Saturday, December 5, 2015

Whose Rights? Who's Right?

I doubt anyone will see this to read, so I'm deeming it a safe(ish) place to vent.

Earlier in the week, a couple gunned down an office party in CA. The same office that threw them a baby shower. Thus far, many signs point to this being a terrorist act. Okay, I accept that.

What I don't accept is how they managed to amass such a gun collection. CA has, for the US, fairly stringent gun laws. The states they are bordered by do not. I don't know where or how they got their stockpile and frankly, at this point, I don't care.

I also don't care that when you were young or when I was young, guys drove to school with gun racks in their trucks. Loaded guns. I don't care that people got into fist fights instead of shooting each other up. I don't care that you keep quoting about the 2nd Amendment.

I especially don't care to see anyone posting an actors opinion about guns. An actor is paid to act. I don't care what he has to say about growing up in the South, guns or how it was when he was young.

The fact is, the world is not what is was when you or I were young. And it never will be again. Not ever.

You know what? Less than 100 years ago, women weren't allowed to vote. Should we wax eloquent about that too? We also didn't have the right to birth control, limited property rights, limited education opportunities and Title IX didn't exist, so should we go back to the good old days?

And it's also not simply a sin problem, nor a heart problem. Countries all over the world, no better than we are on that score, do not have the problem with mass gun violence that the USA has.

We are the ones with the problem.

What I do care about are lives cut short. Lives full of promise. Babies in elementary school shielded by brave and selfless teachers. Middle school or high school students full of promise, angst and hormones. College students who should only be worried about finals and (crushing) school loans. People enjoying a movie or going to work on a sunny morning. Anyone gunned down.

Your rights end where theirs begin. I choose to value their lives over your insistence that your rights matter more than theirs. Don't say some limits are okay, but let's not get crazy. Who defines what's acceptable?

It's sad and wrong that the flagpole erected in the middle of the road in Newtown, CT in 1876 is at half mast more often than not. But, hey, let's not get crazy.

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