As a result of one of the most horrific shooting incidents I have ever heard of in my lifetime (63 years), some heretofore gun rights advocates are conceding that more controls may be needed, such as on those large ammunition magazines that fuel the rapid fire of semi-automatic and automatic weapons, and President Obama has now said we cannot tolerate this type of gun violence anymore.
I am of course referring to the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that occurred on Friday, Dec. 14. Twenty first graders were shot to death (all said to have multiple wounds) in their classroom, along with six school staff members, as well as the 20-year-old gunman’s mother at her home before he went to the school. He killed himself at the school. Most or all of the killings were said to be done with a semi-automatic rifle.
And would you believe that a man who not so long ago ran for president of the United States implied that the tragedy at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut was brought on for lack of prayers to God at public schools? The story I just read said that Mike Huckabee has backtracked a little on that, saying that he just meant that in general, not necessarily in this particular incident, society would be better off with God in the schools.
But isn’t God everywhere? And as far as I know there is no prohibition of prayer in public schools, at least on an individual basis. Certainly Mr. Huckabee knows that the prohibition is against organized prayer that would put the public school’s imprimatur on it, thus making it a sponsorship of religion or of one kind of religion in a nation that prides itself in having freedom of religion. You cannot on the one hand say that people are free to practice whatever faith they want (or not practice) and then have the government (a public school) sponsor one type of religion. And we all know that most of the time that religion would be Christianity. But there are a multitude of other recognized faiths, and each is supposed to have an equal footing. That does not mean, however, that parents cannot be God fearing and implant that faith in their offspring. I am not aware of any school preventing that.
I also have to wonder, however, about his suggestion. Has not much of the violence ever been carried out in the world been in the name of God? Religion seems to be the cause of so many conflicts — or at least the excuse.
It may be that too many faithfuls misinterpret the will or intentions of God.
Yes, we do need the moral code handed down in the name of God. But in the Connecticut incident the problem seems to have been the mental state of the perpetrator and his access to a high-powered weapon or weapons.
Let us hope and let us pray that our leaders have finally awakened to the need for sensible control of lethal weapons (and why or why did it take this?).
I doubt that a majority of Americans want the repeal of the Second Amendment and its guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms. We have thus far managed to retain that amendment, part of our Bill of Rights, and at the same time have some control on guns (although probably not enough).
And I continue to contend that the Second Amendment is ambiguous at best, what with the well-regulated militia being tied to the right to keep and bear arms.
We don’t need to repeal the Second Amendment, but we do need clarification, perhaps.
Or maybe we need an amendment to the amendment.