EDITOR, The Tribune
As Americans are massacred by guns that should only be on the battlefield, the right of every American to own a gun for self defence is such a sacred right in the US that it doesn’t even tolerate sensible discussion.
Amendment II of the US Constitution – consisting of a few lines– is encircled by a halo that says: “Touch me not!”.
The Amendment says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
That was enacted in the early days of the formation of America when it had no Army, no Navy, not even a defence force. When the British got the notion to threaten its former colony, the farmers were encouraged to drop their pitchforks and defend their developing nation. Today, now grown into a mighty nation, when someone recently seriously pointed out the ridiculousness of Amendment II some hillbilly seriously remarked that his gun was still needed to protect him from an unfriendly government! And so imbued with such backwoods ideas innocent blood still flows in the United States.
I recall a few years ago a very tragic incident in the United States due to this same amendment and the right to bear arms. One night a father accidentally shot his son. The young boy, having missed his curfew and fearful of his parents’ wrath, decided to quietly climb through a window and make it to his bedroom. The father, hearing the noise, reached for his gun, which was on the bedside table and fired in the direction of the intruder. When the light was turned on he saw the dead body of his teenaged son. So much for his right to bear arms.
At one time I often went to the US to see the various shows that we did not get here. I don’t do it anymore, fearful of sitting next to a person who might have a firearm on his/her person.
In The Bahamas no one can own a gun without a licence from the police. That worked for a long time when we were gun free. However, thanks to the US and its outdated and ridiculous Amendment II, these lethal firearms are so easy of purchase at the various shows in the US, that they are now being smuggled into The Bahamas. As a result we have a serious gun problem.
The US now wants to control the sale of guns by denying a gun to anyone with a mental illness. And who is to determine that? The salesman who is selling over the counter?
Seems to me the easiest solution would be to ban all gun ownership. Anyone who now owns guns — for hunting, or as a hobby — should notify the authorities and if found to be responsible be granted a licence. Anyone else who wanted such ownership would have to apply to whatever government department was designated to make the decision on their suitability. It is then a decision can be made as to whether they are sufficiently mentally stable to be responsible gun owners. At least the state would know the gun owners in their state.
However, there has to be some solution – this slaughter can’t continue.
August 13, 2019