We The People...
"We the people" are the opening words in the Preamble of our Constitution. The founders set out to construct a form of government based on democracy but with the knowledge that the Greeks, who were the first to create a democracy, failed because it lacked a critical element, a central government. Remember that term, "We the people"; we'll talk about that later.
Think of government like a wheel on a vehicle. There is a central hub that the wheel is built around and that supports everything; that is our central government. The spokes radiating out from the center are the various other levels of government, state, county, and city, and the rubber tire itself that keeps the vehicle running straight down the road is the people, we the people. If the hub is too small, it no longer supports the wheel's structure; if it gets too big, it shrinks the spokes, and you have almost a solid wheel that is heavy and unwieldy. If many spokes are bent, missing, or broken, the wheel fails, and if the tire that keeps us on the road fails, we're in the ditch. The challenge, then, is to keep this wheel of government in balance and functioning properly.
Our wheel of government is dangerously close to failing. Many of the spokes (the states) are bent and threatening to stop being part of the wheel. At the center hub, many cracks in the metal that need to be a unified piece have split, threatening to cause a catastrophic failure of the wheel.
Yeah, I like metaphors. Our federal government and our elected officials have failed miserably to address the problem of gun violence in this country. Many of the states are thumbing their noses at any form of gun management and enacting asinine laws permitting anyone to carry any weapon any damn place they want. They have gerrymandered and Jerry-rigged their states laws and courts to support a narrow point of view driven by special interests. This last time, nineteen babies, ages 9, 10, & 11, dead, and two beautiful and dedicated teachers were blown away by a gunman with an AR-15 type of military combat weapon of mass destruction.
Now and then, perhaps once in a generation, when our government at either the federal, state, or local levels fails to do the people's bidding, the people have to take over and, as the saying goes, lead from behind; the leaders will catch up. One of those times seems to be at hand.
In poll after poll over almost twenty years, 60 to 80% of the people say they favor background checks; we want age limits on gun ownership and magazines limited to ten or fewer rounds. If not banning weapons of war in the hands of the average citizen, then we call for much stricter controls on the ownership and usage of firearms designed to kill people in combat. At almost every level of government, our elected officials have failed to hear the people and act to protect human life. The time has come for the people to step up and stand up and take back our lives and our safety.
The Republicans, by and large, are on their knees sucking on the barrel of the NRA's AR-15. Some, and perhaps too many Democrats, are on the payroll of the NRA. Some are too timid to take a stand to save babies' lives because their constituents insinuate that something terrible will happen if they even think about managing guns to protect the public. Guess what, folks? Terrible things are already happening.
We, the people, need to push for change at every level. At the city level, we need to elect leaders who will take action to check gun violence. The same thing has to happen at the county and state levels. We have to boot out the NRA bootlickers and elect people who will work to eliminate the threat of gun violence, not arm our teachers and schools in an arms race with the NRA and GOP, turning our children's schools into a war zone.
Our leaders have to stop watching Rambo reruns; that is fiction. This notion that a good guy with a gun will defeat a bad guy with a gun is also fiction. By definition, the good guy is someone who cares about people and is reluctant to harm them. By definition, the bad guy is someone who doesn't give a shit if they hurt someone; the odds are in favor of the bad guy in that scenario. Lose the Rambo mentality! If we take combat weapons out of the equation, we improve the odds for our police exponentially.
We need background checks and other limiting measures to reduce the chances of anyone arming themselves like the shooter in Uvalde, Texas. Proposing a shootout at the front door of elementary schools is not a solution.
We are not proposing to ban all guns; some guns like AR-15, yes, but your hunting rifles and target shooting weapons, no problem; keep them at home and enjoy hunting and cleaning them. We need rules, preferably against open carry or carrying weapons in a public place. If we can ban smoking in public places to protect the public's health, then we can sure as hell ban firearms for the same reason.
This is not a proposal to take everyone's guns; a sensible buy-back plan for combat weapons to reduce the numbers, yes, but no one is proposing to kick down your door and take your guns. Finding the proper measures in the list of actions to keep our babies safe will be a long and arduous debate, but we must do it and insist our elected officials do their job. And if the people cashing the checks from our tax dollars won't do the job, and most have shown they won't, then we replace them with people who will.
We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
"establish Justice": Our military and police functions provide that, not Rambo.
"Tranquility": Peace of mind; we never want again to see the Tranquility of our children's school rooms to be shattered by the chatter of automatic combat weapons.
"Welfare": The welfare of our children, their teachers, and their families and friends trump any argument the NRA or politician on their payroll might try to mount.
"Defence": The defense of our nation is provided by our military at the federal level and by the National Guard at the state level. If you can't live your life without carrying around an AR-15 style of weapon, join our REGULATED MILITIA; they will provide you with a firearm for free and train you in the proper use of that weapon. (Defence; the spelling is English; our founders were English).