Gun owners want to keep the public safe as much, if not more than, any other focus group in America. However, they cannot, in their right minds, support overarching and unclear bans that impinge on their civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.
In wake of tragedies such as the Aurora, Colo., movie theater and Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, Americans are left in mourning. We are looking for answers, ways these events could have been prevented and ways to ensure that history does not repeat itself.
Currently, citizens are holding semi-automatic weapons to blame for the massacres and clamoring for ways to remove the guns from society, but the weapons are not to blame. We must shift our focus from how these acts were committed to why they occurred.
Who chose to commit these nightmarish acts, and for what reason? These are the questions we must answer.
In order to create a more secure society, we need to better understand the behaviors of our fellow man, so interventions can occur before disturbed individuals take drastic measures. Enhanced mental health care for potentially dangerous individuals, better security systems and safety drills would be significant steps towards decreasing threats of violence to society.
Americans have long relished the right to keep and bear arms as awarded to them by the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, some deranged people have abused this right and used weaponry to inflict atrocities upon helpless civilians.
We must not allow the actions of a few limit the liberty of the greater population. Banning semi-automatic weapons will not effectively increase our safety, but it will strike another blow to our rights.
We cannot sacrifice our right to own reasonably advanced guns, such as semi-automatics, for the hope that we may curb violence. If we are to truly engineer a solution, we must strike at the heart of the problem, and address the why of violence, not just the how.
(For more on school security and the causes of school shootings, I highly recommend "The War on Kids," an independent documentary available on Netflix)