In every society, there exist dangerous individuals intent on bringing violence and death upon their fellow man. While this is a worldwide problem and has been since Cain slew his brother Abel, I, personally, am happy to live in the United States of America rather than a country such as Great Britain. Here in the U.S. I sleep easily knowing that if I am ever in a situation where I am threatened by one of these individuals and have no way of defending myself, my death will most likely come quickly with a bullet rather than the slow, painful and bloody ordeal that comes from being beaten to death with a club or a rock.
People like British citizen Piers Morgan love to cite statistics, but there is no denying that people who are intent on causing violence will try to cause it and we make it much easier for them when we give them targets. That's why gun-free zones like schools and college campuses are the most frequent sites of mass shootings and it's also why the U.S. cities with the most gun control (such as New York, Chicago and Washington D.C.) are by far the most violent in the nation. Criminals, by definition, break the law. They will have guns. The only question is whether or not the people of a so-called free society have the right to defend themselves against them.
Some have argued that guns should be taken out of the hands of those with a criminal record or those found to be mentally unstable. While understandable, both of these solutions are likely to do more harm than good.
Once a criminal has paid his debt to society, why shouldn't he have the right to protect his home or family? Since that person's records are available to any member of the public, it would only follow that somebody intent on violence and assuming that the occupant had reformed his lawless ways, would see their homes as easy targets.
As for mental illness, not every crazy person is a psychopath and even the most sane individual can be pushed to violence under certain circumstances. But mental illness also creates another dilemma because it is often treated with anti-depressant medications whose side effects include "confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, agitation, mood swings, impulse-control disorder, paranoia, psychosis, hostility and suicide."
Is it just me or does it seem like a better mental health system in this country would only lead to more people being addicted to these medications and thus more violence?
But all of this is really beside the point. The real reason we have the Second Amendment is to protect ourselves against the government itself. The Founders knew firsthand what a tyrannical and out of control government was capable of and it was for that very reason that they wrote the words "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."
Things are now much worse than they ever were under British rule in the 1700s. The call back then was for "no taxation without representation." While there is plenty of taxation in this country to pay for everything from the housing of people found to be have a natural plant in their posession to exploring other planets, I do not feel represented by the U.S. government in any way, shape, or form. We have laws like the Patriot Act and NDAA telling us we are all criminals who are guilty until proven innocent. We have government agencies telling us what we can and cannot grow, eat, or smoke and what light bulbs we can buy. They tell us that Bradley Manning deserves to be in prison for providing us with information that we paid for with our tax dollars. We have the TSA sexually assaulting us at every airport coast to coast. The Highway Patrol tells us that we have no choice as to whether or not we wear a seat belt. The IRS says that part of the money we earned belongs to them (sort of like the Mafia) when they haven't done a damn thing for us in decades. And now they are telling us that we cannot defend ourselves or our families if we are in danger.
When things reach a boiling point, maybe the people will once again look at declaring independence from a tyrannical and fascist government as the most American option. But if we allow them to have our guns now, how will we stop them when the time comes? Will we instead be numbers in a history book, like the disarmed people of Hitler's Germany or Mao's China?
By the way, Obama signed a law yesterday extending a 1965 law giving the President armed Secret Service protection for life. His daughters are also watched closely by 11 armed guards at their private school as he preaches against posting guards or arming teachers at public schools. Not to mention that he is the man who kills untold numbers of children with drone strikes and gave weapons to Mexico with Operation Fast and Furious. These are perfect examples of problems which will only get worse if those in power are the only ones who are armed.
The other issue that has been discussed is the prevalence of violent video games, movies and television shows in our society. All I have to say regarding this is that the Beatles have sold an estimated 177 million albums and singles in the U.S. alone. Just because Charles Manson and Mark David Chapman happened to be two of the people who bought them it doesn't mean that all of these albums should be confiscated, regulated and banned.
The bigger issue is parents who are apparently illiterate and cannot read a rating on a game or movie as well as the celebrity obsessed culture that makes people like Manson, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy household names. Kill a bunch of people and you'll get your face on TV.
In the end, the only way I see of bringing down the number of mass shootings in this country is to ban gun-free zones, abolish gun control in crime-ridden cities like New York and Chicago, and make it easier for law-abiding citizens to obtain concealed weapons permits.
Everybody has a right to their own opinion on this issue and as long as that person is an American citizen I will defend that right without question. But my thoughts on the issue are simple: "Give me liberty or give me death." I'll take freedom with risks over non-violent slavery. After all didn't somebody say once that "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"?
He's now rolling in his grave.