Focus on guns isn’t about taking away Second Amendment rights, but on building safety | Local Columnists


The usual “thoughts and prayers” were mouthed or tweeted by state and national politicians. Ted “Cancun” Cruz stated that with the mass murders, the U.S. Senate was treating the incidents as “theater.”

In short, after some initial sound and fury, not much will be done. While the residents of Orange, California, and Boulder will call for action and the Asian-Americans in Atlanta want the massage parlor shootings classified as a hate crime, neither of these is expected to happen.

But normalcy prevails. If the past is any indication of the future, the future of gun safety will be limited to the communities impacted. The horrific shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut in 2012, the mass murders in Las Vegas in 2017, the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, all led to an immediate call for guns to be regulated. Any reasonable person would recognize that the Second Amendment is being used by those who regard it as sacrosanct.

The media — TV, radio and newspapers — cover the most recent shootings for a few days then move on to something else. It is hard to ignore the 20,000 or 40,000 deaths, depending on source, per year from guns, but we Americans have done that in the pursuant of other issues. The takeaway: Guns are dangerous and deadly.

But, those in favor of background checks, assault weapons bans and magazine limits are also involved in or support many other causes, such as climate change, voting rights, fighting racism, drinking water protection, diminishing hate crimes, police overreach, Black Lives Matter and others. Those who espouse the “right” to open carry, have no limits on assault weapons or magazines or background checks and other gun rights issues are focused on defending the alleged provisions of the Second Amendment. Rather than supporting many issues, they seem to have a laser-like focus on what they view as an unconstitional attack on rights guaranteed by the sacred Second Amendment.

Sorry, NRA members, but you have been brainwashed. You have been told that any very limited change to the Second Amendment is just the first step to taking away your guns. That is simply not true.

As far as I tell, no one is threatening to take away your guns.

Even if that were true, it is not about to happen. Those of us who are in favor of what has been labeled as “left-wing” issues are no match for people with an almost total focus on gun rights. And thanks to NRA money and support, keeping things as they are will prevail. While there may be support for limiting guns in communities where mass shootings have occurred, that support is quickly lessened by those with many issues on their plate.

If no changes were made after young children were massacred at Sandy Hook, it is not likely that any changes will be made after 22 people were killed in California, Atlanta and Boulder.

About opinions in the Missourian: The Missourian’s Opinion section is a public forum for the discussion of ideas. The views presented in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Missourian or the University of Missouri. If you would like to contribute to the Opinion page with a response or an original topic of your own, visit our submission form.

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