It’s time for us to do something about gun violence
by Whit Frost
Columnist
December 23, 2012 12:44 AM | 8810 views | 6 6 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Like all Americans, I’ve spent the last few days in the wake of the tragic event in Newtown, Conn., with an incredibly heavy heart and a grave concern for the future of our great Republic.

Our nation’s history shows that when such unspeakable horrors are perpetrated on our country, our national conscience is turned in many directions.

We are angry. We are heartbroken. We are scared. But perhaps most distinctly, we are left confused; we are left asking “why?”

From Her creation, it has been America’s manifest destiny to be the land of the free and the home of the brave — a country where our differences are settled not by bloodshed, but by peaceful discourse and the will of our people.

It is this ideal that has thrust our country into its place as the finest civilization in the history of the world.

So, it is to that end that this must be said: Enough is enough.

It is time that we come together, both our leaders at the national and state levels, and our citizenry, regardless of political leanings and take bold action; we must take a solemn vow as a country that there will never be another Newtown, there will never be another Aurora, there will never be another Blacksburg, there will never be another Columbine.

We must approach these mass shootings, what has undeniably become an epidemic, from two separate, yet intertwined angles: First, how do we, as a country, deal with the mentally ill going forward from Newtown? Second, how do we limit the seemingly unfettered access that folks from all walks of life have, to what have proven to be true weapons of mass destruction – military-style assault weapons.

Columbine, Aurora, Blacksburg, and Newtown will be linked through the ages by a common denominator. That is, in each tragedy, a mentally deranged individual, armed with similarly-situated assault weapons, slaughtered scores of innocent Americans as they went about their daily affairs.

It has become crystal clear, should we continue to justify these mass murders with the draconian idea that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” our history has shown us that these sorts of dastardly acts will not end with Newtown. It is time that the NRA’s favorite motto finds its place next to now infamous adages such as “separate but equal” in historical disgrace.

As a conservative, I know this may rub some of my right-wing brethren the wrong way, but to those detractors I say this, it is time we appeal to our better angels. The indelible images of Newtown dictate such. Enough is enough.

The time has come for common sense regulation. We all should unequivocally agree that the days in which it is easier for an individual to acquire a military-style assault weapon, high capacity ammunition clips, and armor piercing munitions, than it is a driver’s license, must end.

Mandated training and instruction, proof of sufficient mental capacity to own a firearm, and closing loopholes that allow individuals to purchase weapons at gun shows without background checks are just a few of the many practical measures that should be imposed to insure that guns are not getting into the wrong hands.

To those that say the answer to curtail these massacres is arming more of our citizens, it must be said – do we want to live in a society where our grade school teachers must be armed? A society where the youngster learning the importance of hard work by tearing ticket stubs at the local theatre has to be ready and able to wield a firearm at a moment’s notice?

That said, guns will always have a place in American society. The modern Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 2nd Amendment guarantees such.

However, the reaches of that Amendment must be defined by the will of the people. It is time to have the moral fortitude to ask ourselves: Is there an individual constitutional right to possess an AR-15 assault rifle? Is there a constitutional right for individuals to own and use hollow-point bullets? Does the 2nd Amendment extend to the mentally ill?

While these once may have been difficult decisions, they are no more. More guns is not, and cannot, be the answer.

As a community, and as a country, we must call on our leaders to act. We owe it to those whose lives have been prematurely extinguished and to those who will follow us, seeking to live their own American dream.

Sir Edmund Burke famously said, “all that it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.” It is time for the good men and women of this country to do something.

Enough is enough.

Whit Frost is an attorney with Roach, Caudill, & Gunn in Canton. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

Comments
(6)
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William Galloway 1
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December 03, 2013
Dig deeper Whit. You may see all of those kids that acted out in violence might all have a common thread. Each of them showed signs of being targeted by some form of media.

Televisions, computers shot or destroyed before their rampage, etc.

If you want proof, I can take you back to the week of Oct 31 1996 and show you how a young man was targeted to cause a suicide or an outward explosion against unsuspecting people and others not know the real cause. Thankfully that young man chose to contain his anger and instead researched the capabilities of this high tech weapon that was being refined , Do you remember after the world trade bombing? Radio and TV stations we restricted from broadcasting certain songs and movies that could upset the masses. Revealing how it could set off a major physiological trauma against many.
cherokee teacher
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December 27, 2012
Are you serious? Do you have children of your own? Do you want them to be shot like fish in a barrel or do you want them to have all the protection they can have? I'm a conservative, a gun owner and my husband I and go to the shooting range for target practice. I'm willing to get additional training to help protect myself, my students and my school. The bad guys do and will always have the guns. Do we want to take the guns away from those that protect the president? Our children are just as important!! Wake up America!
intelli clever
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December 23, 2012
As with most people in this country, you repeat what you have read or heard on the news or internet but are ignorant of relatively simple facts and did not even bother to educate yourself before writing your article.

When was the Federal Assault Weapons Ban enacted? When did Columbine occur? What is an Assault Weapon? Assault Rifle? When did the word Assault first began to be applied to firearms? Does the military use hollow point bullets? What exactly is a hollow point bullet? What is the requirement for an individual to buy a firearm from a dealer at a gun show? I would think a lawyer would know at least a little or would look up laws before making comments.
realist.....
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December 23, 2012
Then as a "conservative" you should "evaluate" how many American babies were killed last year via abortions and suggest what less "draconian" measures be implemented to prevent further ......genocides from occurring there. Or which of your favorite liqueurs should be banned, our model vehicle, or which cell phone.

Get real. Shed your Nievity.
Mike2012
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December 23, 2012
Not an assault rifle. Try actually understanding the functioning of the technology before you try banning it.
NRA goon
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December 23, 2012
Does it bother you that you are the vehicle that will bring our nation to it's knees?

Before the 1990 School Gun Ban there were three mass shootings in schools. Those three were small, and covered a span of 72 years... 1927, 1966, 1989.

After the ban was put into place, there have been between one and six shootings PER YEAR.

Now tell me, how does banning guns make you safer if the end result is death.
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