More Guns and Discrimination Isn’t the Answer to Terrorism

Rep. Reggie Fullwood

by Reggie Fullwood

Let the war mongering begin. With the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and now San Bernardino, CA, Homeland Security and the nation as a whole is on high alert. And rightly so, but there is a thin line between being cautious and being overzealous.

Some want to immediately build that proverbial wall around the country and others want to stomp all over the constitution and start detaining Muslims just because of their religion.

Protecting our fundamental rights as American citizens and as human beings has to take precedent over our fear and discomfort towards terrorism. “A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess, said A. Phillip Randolph.

I find it so interesting that so many conservatives have two outrageously flawed notions about terrorism and guns.

First notion – if more people have guns, the safer we are as a country. Ummmm…. OK!

Second notion – the way to get back at those darn radical Muslims (i.e. ISIS or the flavor of the month Islamic extremist group) is to go to war. I guess we should invade Syria or is it Pakistan or maybe Iran? Well, it really doesn’t matter – let’s invade somebody!

Last Sunday night the President went on primetime TV to say no – we need to do the opposite. Obama made a strong case in his speech for patience and persistence in fighting Islamic terrorist groups.

Quick disclaimer: We are not fighting “Islam or Muslims” as a whole. We are fighting against radical hateful groups that practice Islam. I think that it’s important to make that statement because idiots like Donald Trump are preaching that we stop or target all Muslims entering the U.S.

Not only is it morally wrong, but it’s down right unconstitutional and goes against the one of the primary reasons that this great country was founded – religious freedom. We haven’t heard this type of nonsense and open discrimination since the Civil Rights Movement.

A certain candidate for president is calling  for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States, including immigrants, tourists and even Muslims that are U.S. citizen, but maybe traveling abroad. Dude, really?

I won’t give Trump any more of my good Free Press ink, but what is so scary about his jaded racist views is that many Americans feel the same way.

But back to guns for a moment – I know that I am mixing too important but related issues, but I am doing it primarily because I do believe that the lack of control makes it easier for terrorism in general. Sure Trump is talking about Muslim terrorist, but over the past few years we have seen a rise in domestic terrorist as well.

Think about all the recent acts of terrorism – from shooting up movie theaters and elementary schools to the Charleston, SC church murders and even the Planned Parenthood attacks – assault weapons were involved.

And I can’t stress enough that domestic terrorism and is just as big of a threat as foreign terrorists. I continue to be dumbfounded at how the National Rifle Association (NRA) continues to win the battle over gun control.

Disclaimer time: I agree and support the fact that every American citizen has a constitutional right to bare arms. But baring arms doesn’t mean that every day citizens should have access to the same assault rifles that our military men and women use.

Even if you are an avid outdoorsman – do you really need an assault rifle and large capacity magazine to go hunting?

I have never hunted so I am really not a subject matter expert. However, seems like it would be more sport to use a traditional rifle versus shooting Bambie like 30 times with a machine gun. I am just saying.

Here are some facts that just can’t be voided. That overused myth from the NRA and gun lovers that “Guns don’t kill people – people kill people,” is absurd.

According federal crime data, The states with the highest gun ownership rates have a gun murder rate 114 percent higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates. Studies also show that gun death rates tend to be higher in states with higher rates of gun ownership. Gun death rates are generally lower in states with restrictions such as assault-weapons bans or safe-storage requirements.

There’s also a notion that good guys with guns can stop the bad guys who are committing these mass shootings. Hmmm… does anyone actually have evidence proving this notion? Let me answer that for you – No! Good guys with guns might help a situation if properly trained, but they could also make the situation worse.

Regardless of your political views on terrorism and guns, we all should agree that rooting our terrorism requires some patience and persistence as the President said.

Speaking of Presidents – John F. Kennedy once said, “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”

Signing off from the ACLU office,

Reggie Fullwood

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