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In The News: Democrats Doleful Over Gun Control Debate

Joined: 4/21/2013
Posts: 1
Kit B
“Frontier justice was all very well… for the frontier. Today, with an advanced legal system, with progress and prosperity beckoning us on, we will not endeavor to right a wrong with a wrong. We will find a way, through stricter legislation, background checks, and banned high capacity magazines, to combat this pervasive problem with the wisdom and light of our superior civilization. When the shooting occurred, Columbine High School employed an armed resource officer, who was powerless to stop the attack. Moreover, would you try quenching a volcano with a tablespoon of water? While this bill presents a specious front of expediency, other bills that would provide permanency should be considered. Therefore, I urge you to vote No to the bill. Thank you.”

I had taken the floor of Tennessee’s House of Representatives to argue against a bill which would increase, not lessen, the number of guns on school campuses. It was the second day of 4-H Congress, and high schoolers from across Tennessee were debating issues that will be discussed in upcoming legislative sessions. When it came to a vote, fifty-seven students voted Aye, ten Nay, and six “Present Not Voting.”

This ratio was reflected in recent proceedings on Washington’s Capitol Hill. Unable to pass legislation through Congress banning military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines or implementing mandatory background checks, one democratic senator called April 17th the saddest day of his career. President Obama gave a speech to say that although this was a setback for the gun control movement, American citizens banding together could still remedy the situation.

One obstacle to tightening gun laws is the Conservative interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, which some believe gives everyone an inalienable right to bear arms. Others maintain that it requires all households to own firearms; three years ago, Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law to that effect, and Farragut, Tennessee is currently debating similar legislation. Keeping the 2nd Amendment in its historical context, however, removes the opposition’s most effective argument. When it was written, the most sophisticated gun on the market was a flintlock musket. This was cumbersome, rusted easily, and could only fire one bullet before reloading.

George Washington once said, “The warmest friends and best supporters the Constitution has do not contend that it is free from imperfections…. I think the People (for it is with them to judge) can … decide with as much propriety on the alterations and amendments which are necessary [as] ourselves. I do not think we are more inspired, have more wisdom, or possess more virtue than those who will come after us.” The burden of effecting the necessary change rests with the American people. When popular opinion changes, the laws follow suit. Until then, we must speak, write and petition with a clear and worthy cause in view — for the right of the minority to speak, and by speaking to cease to be the minority, is the keystone of democracy.
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