In response to the outcry following the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings on the heels of several other incidences of gun violence in schools and public arenas, the Obama administration unveiled a substantial proposal to address the issue of gun violence in America, triggering objections from guns-rights supporters, but gaining the support of millions of American citizens. The President’s proposal has four principal components:
- Law enforcement.
- The availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition.
- School safety.
- Mental health.
To effectively impact all four of the principal elements of the sweeping proposal, President Obama made the following recommendations:
- Requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales.
- Reinstating the assault weapons ban.
- Restoring a 10-round ammunition limit in magazines.
- Eliminating armor-piercing bullets.
- Providing mental health services in schools.
- Allocating funds to hire more police officers.
- Instituting a federal gun trafficking statute.
Many political observers and gun lobbyists are voicing complaints about the massive effort to address the gun violence problem, which is leaving a huge black mark on our society today. Complaints range from disagreement with the attempt at such a massive overhaul of the current ineffective gun regulations to outcries of political overreach by the current administration and violation of citizens’ second Amendment rights to bear arms.
It appears that some key points are being overlooked here. The level of gun violence should send a distress signal to each and every one of us in this nation, particularly when we peel back the layers of each past instance and see the consistent pattern of mental illness, social maladjustment, bullying, etc., all toxic ingredients woven into the fabric of this ridiculous mayhem. This is an awful testament to any society, let alone one such as ours, which consistently touts our civility, intelligence, Christian values, and sense of humanity. We consistently show pride for our liberty and rights, as we should; however, we need to stop and consider the rights of others to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Surely any parent who sends their children to school or to a public place, such as a shopping center or a movie, should have the reasonable expectation that their children will return to them. Acknowledging this right and working to enforce it will not take away from the rights of law-abiding citizens who want to own weapons, not by any means, and that is not the intent of any gun legislation. If done the right way, gun owners will still have their guns, if they are legally entitled to do so.
In the height of the emotion and standoff over the proposed gun regulations, we need to stop and think. The families of Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as the Giffords and other families who were affected by mass killings have taken this opportunity to stand together for a safer world from gun violence at a time that is anything but convenient for them as their wounds and hurt are so raw and real. It is awful, an abomination, that we declare our rights to take up arms so loudly because of potential possibilities of aggression that may or may not happen when these wonderful people are speaking up trying to convey the message of the reality of gun violence, a stark and dismal reality for them that will haunt them for the remainder of their lives and a reality that they are trying to prevent the rest of us from every experiencing. Why can’t we listen– “Be still and know.” (Psalm 46:10).
It was poignant to see the nation rally and support the communities that have suffered horrible attacks of gun violence. Now let’s really help by working to save America’s children. We can put an end to the senseless acts of violence going on in America today. As the victims of these tragedies reach out to our legislators and communities to solve the issue of gun violence and its impact on the American family, let’s listen and accept the message that this has to stop. To do so is to protect our family and definitely is a great way to live green, be green.