Gun Control a Hot Button Topic in This year's Presidential
During a "Gift Cards for Guns" event on June 22 in Forest Heights, Md., more than 50 firearms were turned in. Participants received gift cards in varying amounts. (Courtesy Photo)

How dare the President and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton go on the public airwaves and demand changes in gun ownership in America. How dare they take a tragedy, like the recent mass killing in Oregon at Umpqua Community College, where 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, described as an angry, disconnected young man, went on a rampage, killing nine innocent people and injuring others before being shot and killed by law officials, and politicize the situation.

At least that’s the rhetoric we’re hearing from those with a more conservative bent including FOX News hosts and Republican presidential hopefuls, including Dr. Ben Carson and Marco Rubio.

Their rebuttal tends to be that we could not have anticipated that Mercer, and others like him, would go off. That’s the kind of knee-jerk response we hear from those assumed to be our nation’s leaders and greatest minds every time someone enters a public space and decides to shoot and kill people without any clear purpose or rationale.

Of course, the debate over gun control in the U.S. has ebbed and flowed over the years, reaching a heightened pitch when 20 school children were murdered in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012.

When President Obama attempted to limit the availability of semiautomatic assault weapons and expand background checks for potential gun owners, the Senate, in their sage wisdom, shot the legislation down – despite significant public support for the bill.

Chalk up another one for those who live in a world where leaders like Carson and Rubio fight so fervently for our Second Amendment rights, that is “the right to bear arms.”

We believe that greater minds, more insightful leaders, need to take to the mic. The others need to enjoy their money and keep their mouths shut.

Consider that other industrialized nations including Japan, the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, Canada and Norway, have faced similar situations and found a way to keep their citizens safer. But here in the good old U.S. of A., we still look at gun ownership as our birthright and an essential part of being American.

The U.S. has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among all developed nations. The U.S. ranks number one in firearms per capita. And with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, America has close to 50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns, according to a 2007 Switzerland-based report.

When an angry student in Canada killed 14 engineering students in Montreal in 1989, Canadian political leaders pushed for more sweeping gun legislation which passed. Australia did the same when a young man killed 35 and wounded 23 others in what would later be dubbed the Port Arthur massacre in April 1996.

Meanwhile, the so-called leading nation of the free world lags ominously and tragically behind.

One has to wonder how many more murders we have to witness and suffer through before we abandon our Wild, Wild West mentality where all good men are allowed to carry a gun on their hips and use it to protect their livestock, their homesteads and their loved ones.

Haven’t we seen enough? Maybe when Rubio, Carson and Company lose one of their own children, or a sister, brother or parent, then they’ll have a change in perspective and find the audacity to demand greater gun control.

The problem is, things have already progressed to such a level that we can no longer wait.

Incidentally, what ever happened to the rights of those who just want to attend Bible study or want to receive a quality education but must wake up every day with the possibility that some lunatic may enter their church, classroom or library and shoot them in cold blood because – they have the right to play cowboy?

America needs to wake up – now.

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