A Crisis of Perception of the Second Amendment

The loudest "defenders" of the Second Amendment and guns on demand don't even understand the full context of the amendment.
gun show newtown
Eagle Shows was going to host a gun show at the Newtown Athletic Club in March, but because the nature of the event violated a local zoning ordinance it was cancelled.

The Second Amendment states: 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. This Amendment has been the center of countless arguments that have unfortunately gone nowhere. The perception, understanding, legal findings, and potential legislative actions vary wildly regarding anything relating to gun violence, especially mass shootings. A widely accepted frame of thought to potentially bridge the issue of gun violence does not exist. Let me clarify, there is no logical conversation or solution that will be heard. The proof lies in statements made by various leaders and groups after these horrifying moments:

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens.

Taking away guns will not make them safer.

There are plenty more, but it is painful to revisit every tragedy that becomes a megaphone for these issues. Facts become unnecessary when you argue on emotion. It begins with not even being able to understand the full context of the Second Amendment, such as a well-regulated Militia or the security of a free State. They focus on the last part to keep and bear Arms. This ignorant approach is what throws our balance off. 

Police should not need automatic weapons or armor like the military, they should not need to be heroes in wake of an active shooter, where no amount of training can ensure a safe outcome. They still need to be certified in order to carry such weapons. Military personnel also need to be certified for their weapons. 

You know who doesn’t? Us. 

We are not held to any standard regarding weapons. You don’t need a license, permit or training to acquire, hold or use any weapon. Sure, some states have guns laws, and they do help. There’s a crazy loophole though, as many of these active shooters have proven, you can easily buy weapons and ammo out-of-state. Until the day you use your weapon, no person or regulation affects you.

As an appropriate example, to drive you need a license, car registration, car insurance, and car inspection. To get your license, you need to pass a written and practical test; five-hour mandatory training and you still cannot receive your full license until you are 18 years old. You also must maintain and update all information. Can illegal and heinous acts still occur, yes, but you mitigate and minimize by regulating the process and creating standards that all must follow. This also allows the police to better protect and serve us.

Mass shootings, active shooter incidents are on a scary rise per the FBI. In the previous 2 years (2019-2021), they report that mass shootings have doubled. For May, according to the Gun Violence Archive, we have had 47 mass shootings alone. This year we have already had 22 school shootings this year alone.

As a parent, these numbers scare me to my core. I do not have any affinity or hatred for guns. I also come from a multi-generational police family, so I have been around weapons my whole life. I find myself asking questions like:

What will it take, how many lives need to be lost, for this to become an actionable issue?

How many more people, children have to die for this crusade?

Why are people so worried about having their guns taken away?

When will they take life seriously?

This goes well beyond mental illness, this is a cultural illness and it goes deep. Have you stopped to think why so many of these shootings happen at schools and churches? Why most shooters are a specific race (white), and gender (male)? Why many shooters refer to race (or racism) as a motivating factor? 

These shootings keep happening at places where we are supposed to feel the safest beyond our homes. This needs to be actively worked on. We need policies in place now. We cannot allow more parents and loved ones to unnecessarily go through this pain. Stop offering empty prayers and get active. Call your state and federal representatives and senators and demand action. If your representative or senator will not act, make sure to speak to their opponent and vote them out. 

David O'Donnell

David O'Donnell

David O'Donnell recently ran for School Board Director in Pennridge SD. He has been a manager in Retail and Hospitality for over 20 years. He works within the community through organizations such as Pennridge Democrats. He is also a coach in the Pennridge Little League.

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

your support of the Beacon is an investment in a progressive future for Bucks County – a future where we as a community continue to make strides in achieving social, economic, and racial justice with an environmentally sustainable future.