Gun ownership- The line between individual and collective rights

Where do we draw the lines between individual liberties and the collective rights of the people? I’m writing in response to the recent tragic shooting in Newtown Connecticut, the latest in an ongoing series of mass murders in the United States. Despite these horrific events, our nation cannot seem to come together and limit the availability of the weapons used in these killings.

I understand that there are many upstanding individuals who own and enjoy using guns in ways that are responsible. In an ideal world maybe they should continue to have unfettered access to these weapons. Can we all at least agree that when the same laws that protect their ownership also allow these same weapons to be used to wreak devastation that some restrictions need to be enacted? And although they themselves may be responsible owners, how can they guarantee that the guns that they purchase may not end up in the hands of someone with wicked intentions.

I think that by nature, laws exist to facilitate many people living in and sharing the same world. Out of necessity there is a give and take when trying to accommodate the diverse needs and desires of 300 million people living under the same flag. Nobody questions why people aren’t allowed to drive 95 miles per hour even though an individual might feel perfectly confident in their ability to navigate a vehicle at that speed. We accept that certain restrictions make the roads safer for all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. It is in this spirit that I would like to see gun owners support stricter gun ownership laws.

At the very least can we all agree to seriously restrict ownership of assault style weapons? I have yet to hear a single compelling argument for why these need to continue to be so readily available. If anyone can explain to me why these weapons are necessary please respond because protecting ownership of these is beyond my comprehension.

As the world grows increasingly large and increasingly complex I think we in this country need a paradigm shift. We have always been so fixated on our individual liberties but I would say that individual liberties need to be seen within the context of our collective rights- like those of being able to feel secure in sending our children to school or taking a date to a movie theater or attending a political rally etc. etc. etc. etc.

I’ve written a song in response to the Newtown shooting and I would like to offer it as a gesture to the Newtown community- “Where There Is Love (For Newtown)”.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to find the channel to make this happen so if any readers have a clue please let me know.



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