After the Newtown murders, the debate must change.

I used to have some sort of general understanding that a mix of gun control laws would more or less provide us with an acceptable degree of safety, while affording gun enthusiasts an opportunity to engage in their so-called sport.

After the Newtown murders of 20 little children and some heroic school personnel, I cannot in good conscience claim to have that understanding any longer.

The NRA has successfully defined the entire debate for the last 50 years or longer. They claim it is a 2nd Amendment right. Then they go on to —- hey, wait a minute. Let’s examine that Constitutional claim. Let’s not let the NRA begin the debate with terminology that they have defined.

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.

Let me begin a logical argument. Arms, as defined by those living at the close of the 18th Century, were so rudimentary in comparison to today’s weapons that nobody but the most peculiar gun collector would even have such a gun in his or her possession. Yet it is these weapons that the Framers had in mind when they ratfied the 2nd Amendment. No firearm created thereafter could genuinely be said to be the opinion of any of the Framers. 

“Oh, no!” say the NRA enthusiasts. “Arms are arms, and the Supreme Court in 2010 separated the well regulated militia from the individual right to own guns. So the issue is not as you define it.”

Okay, NRA. Let’s follow your reasoning to its conclusion. I want to own a nuclear bomb, because I just like to know that I have it. I also want to own hand grenades, surface-to-air missiles, anti-tank weapons too. What, I can’t? Is that not an infringement of my Constitutional rights?

“Don’t push it. We in the NRA know you can have no legitimate reason for wanting any of that.”

But what is your ‘legitimate reason’ for owning a semi-automatic rifle?

“Hunting! And hey, let’s not forget, for protection from a tyrannical state, if we ever need it.”

Well, won’t hand grenades, nuclear weapons, SAMs, and anti-tank weapons come in handy in that eventuality? The point is, since the Framers of the Constitution had no idea what a semi-automatic weapon was, they could not legislate about it. Nor did they legislate about automobiles, and for the same reason. Yet nobody questions the right of the government to legislate every aspect of automobile design and mileage. If the NRA hadn’t already hijacked the 2nd Amendment, claiming it was pretty darn visionary of them Framers to protect their Glocks, we would be able to have a sane discussion about gun control. But we can’t, because they own the argument.

I am sick of it. This event has touched me deeply, and as a 2nd grade teacher, I can’t just pretend there’s nothing I can do about it. Yes there is. I can start writing letters to start a campaign to outlaw guns entirely. No more of this bullshit about gun control. Our culture is dominated by adults to a degree not heretofore seen, due to better medicine, no wars, and longer life expectancy — mixed with lower fertility rates. So the entire entertainment world is geared to adults. Adults own Christmas, Halloween, and everything in between.

It’s time to let kids have their world back. That means adults have to give up their toys. Their guns. Now is the time to start this movement. Don’t let it slip away; never forget Newtown.

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About Emmett

I am a 1st grade teacher who loves reading, writing, hiking, corresponding, learning languages, and lots of other stuff fit for a person with mild ADD. I am married to the wonderful Angela Estes and I have two fabulous daughters, Margaret and Emily.
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