Editor’s Note/ Intro:
In recent months, we in these United States of The NRA have fallen victim to renewed violence and unspeakable loss of life at the hands of citizen gun owners. While the issue may seem clear cut to victims or observers, it is anything but. We at BTR will discuss and examine the opposing views facing Americans in coming weeks. The allegory in the first sentence, alluding to the NRA is not without purpose. It is beyond question that powerful lobbying forces influence, if not shape policy and lawmaking in the US. The question that is now arising, in the wake of a fresh round of record shootings, concerns a revisit to meaningful gun control, (and in turn lessened influence from the gun lobby).
There are a myriad of issues wrapped up in any look at gun control or legislation aimed at amending or even re-evaluating the second amendment. The rights of gun owners are, of course central to any conversation. As are the interpretations of the founding fathers.
“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.”
Any discussion on gun control must start with a look at the framers’ meaning. This meaning that has been fought over for generations, and bought and paid for multiple times from both sides. This meaning that keeps rearing its ugly head with each successive mass shooting, or statistical look at gun related violence.
BTR is not a site devoted to politics, but politics do enter conversations regularly by proxy. This is unavoidable as politics invades nearly every aspect of life. We wish we could turn our heads and look the other way. However, we cannot. The BTR team is diverse and made up of caring Americans, ALL wanting a better society in which to live. We have writers with opposing viewpoints and various backgrounds. We will be presenting the opinions of our group here.
We hope to present this topic for intellectual discussion. There is an answer to the question of gun control in the United States. It may come from within, or it may be from learned scholars outside our borders. We welcome your input and comments as always.
First up is BTR writer Casey Martinez:
Hey. You. Yeah, you, the one reading this. Do you realize it is a very real possibility that you are moving towards the end of your life at this very moment? Do you understand that you sitting here, reading this, could be the very last time you read anything in your life? You know that head scratch you just did? It’s possible that is the last time you will ever scratch your head, absent-mindedly while sitting at your kitchen table or your desk, sipping whatever it is you’re drinking right now.
You know that cough you just heard from your spouse? That could be the last time you ever hear them cough. It could be the last time they cough, in your bathroom, in your bedroom, while they get ready. This could be the last morning they stand in front of your closet, trying to decide what they are wearing to work today. Today could be the day that you sit down and talk about your schedules over your morning cup of coffee together for the last time.
And your child? Today could be the last day you hurry them to brush their teeth and get their shoes on. Today could be the last day that you pack their lunch, kiss the top of their head and say “have a good day.” Today could be the last time you get annoyed with your spouse for not being able to find their keys, or misplacing their wallet. Today could be the last day of bumper to bumper traffic. Today could be the last day of unquestioned safety and security in your world. Because today is the last day of your illusion.
Virginia Tech. Newtown. Sutherland Springs. Columbine. Every single person who died in every single one of these shootings had absolutely NO idea they were about to die that day. The parents of those sweet little children had no idea that was the last morning they would ever see their child alive. There is a very good chance that a few of those parents snapped at their children that morning for losing their shoes or misplacing their backpack, and now they live with that stain on their soul. “Oh, God! The last time I saw him, I yelled at him for always making us run late!” Can you imagine that? Can you imagine grieving your child while also feeling guilt?
In Sutherland, none of those people knew. None of them had any idea. They got up that morning, dressed in something nice, and went down to church. Went to pray. For strength. For help. In Thanks. They probably planned to go out to lunch after, or meet up with family for Sunday dinner. None of them knew, as they walked into that church what would they would find was not absolution.
Those kids at Columbine. They had no idea. While they got ready that morning, rolling their eyes at their parents, rushing to get to class. They had no clue. They were thinking about prom, or college. They were making plans! They had no idea that their future had already been stolen from them. Their parents had no idea that they would never meet their grandchildren. They had no clue that was the last morning their hormonal teenager was going to drive them nuts.
You have no idea, when you wake up in the morning, that by the end of the day your world will be completely shattered. It is not the responsibility of the victims to know that.
It’s very easy to watch the news, watch these shootings play out and think, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” But, when you really think about it, when you really put yourself in their shoes and think, “This could be it. This could be the last time I drive my nine-year-old daughter to school. This could be the last time I have to rush her to brush her hair or grab her lunch.” And you look at your child, and you realize, any time you drop them at school, it could be the last time you tell them “I love you.” That’s when it hits you.
Every last one of those parents, every last one of those husbands or wives, they never had a clue. They didn’t see it coming. And neither will you.
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