Gun Control: The Second Amendment and Our Freedoms

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is:

Amendment II

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.

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Now then, we know it is our right to have guns in the home, and that many states have “concealed carry” regulations. However there is more to the face of the facts than what we are hearing in the news these days. With the mass shooting incidents and the media coverage these and the assailants receive, we need to look deeper into these events, and ways of prevention and dealing with what has happened.

The first thing is this: gun control begins with self control. Let me emphasize the last two words: SELF CONTROL, as being the part, parcel and most important factor for anything we do, but especially certain things such as the handling of and possession of firearms.

It is as driving a car: there is nothing “virtual” or “second chance” about it. Just as the car is very real, tangible, and two tons of moving material that can do damage to things and people even at slow rates of speed, the firearm is an item that needs to be understood for just what it is. A firearm is an item used for defense, for killing, for sport. It is an item that can do a great deal of damage when mishandled, not properly cleaned, or used for purposes for which it is not intended.

The proper use of and the privilege of having firearms must begin very early in the community. Children see law enforcement officials every day anyway and thus are exposed to the fact that firearms exist; they see the people with the armored vehicles have firearms for protection, and so there is no reason to keep the fact of firearms from our children. Weapons are out there in more forms than the gun in all its styles and types, and they are around to stay.

To have the Second Amendment means more than just words on parchment: we must realize that it is more than a right for us to keep and bear arms. A freedom is not “free”, being a thing which we can take for granted and do nothing to defend. Freedoms are those qualities we must uphold, but with freedoms come responsibility, duty and honor and discipline. With freedom comes a community-service-minded orientation to be used to protect and defend others in our nation who are unable to defend or protect themselves… citizens such as our children and our elderly, our most vulnerable citizens.

We must begin with those who have guns in the home and who have children who are around those firearms. When a child is old enough to understand, the responsible parent should not keep the fact of the guns from the child -someday the child is going to see the gun case and ask about what it is for. The kids need to be educated on the use and purpose of the weapons. Very firmly and responsibly, the parents need to talk with the child about why the guns are in the house, talk about what the need for the guns are, and tell the children that they are very real indeed, not a video game or a computer simulation where you get a second chance to try something over again. That gun is a weapon, with a mighty mean kick and which needs to be used with the ultimate of care and thought and attention, if it must be used at all.

“Honey, this is to be used ONLY for (this or that purpose). It is to be handled only when you receive proper instruction from trustworthy people, and not to be touched until that moment when you understand the consequences of using this firearm improperly. It is NOT to be used to harm other people, it is NEVER to be used to harm animals, etc….” You must sit down and explain to them the ways weapons are not to be used, and have them repeat those words until you are certain they understand. You should talk with them about what is in the news, what is improper about what a person did, why self control is so very important, and about good mental health. And please, keep those video games of war and crime and car theft and such out of your households. Those things are nothing but trouble. If you want to learn about crime and its consequences, there are more immediate ways of doing that, ways which leave a vital and lasting impression, which, if the education upon those issues is done with the interest of prevention, will stop the young from growing up to commit violent acts for a few lousy dollars, for a stake in some “turf”, for some selling or using of deadly drugs, and against the toting of firearms for the purpose of harming others.

As responsible adult citizens you also need to catch early the ways to keep your kids from getting around gangs and drugs. Repeat that old rule of not talking to strangers. Tell your kids about people they can trust and go to if they are in fear or in need or are approached by someone suspicious or unusual in the area. Give your children something to pay attention to, good things such as after -school activities that strengthen the mind, such as music, dance, industrial shop, chess or debate clubs, athletics, anything that will keep them doing beneficial and good things for themselves and, you can hope, for their community as well. Give them the attention they need at home in order that they do not feel as though they need to seek it elsewhere and end up getting in bad company.

Take common sense safety precautions: go with your kids to their school and stay around and patrol the area if you can, like the Marine did in Nashville. He came out to his kid’s school in uniform and stuck around to provide a measure of security in the wake of the massacre in Sandy Hook/Newtown, Connecticut. If you can devote the time, if only a few minutes on your way to work, to drive around or walk around the campus and survey things when they are relatively normal, and in all seasons and weathers, you will know when something is not normal, when there is someone around who should not be there, and then you will know when to report to law enforcement what is going on. Also, never put the child’s name on a backpack or anything a predator or gang banger is likely to see. They could easily call to the child as though they know them and say things like, “I know your mom and dad, Ashley, and they want that I give you a ride home.” Tell the child that if that happens never to speak to the person but to run quickly, back into the school, to a police station or to a fire station, to make noise, anything to ward off the predator. And if it is within your power to do, allow the kids to take martial arts classes in order to protect themselves and provide them a measure and order of discipline that will carry them throughout life.

At any rate, protecting our children is our future, it is the stability and foundation of our country… they are our FUTURE and our PRESENT, and our presents as well, for without them, without our youngest citizens we will be no longer a nation. Our children are our most precious asset, different, unique and individual, innocent and wonderful and precious. Protecting them is our duty and it should be an honor and a privilege. Those in power should not abuse that power nor those under their charge, for someday those youngest of our citizens will grow to be as we are, and better if we are fortunate.

Let us hope for the best, for a nation bent on being stronger, making each of our fellow citizens stronger and wiser, and not on tearing each other apart, dividing our communities and our nation as the demographers would have us do. Let us hope for ways to solve problems peaceably, wisely, decently and honorably.

Let us hope for that most precious commodity – PEACE.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2012.

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