Accountability is a Good Thing

Written by BG Howard

February 28, 2024

“Breaking News” reports have inundated the airwaves and internet on several occastions over the past severaul years as accounts have been detailed of a number of deadly school massacres.  One such incident occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL in February of 2018.  An expelled classmate, nineteen year-old Nikolas Cruz, arrived on the campus armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.  Cruz reportedly activated a fire alarm to prompt students from their classes when he opened fire.  In the wake of the assault, it was determined seventeen high school students had lost their lives with another fourteen having suffered gunshot injuries.

The scenario was described as sad, disturbing, and pure evil as many young adults who’d left home to attend school did return but would never be the same.  Unfortunately, more than a dozen of them could never return home at all.  As fate would have it, the responsible party was apprehended when trying to blend in with students being escorted from the school’s campus.  Nikolas Cruz was arraigned the following day on seventeen counts of murder with other charges pending at that time.

Sad was the simple fact that there had already been a total of nineteen school shootings in the United States to that point in 2018 and it was only the middle of February.  According to “The Sun,” those incidents in 2018 were ones during which a firearm was discharged on a school campus.  After numerous actions that put young lives at risk in places where they should be safe, politicians were still playing proverbial Russian roulette with the lives of America’s youth.  It’s curious to think how those politicians and purveyors of “Big Business” would have responded if something like what happened occurred at the schools of their children or grandchildren.  Undoubtedly, the reactions would have been grotesquely different and regulations immediately implemented to change the status quo. 

Disturbing was the realization that the National Rifle Association (NRA) seemed to have very little concern for the safety of this country’s citizens.  From the site OpenSecrets.org, “The National Rifle Association, reportedly, goes to great lengths (and spends a huge sum of money) to defend the right to bear arms. It remains opposed to virtually every form of gun regulation, including restrictions on owning assault weapons, retention of databases of gun purchases, background checks on purchasers at gun shows and changes in the registration of firearms.” 

This pretty much speaks to every concern that any devoted parent, guardian or law enforcement official could have.  The common sense question that has yet to be answered; “What need could a hunter or anyone with good intentions have for an assault weapon?  Why oppose background checks or a registry of those owning specific weaponry?”  A popular hillbilly application suggests that “If a man ain’t got nothing to hide, he don’t mind nobody looking.”

Pure evil is defined as one’s desire for making money over the value of human life.  That is essentially what it amounts to when the NRA pushes for an agenda that wouldn’t allow responsible regulations as related to gun ownership.  The defense lists the Second Constitutional Amendment which was adopted December 15, 1791 “granting American citizens the right to bear arms” and reads:  “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.”  Granted, since the regulation’s adoption, the country has undergone major changes and developed a formidable military. There is a big difference between everyday citizens having the right to carry a musket and a semi-automatic rifle with armor-piercing bullets.

Is there really a drawback to properly and thoroughly vetting anyone who wishes to own or possess a weapon that has the ability to snuff out a life?  This doesn’t suggest a vast prohibition of guns in general but only allows for modification of outdated regulations to denote accountability; something seemingly lacking in the laws to this point.  I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.

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