I Don’t Care If It Works. Do Something. Do Anything. Protect Our Children.

Yeah, I don’t really care anymore what gun advocates believe. Too many of our children have died while they’ve had a field day owning and playing with any number of dangerous weapons. Enough is enough. The founding fathers could never have imagined what we’re dealing with today when they crafted the 2nd Amendment. But then in the beginning of our country, weapons were for protection and hunting, not ego.

Of course, money drives all of this. It’s not our 2nd Amendment rights that are at stake but the money that goes into the NRA. This group owns the majority of our politicians. And it’s telling how much of a chokehold they have on their members and in turn, the country when the legislature in Florida couldn’t seem to take up gun control measures in the days following the deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week.

Time will tell if the will of the voter is respected. Because something is coming, particularly if the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas have anything to say about it. Those kids are fighting for their very lives, and it’s glorious!

They lack the jadedness of adults both in the position to actually enact laws to deal with this mess and in the position to demand action. We’ve become afraid of the loud and angry voices who refuse to even discuss the issue. It’s not guns, they say, who kill people, but the insane among us who do that. Nice dodge, there. But if the Assault Weapons Ban had not ended, how many children would be alive today? Congress set our children up like sitting ducks and washed their hands of any responsibility for what would ultimately happen.

It’s fear of the other that the NRA has played on forever. And it doesn’t matter who the other is. It can be the next door neighbor or a family member. Or a former girlfriend who doesn’t like the guy anymore. People ridiculously feared that President Obama, being a black man and a dreaded liberal, would take away everyone’s guns.

But that didn’t happen. And no one is asking for that to happen now.

All any of us wants is a conversation about how we protect our children while still preserving the right to defend ourselves. I mean, seriously, with all the guns that would remain in private hands, we probably need a 2nd Amendment to protect us from whoever is left that might go off the deep end and shoot people. But we also need a president and a Congress that will take action, not make it easier for crazy people to get guns.

There’s nothing wrong with having background checks. If folks don’t want them, then we really have to ask why? What will the background check find? What do they have to hide? Reason enough for the background check.

Reenact the Assault Weapons Ban. I think it’s clear why we need one after last week’s shooting.

Enact laws that prevent those who beat their spouses and children from possessing a gun. Clearly, they’re too dangerous to have them. And then we must protect their families until they’re safe.

I don’t understand how we arrived at this point where our children are dying and no one will talk about solutions. We’ve sold our collective soul to weapons of war. That’s become the mindset of many in our country. We live in fear of everything and everyone.

My neighbor has a shed where he keeps his gunpowder for reloading. It’s close to my property line. We’ve been told to run should it explode. But where? Where are we safe? And why should we have to worry about something like that?

See, this is the real problem. A group of people has decided to give a more liberal interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and would like it to include every weapon under the sun. We’re adults, right? No one should be telling us anything, right? Except that the boy, the boy, who purchased the AR-15 to kill students at his former school was only 18 or 19 when some idiot sold him that weapon. After all, it’s legal. It was a business transaction.

Actually, it was a semi-automatic rifle that can be easily transformed with a bump stock in to fully automatic. Bullets that strike a child destroy the body as well as kill the child. They might have been in high school, but they are still children. Just like the child who killed them.

As a mother to two boys, now men, at nineteen, although they were both in college, they were still kids. The boy who did this will never see the light of day again. He’ll never grow up to be anything other than a killer. I have no idea if Florida has the death penalty, but if so, a death sentence may be his likely outcome.

By allowing assault weapons to be purchased by average citizens, we’ve upped the risk that more deaths like these will continue. We’re too volatile a nation for this. Racism, elitism, all the isms, have left us at such odds with each other. We no longer see a neighbor or a friend but someone to treat with suspicion. And if there’s a problem we solve that problem with guns.

Open carry is legal in many states. On the one hand, we know who’s armed and who isn’t. But on the other hand, it’s provocative and unnerving to experience someone in the local big box store open carrying a weapon. If I see it, I immediately leave. If I have a shopping cart full of food, I walk away from it. My safety is more important.

A friend of a neighbor chose to come to my front door one evening open carrying a pistol on his side. My porch light was not working and it was dusk, and when I saw the weapon, I screamed. I didn’t know this man and I didn’t know he came from my neighbor’s home. He was participating in a project with my neighbor that we had declined to be a part of. But that didn’t matter to them. And as far as I was concerned, if you bring a gun to a conversation, the conversation is over. Period.

When my husband figured out who the guy was, he walked over to the neighbor’s home and yelled at him and his friend for a while. This was four or so years ago and so far, no one has apologized to me. And that’s the problem here. Folks who open carry, etc. believe that they have a right to do that anywhere they choose, even on private property. So up went the No Weapons signs on our property. And an 8-foot fence around our five acres. And three locked gates.

So there you go. That’s how we dealt with it. Might not be what others would do, but that’s what we did. We’re gun owners as well. We just see it differently than others might. We agree that we have a right to defend ourselves. Both of us are Kenpo Black Belts so we definitely believe in the right to self-defense. But we also understand that it can run amok and people can be harmed, so it makes sense to reenact measures let go in the past and strengthen existing laws. No one is asking to abolish the 2nd Amendment. Clearly, our neighborhoods are dangerous and we need the ability if necessary to defend ourselves. But weapons of war should be for war, and not for dealing with personal issues.

Maybe there’s a solution where folks who want to experience shooting those kinds of weapons can go do that at a special weapons range prepared to instruct them in the proper use of those weapons. Or better yet, enlist in the military. Make it your life’s work. Easy access and all.

I’m not sure what will happen here, but if feels as if something will. Because those kids in Florida have started a dialogue that’s going to continue right up through election day in November and beyond.

And thank the Goddess for them!

Blessed be

Originally published at www.imsteppingaside.com on February 21, 2018.



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