America and Guns, the Unresolved Deadly Debate

gun violence 2

This Memorial Day, as the nation reflects on, mourns and honors the sacrifices of U.S. military personnel who have died in the line of duty, another senseless killing of innocent elementary school children by a deranged gunman has marred the Federal holiday. First observed on May 30, 1868, the holiday allows us for one day to reflect on those sacrifices and our freedoms. While many take those freedoms for granted, others outside of our nation around the world aspire to achieve such freedoms in their own countries. Should they emulate the American example, they would do so at their own peril especially so when it comes to the Second Amendment.

America, once the “Beacon of Hope” in a dark and dangerous world, lost that innocence long ago to ever-escalating gun violence that sees no end in sight. In America today nobody is safe anywhere any time. Gun violence continues to take its daily toll on those killed by deranged gunmen along with those killed or injured by ricocheting bullets and shrapnel from errant gunfire adding to the growing body count of lives taken senselessly.

This year that uniquely American fixation with all things guns has taken an especially heinous body count of innocents. In the past three weeks, mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas again have kickstarted the ongoing unresolved debate of gun control.

Congress foreseeably encamps to its usual partisan divide with the GOP utilizing its predictable verbiage ad nauseum about gun rights (anything goes) and freedom along with their overworked mantra of “People kill people. Guns don’t kill people.” A bumper sticker applied that adage by utilizing its logic to pencils by claiming that “pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk and forks make people fat.”

While the Democrats work on bills seeking support for the passage of sensible gun ownership legislation and the banning of assault style rifles, the odds of passage is little to none. This ritual dance does nothing to ameliorate the contentious issue of reform and in turn stop the ongoing wholesale slaughter of innocents that has come to define America in the 21st century.

Any legislative body that didn’t act after the horrific slaughter of innocent children in the growing list of killings in our schools won’t react now that more children have been killed. It’s just not in their DNA to have the backbone to stand up for what is right with the prospect of losing their financial support for upcoming reelection or the attendant personal loss of their livelihood.

Gun lobbyists along with the NRA circle around in name of freedom as ensconced in the Second Amendment seeking support for no action in their quest to distribute financial inducements for the industries’ supporters’ reelections.

Alas, America is awash in guns with the history of gun ownership and the “Right to Bear Arms” as a fundamental right not to be affected by change. Change however in the type and style of weapons unavailable when the Constitution was written are grandfathered in as though they are a required and necessary right in the evolution of gun ownership.

It’s odd that Republicans who use the concept of “originalism” respective to their interpreting the  Constitution according to their perception of what the framers originally meant don’t apply that concept fully under the Second Amendment. For if they did, one would only be able to own a very primitive single shot weapon instead of the semiautomatic weapons of war with their large capacity clips so preferred by mass killers.

There is no national holiday for victims of gun violence. Instead, every day is a Memorial Day for those who have lost loved ones. This reporter knows extremely well having lost a loved one to senseless gun violence.

(This article has previously appeared in Nuzeink.)

Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.

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