Molly doesn't like me very much right now. Molly is my 7 year old Pit Bull. Today we took our longest walk in over two years. We did this so that I could attend the rally at City Hall for Moms Demand Action, a gun safety advocacy group. I don't know how many of my diary posts have been on this subject, but there have been many. I don't have a much of a connection, the only victim of gun violence that I knew was neither a relative nor a close friend. All I know, is that it mattered enough for me to go and drag my dog with me.
The rallying cry was "Not One More." Today was the 18 month anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Ct. They marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, just like they did on the 1 month anniversary. Unfortunately, not one more is what we are going to get. Not One More. Not One Hundred More. Not One Thousand More. Indeed, between this November's elections and the next midterms in 4 years we will blow past the One Hundred Thousand More by a good 20%. We have gone too far.
See how far beneath the squiggle.
Last week there was a story about how there have now been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. CNN then fact checked the story and decided that it was only 15. Think about that for a second. Forget how you might feel about CNN's selection criteria, they are putting the words "only 15" and "school shootings" in the same sentence.
UC Santa Barbara, Seattle and Portland barely merit a shrug. Joe, the Not-actually-a-plumber, said no amount of children's deaths trample his second amendment rights. The NRA, yes even them, called a fringe group what they are, a fringe group. They later walked it back. I'm sorry, NRA, but you own Open Carry Texas, now.
There is a bumper sticker that says "If we outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns." Okay, I get it. We're not trying to outlaw guns. Not even close. If you go to a store to buy a gun, they are going to do a background check. That is already law. Most people are okay with that. I'm more than happy to show my ID when I buy beer even though I'm 49 and I look it (full disclosure, I'll be 49 next week)! Do you know who is NOT okay with a background check? Someone who can't pass it. And BTW, being on the terrorist-watch No-fly list, doesn't automatically disqualify you in a background check.
However, you don't need to bother with that background check. You can go to a gun show, or shop backgroundcheckloophole.com (Not a real site) on-line. The Wrong won't even budge on the small point that it might make sense to close that loophole. Their paranoia that somehow this is an assault on their 2nd Amendment Rights should be enough to disqualify them.
Now let's take a look at that 2nd Amendment in its proper context. First, some Constitutional back story. Our Constitution was drafted by men who believed that governments are instituted (among men) to secure these (unalienable) rights. You know, the ones that include, among others life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In that context, the 2nd Amendment, "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," exists to aid the state in protecting the unalienable rights of it's citizens. It can get a bit confusing, I know, but what it boils down to is this, your Constitutional Right to bear arms exists to protect my right to life. If your right to bear arms threatens that right to life, it becomes forfeit. Until DC v Heller, this was not really a controversial notion.
There are people who claim that they need guns to protect themselves. I won't argue the point with them, it does have validity. I would have pointed out that the police officers do make me feel safe. They may argue that the police won't be there when they need them. I think that I am freer trusting my safety to local law enforcement than they are in fearing their absence.
All of this brings me back to my dog, Molly. Although she is a Pit Bull, she does not make me feel safe, that isn't her job. Her job is to be a dog, not a guard dog, just a dog. Like guns, she does scare some people. I get it. I also don't bring her to Chipotle or Starbucks. So, I propose creating park space for people who love their guns. Molly and I go to a dog run, you can congregate with your fellow 2nd Amendment enthusiasts in a gun run. I think having "Free Speech zones" is a far more perverse idea.