Our Backstreets #11: Had Enough?


By Marilyn Ferdinand

Another school shooting. This time it was among peace-loving people who are so basic in their living that they didn’t even have a telephone in school to call for help when the mad man struck and killed their little girls. Two other communities in the last week and a half also suffered the agony of a school shooting. There have been many school shootings. The most famous of them all, Columbine, riveted the world in 1999. Yet, no federal legislation targeting gun manufacturers and dealers came out of it. Instead, incredibly, a commission was formed to take aim at the entertainment industry for allegedly putting violent ideas into children’s heads, not at the people who put guns in their hands. A pretty good summary of where we stood on gun control in 2004 can be found here. I haven’t found anything more recent so far, but I’m pretty sure not much has changed. Nobody seems to want it to, and the pro-gun lobby wraps itself in the Constitution whenever there’s a challenge.

What I know is that the Second Amendment of the Constitution has never been used to form a standing militia to fight an unjust government, which is why it was written in the first place. The Confederate states didn’t use it. They just left the Union. The only people who cling to the Second Amendment are people who like to shoot things–targets, animals, people. Republicans who say they are strict constitutionalists ought to look at gun control laws and pass them right through. They are not unconstitutional because they do not speak to the right to form a militia to fight an unjust government.

But, frankly, I think gun control isn’t going far enough. Guns need to be outlawed. Period. We can’t go around trying to find every nut who wants to shoot up a school or kill his brother-in-law over a card game. Better we should remove the instrument of destruction completely. What do gun manufacturers add to the world? Guns. Killers. Grieving families and friends. We should work as hard to stamp out guns as we did to stamp out polio. Guns are a killer disease.

I wrote a letter to my senators and congresswoman. I’m posting it below for you to use to write your own letters. Send an e-mail to your representatives. Here’s where you can find their e-mail addresses and links to their snail mail addresses. Here’s what you send them (or put it in your own words):

DATE

The Honorable NAME and ADDRESS

Dear NAME,

The shooting of innocent children in their schools has shocked the nation yet again. Thoughts are focused on what we can do to prevent this from ever happening again. The entire community must help stem the causes of violence. But as my representative, I ask you to play a big part in helping.

The kneejerk reaction is to do more to deter the crime by making the penalties stiffer. This will not work. The only way we can avoid another sickening display of violence against schoolchildren is to take the guns out of the hands of the people who would use them.

I know gun control is a hot issue. People claim they have a right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Constitution. I say that the right of teachers and children to be safe in schools and for parents to expect to see their children every day, safe and sound, after school trumps the NRA and those who support its position.

I am heartsick to think that I might have to wake up one morning and see another headline about children lying dead in their classrooms. It’s time to get the manufacturers and dealers of guns off the streets. Then we won’t have to worry about looking for the needle-in-a-haystack lunatic who will kill our children with a commercial product we don’t really need.

Sincerely,
YOUR NAME

Do it. Do it today. I’ve had enough. Haven’t you? l

  • Mark spoke:
    6th/10/2006 to 4:51 am

    After learning about this tragedy I asked myself, “Where did he get the gun?” I agree with you that we should outlaw guns but with the Republicans controlling everything, I don’t think any meaningful anti-gun legislation has a chance. In addition to your letter, I plan to vote for pro gun control candidates, which means Democrats.P.S. Sorry for the partisan politics on your movie blog Marilyn. I’ll understand if you chose not to post this comment.

  • Marilyn spoke:
    6th/10/2006 to 8:29 am

    Mark,With a Republican President who has gone on the record as saying he is opposed to anti-gun legislation, you can’t help but be partisan on this issue. I agree that such legislation has a slim chance of success, but if our representatives don’t here from us, they will think we don’t care. It’s important to speak up, once, twice, whatever it takes. Thank you so much for taking action!

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