By Beverly Gadson-Birch
I was compelled to do a follow up article on gun control after members of Congress and the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) par for the course response to the Las Vegas mass shootings. Elected officials have an obligation to serve their constituents effectively and responsively.
I am baffled over the NRA’s response to the “bump stock” the gunman used in the Las Vegas shooting to transform a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic rifle. Even beyond the bump stock discussion, the talk should be about banning automatic rifles for purposes other than the military and high-level government security agencies.
A “bump stock” can be purchased online and is an attachment that transforms a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic rifle firing up to 800 rounds in rapid succession. According to a CNN report, the gunman had twelve bump stocks on firearms recovered from his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel where he slaughtered 58 persons and wounded hundreds more. It would be interesting to note how the gunman acquired 12 bump stocks. How are online orders regulated and monitored?
Why are we even having this conversation about the “bump stock” when the compelling argument should be about how do we get the horse back into the stable once the gate is closed? So, let’s not confuse the issue. It’s no secret that you can get almost any type of weapons on the streets of America. The question remains “how do we get them off the streets” and out of the hands of mass murderers?
The government has not done a good job controlling guns in this country while hiding behind the Second Amendment which gives citizens the right to bear arms, or does it really?
I am certainly not the shiniest star in the Zodiac but it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what our forefathers meant by “the right to bear arms”. The Second Amendment to the Constitution, ratified by Thomas Jefferson in 1791, states that “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.” If you leave off the first half of the sentence and focus only on the latter, sounds like gun loving, gun toting folks may have a point. However, if you focus on the first half of the sentence, the interpretation of the law was to ensure the safety of people by giving the militia the right to bear arms; Or, perhaps the underlining intention of the Second Amendment was about protecting white slaveowners against rebellious slaves. Well, I know some of y’all don’t know it but slavery is OVER, OVER!!
I know y’all didn’t ask me but let me tell you …back in the day when the Second Amendment was crafted, there were no semi and automatic weapons. I am a little too young for the 1700’s but if my memory serves me correctly from high school history the militia used weapons like muskets, which fired roughly one shot at a time, bayonets and cannons. The world has changed many times over since then but the laws haven’t. The need for more advance weapons by the military has changed but laws have not kept up with the changes. It’s time for Congress to act like they have some sense and change archaic gun laws as they pertain to who has the right to bear arms, the type of arms, registration and transfer, background checks and tougher sentences for those in violation. I believe the same Constitution and flag that Americans claim to revere that protects gun loyalists also claims to protect the safety of others and their right to “peaceful” assembly. So, what was the Vegas concert if not a peaceful assembly?
Now, here is where I get really bent out of shape. I mean really get contorted. Did you guys check out why the “bump stock” was allegedly made? Well, in case you didn’t know, it was made for people with disabilities. Give me a break! What ‘da hamsandwich would any disabled person need a bump stock for? It would be ludicrous to even think that a disabled person would need to fire off 300 or more rounds in rapid succession? Why would anyone need to come up with a high-powered gun accessory designed specifically for disabled persons military or non-military? Don’t fall for the ruse! Behind the smoke screen is nothing more than a moneymaking opportunity and a way around Federal gun regulations that are stricter for automatic than semi-automatic weapons.
The Vegas massacre demands Congress to act immediately and responsibly. And, if they fail to do so, vote them out! Some members of Congress have been in office far too long just taking up space, drawing a paycheck and living like fat cats at taxpayers’ expense. What are y’all waiting around for to demand accountability from your representatives? Do y’all even know who your representatives are? I am just saying “gun control is no longer an option”, it’s a MUST!!!