Vegas Shootings Are a Reminder of How Much We Need Better Gun Control

Reggie Fullwood
Reggie Fullwood
Reggie Fullwood

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. It was ratified in December 1791, and the amendment says, “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.”

But there is a fine line between infringing on a “citizen’s right to bear arms” and attempting to fight the battle against gun violence. There will be Americans that say the government should stay out of our lives and let people own as many guns as they want – regardless of their background and mental aptitude.

I call that the “Wild West/NRA” mentality. While I acknowledge that the Constitution clearly grants the right to bear arms, we still must bear arms responsibly.

Why all the Second Amendment talk? Because last weekend, we witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history with 59 people being murdered and another 500 injured in Las Vegas.

It still seems so unbelievable that a lone gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on people attending a country music festival on the Las Vegas strip.

This deranged man was a 64-year-old white male retiree with no real criminal history. Some reports say he used as many as 10 guns and others speculate that he had some 20 weapons.

There have been too many deaths, too many mass murders, and too many black market gun sales. And clearly too many mentally unstable people getting their hands on high capacity guns and ammunition.

Enough is enough, and while I don’t know all of the answers, as a responsible nation we must start somewhere.We are past the time to put politics aside. Congress and the President need to figure out a way to curb gun violence regardless of what the NRA says or how much they contribute to campaigns.
President Trump likes to talk about Muslim terrorists, but over the past few years we have seen a rise in domestic extremists.
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 is just as big of a threat as foreign terrorists. I continue to be dumbfounded at how the NRA continues to win the battle over gun control.

And let me say this again – I agree and support the fact that every American citizen has a constitutional right to bear arms. But bearing arms doesn’t mean that John Q Citizen 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.

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…. No!

Second notion – the real terrorists are Muslims and maybe Mexicans (that’s why we need to build a wall). Funny thing though, I have never heard of a Mexican terrorist. However, American white men have committed a vast majority of the terrorist attacks in this country over the past 20 or so years.

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.

There has to be a compromise on gun control legislation.“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just, “ said Abraham Lincoln.

Signing off from Washington DC,
Reggie Fullwood

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