Saturday, October 07, 2006

It comes in threes

This blog, the first one written on the Mt. Washington Brain Trust and Pipe Club blogsite is in response to the three school shootings that have occurred in the past two weeks; Bailey, Colorado – 6 dead, Cazenovia, Wisconsin – 1 dead (school principal), and Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania – currently 5 dead. The most recent act of violence on school property took the lives of 5 Amish children. As a person with ties to “Amish Country” it deeply saddens me that an innocent and timeless community such as this has been affected by mainstream society’s desire to protect guns over every other human right including life. Sadly, we live in a society that has become desensitized to the news that yet another school shooting as occurred. How many individuals out there reading this knew that this most recent shooting in a school was the seventieth act of its kind in just this school year?

I have heard a variety of opinions on the matter. Many people have questioned safety in the school. Some have even suggested that maybe it is time for teachers to be carrying guns in school. (Yes, because that is how we solve problems in America.) Very few seem to have the opinion that there is a correlation between the rise in school shootings and the easy access Americans have to guns. In this country the federal government resorts to wiretapping in order to keep us safe from the evil fascist terrorist who wish to do us harm. In this state the government is attempting to pass a ban on smoking in order to protect us from the cigarettes that may potentially kill us. However, the subject matter of gun control is a very disputed and volatile topic. Some Americans will defend this right to the point of nonsensical jargon.

I have been told that we (Americans) have the right to own guns in order to protect ourselves. Even though I disagree strongly with this point, being a twenty-six year old woman who has managed in life without a gun, I would like to make it clear that I do not wish to take away American’s right to bear arms. I do however wish for more focus in this country to be on the regulations of gun ownership in order to prevent gun violence. That focus has to start with our government. As of September 2004 the federal assault weapons ban was allowed to “sunset.” This ban stopped the production of semi-automatic assault weapons and ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds except for military or police use. Traditional guns designed for hunting and recreational activities would not be affected by this ban. Citizens of the Commonwealth may be interested to find out that Pennsylvania currently does not require buyers to obtain a handgun license or undergo any type of safety training prior to buying a handgun. Guns are also not required to be registered in our state. Therefore, the police have no idea how many guns could be in our neighborhoods. There is also no waiting period on gun sales in the state of Pennsylvania. Since there is no waiting period, police are not given any additional time to conduct further background checks. And lastly, there are no state restrictions on the amount of guns an individual can buy at one time.

I believe that by making stricter gun control laws we can lessen violence in this country. I would like to make it more difficult for individuals to obtain guns. Yes, this may mean that the little guy becomes inconvenienced; however, there are many individuals out there getting their hands on guns that should not be. From what we currently know the shooter in the Amish community had a history of mental illness. He also reportedly had a history involving the molestation of children (The inadequate sex offender laws topic will be saved for another blog). Individuals with this kind of mental heath history should not have such easy access to a gun. Sure, a person who wants a gun will get a gun. But does it have to be so easy for them?

If this is an issue that concerns you and you would like to make a difference please contact your state officials.

Pennsylvania State Officials:

Edward Rendell – Governor
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120-0002

Wayne D. Fontana - State Senator for Pennsylvania district 42
Senate Box 203042
185 Capitol Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120

Jake Wheatley -State Representative for Pennsylvania district 19
Irvis Office Building, Room 224
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120-2020

Michael B. Diven - State Representative for Pennsylvania district 22
East Wing, Room 164
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120-2020

Thomas C. Petrone - State Representative for Pennsylvania district 27
Irvis Office Building, Room 202
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120-2020


evan said...

You know what really grinds my gears? Bleeding heart liberals trying to take away my guns. If children were allowed to carry guns in schools, then they would have been able to defend themselves.

Heath said...

I think guns are cool. When we were kids we used to load up our pellet guns with Rabbit food (its the exact same size as a standard ammunition pellet,) don our selves in protective one-piece mechanic uniforms that we purchased at the thrift store, and play a reality based version of "Space Invadors," in which we would run back and forth across the yard seeing who would suffer the least casualties. Verily I say unto you, 'I hardly miss my left eye at all.'