If you read my blog you know me. You know me well enough that you know how I likely stand on guns (being the flaming liberal that I am). I've never been a fan. However the last month or so has put a nail in the coffin on how I feel about this. It's solidified.
I'm very proud of our President. I'm proud that although it's a task that will require sweeping legislation, I'm proud that he is at least willing to try to find a solution to gun violence. If we are the greatest country in the world - something we claim to be - then lets quit having the worst gun violence of any first world country. Lets show that we can be a great country and do something about it. I fear that all of his propositions will be shut down. But I will do my part as a citizen and as a mother to try and make my voice heard.
First, although I don't like guns I will say that I do believe people have the right to own guns. I repeat, I do believe that people have the right to own guns. Sure. People do have a right to defend their families. While I don't find any need personally to own one, I see why some people do feel that need. I grew up in a house with a father that was a hunter. We had guns - safely locked in a cabinet. I get that. I get why people feel they need a hand gun. I'm ok with that. However, there should be tighter laws and restrictions surrounding guns. Enacting some restrictions will not take away your 2nd amendment rights. When the founding father wrote the constitution they surprisingly couldn't see into the future to see the types of weapons that would be available in 2013. And guess what else? There are many weapons you are NOT allowed to have. Restrictions are necessary.
Why don't people see this!?!?!? Honestly this is completely mind-boggling to me.
I live in a country where in order to drive a car I have to take a class to learn to drive that car. I then have to pass a test proving I can drive that car. I also need to be of a certain age to drive. I have to have decent eye sight to drive. I have to prove I have no illness that would somehow inhibit my ability to drive. I have to pay for a license and renew that license. Then I get a car. I have to register that car. I have to insure that car in order to drive it. Does this ensure that all people on the road are licensed and registered drivers? No. However laws are in place for a reason. And as a citizen of this great country I see the reasoning behind these laws.
So why in the hell are we not taking more measures for people to own weapons?
And don't feed me the bullshit line of "you are taking away my freedoms!" That is ridiculous. Living in this country means you must abide by laws. Laws that are put in place for the betterment of our society. I don't feel like my freedoms are being taken away because I have to pay taxes, or stop at a red light, or pay for food. I mean come on people. Have a little bit of perspective.
We live in a country where a guy can walk into a elementary school and within seconds eliminate an entire classroom of kids. We live in a country where it is legal to own guns with that kind of firepower. I am ashamed of this. Deeply ashamed. We live in a country where a guy can walk into a JC Penney with a rifle over his shoulder and it's ok. We live in country where you can walk into a gun show as a severely mentally ill person and walk away with a gun. No background checks. Nothing.
It is easier to get a gun than it is for me to get a prescription for stomach acid medication. How messed up is this?
I'm fed up. I am angry. You may think it's your "God-given right" to own a firearm but I think it's my right to not be afraid of sending my daughter to school. It's my right as a citizen to not be a little unnerved when I sit in a movie theater. Also, I beg of you to stop taking the Lord's name in vain by making such an ridiculous claim. Someone point to me a scripture from God claiming it's your right to own a gun.
More guns will not curb this violence. No, tighter gun control (oh my goodness is that considered a curse word in this country or what!?) will help. Mandatory background checks will help. Will criminals still get guns? You bet they will. But let me remind us all that the mass shootings that have happened in this country have not been carried out by criminals. They have been carried out by deranged men and young-men. Mental health plays a huge part in this. We need to have some system put in place to screen mentally ill people from having firearms. I don't know how we are going to do this but we sure as hell should try. I don't know what is going to work. I don't know if any of this will work. But we are a disgusting country and a disgusting group of citizens if we don't try. We have to try.
When is enough going to be enough? When are we going to take some responsibility for the lives of these citizens and children? It is our time America. It's our time to get our shit together. It's our time to realize that the life of a 6-year-old will always be far more valuable than your "right" to own an AK47.
Oh and please quit being so afraid. I feel like the fear comes from not being educated on what is really being proposed. The amount of overreacting happening right now is just making me scratch my head. Everything Obama proposed made sense to me. Hell it even made a lot of sense to Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/01/16/what-everybody-needs-to-know-about-our-constitution-and-gun-control/) and some republicans! Obama is not going to "take away your guns"! If you are a mentally stable, law-abiding citizen you have nothing to worry about. You can have and keep your guns. Will he try and take away your semi-automatic guns and high capacity clips? Sure. And he should. I have yet to hear a valid argument about why someone needs to own a weapon like that. Because it's your right is not a valid argument. Obama is not a dictator. He is a democratically elected man that although you may not have voted for has every right to try to find a solution to one of our most prevalent issues. Stop with the fear. Stop with the Hitler comparisons - it makes you look like an uneducated asshole. We are smarter than this. You are smarter than this.
So here we are. I'm going to stop sitting on the sidelines. I will be vocal. I will offend people. I won't be silent on this one. It is far too important. I will contact my representatives (even though it's pretty damn pointless in the wonderful state of Utah). I will do my part as a citizen and as a mother to see that something is done. Enough is enough.
What will you do?