person in the line of fire behind the car.
But still, despite this event and my protests, my husband continued to leave his loaded pistols on coffee tables, end tables, and bedside stands.
This cemented my hatred of guns and, of course, of my ex-husband.
In January, 2003, I was certainly old enough, and I got in a bus headed to Washington, DC to protest the impending war in Iraq. It didn’t do much good, but at least now I could voice my opposition to war.
In August, 2006, my son Luke, who hadn’t shot or held a gun since age four, was able to steal his landlord’s gun and he used it to kill himself with a single shot to the head. So unfamiliar was he with guns, that he used his left hand to aim and pull the trigger, even though he was right handed.
Columbine, VTech, and all the killings each day here in Cincinnati; why do we continue to defend the right to bear arms? What would we lose, besides a huge daily death count, if we ban guns?
Do we either outlaw guns 100% or fully arm each and every citizen? Would the total armament of US citizens be a deterrent to gun crime? You know, a return to marshall law and the wild, wild west.
Something needs to be done. What we are doing is clearly not working.
(Photo from Google)