An Open Letter to the US Senate

On Monday, when you go to work, you will vote on changes to current gun regulations. In spite of the deaths of 49 people at the hands of a madman in Orlando, you will likely vote down party lines which is to say, you won’t accomplish much at all.

And someone else’s child will die.

And you’ll offer thoughts and prayers and platitudes while doing nothing.

But what if you did something else? What if instead of bickering and fighting and waving the 2nd Amendment around as if it entitles every man, woman, and child in this country to be issued an AR-15 at birth, you looked at the intent and purpose of it and every other article in the constitution. These were a set of laws put into place to ensure the greater good. None of them are absolute. Not. A. Single. One. All are curbed by reasonable restriction.

As much as the gun lobby would like us to believe that placing a ban on assault weapons would somehow infringe on our intrinsic rights, the Constitution was designed to grow with us. Remember the 13th Amendment? The 19th? If you don’t know what these Amendments granted they abolished slavery and gave women the right to vote, respectively.

The 2nd Amendment was not intended to provide for a personal right to own and discharge weapons to the detriment and destruction of other citizens. It is framed in the context of the preservation of a well-regulated militia.

Even so, the modern “right” to gun ownership has never been unregulated. We know this works. The National Firearms Act of 1934 provided taxes on the issuer of an automatic weapon or sawed off shotgun that was in most cases more expensive than the gun itself. In addition, the registration required of the firearms created a loophole situation where gangsters and thugs, terrorists if you will, were prosecuted on violations of the act when they couldn’t be prosecuted on any other charge.

And guess what, if we look at the numbers, mass shootings have increased 3x since the assault weapons ban expired in 2004. And the dangerous rhetoric of blaming an entire religion for mass shootings is as preposterous as it is unfounded since most of these shootings were perpetuated by middle class white males.

But guns don’t kill people, you say? People kill people. True. So why do we make it so easy for people to get military-style guns that are created by design to take out as many people as possible in as little time and with as little effort as it takes to pull a trigger for a few seconds.

As you go to work on Monday, any lunatic can have a fight with his girlfriend, go legally buy an AR-15 and all the ammo he can carry then go shoot up a mall, a playground, a church, or any other place we gather in large numbers. And in a matter of seconds, he can do more damage than we should be able to imagine. But sadly, we know exactly what it looks like. What it feels like. So, know this…when you go to work on Monday, you can do something about this, or you can continue to play politics and line your coffers with money from the gun lobby.

We mothers have had enough of burying children. We wives have had enough of burying husbands. We children have had enough of burying parents. We Americans have had enough of this epidemic.

Stand together, and make this stop.

 

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