Violence a tragic problem but limiting arms not the solution


Pete Costanza


Difficult questions are constantly posed in our country from debt, to wars, to legislative questions, which may have been unimaginable to the original framers of the Constitution of the United States of America along with its Bill of Rights. We live in a time where the freedoms meant to be guaranteed are cut back more and more under a guise of making us safer. There is no greater security by getting rid of freedom and shaving back a right that only serves to imperil it completely.

President Obama is currently seeking greater gun control, and in the wake of three more mass shootings, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that he did. Gun violence is real. There is no denying the tragedies of what took place in Ohio, Connecticut, Texas and on a thankfully smaller scale, as close as 8th Street in Pittsburg and Breton Drive in Brentwood. On the surface, limiting what guns can be bought or adding more hurdles to them being purchased may appear like a step toward safety.

However, it is a slippery slope when eating away at founding principles of the country. We are meant to have a say in the government through our right to vote. We have a right to express ourselves through the first amendment and are supposed to be a part of its defense from the Second Amendment.

“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.”

The term Militia is little thought of these days and the very notion may seem antiquated, but if it were to be restored it could help to put an end to mass shootings. Guns, at their core, are a tool, and too often these days law abiding citizens who are disinterested in harming others want to believe guns are best kept in the hands of law enforcement officials, but the police cannot be everywhere. Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration of Independence, also wrote the following in 1824.

“The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves in all cases to which they think themselves competent, or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press.”

Every freedom and every right he listed has been limited since then. They are all under the guise of a shapeshifting hope where if this much is given up we will be more free, but then when something else happens more of the freedom has to be sacrificed. It is now nearly impossible to drive through the streets without being photographed by red light cameras, to be pinged more times than you can easily count when using an ATM card, and if things keep going this way, the only people who will have guns beside law enforcement will be criminals who do not care about breaking the law. The greatest problem facing the country and the world is a lack of reverence for life and respect for other people.

Law abiding citizens should seek to help defend each other. Jefferson saw the need long ago and the need is very much alive now.