Saturday, February 2, 2013

Weapons and Ammunition by Todney Harris

Weapons and ammunition have garnered the attention of America.  As of now, it is the number one issue that is appearing on the landscape of America’s political and social agenda.  Gun violence has been a hotly debated issue due to the high rate of homicides, suicides and gang related violence.  However, the tragedy at Sandy Hook School in Newton Connecticut has thrust the issue of gun violence into the national spotlight. 

I just want to state for the record that this particular issue is very important to me.  I have been contemplating for quite some time whether I should respond to the tragedy at Sandy Hook.  As an African American male and an educator, this particular issue has personal relevance.  I am not referring to the issue of mental illness. My family and I have no history of mental impropriety whatsoever.   I am referring to the issue of gun violence that exists in the African American communities across America. As a youth, gun violence existed within my community.  I was not one of those children affected by gun violence.  My parents did an excellent job of shielding my siblings and I from it.  However, I was very aware of its existence and its effects on people.

Most people in America are very aware of gun violence.  Gangs and psychopaths have been engaging in behaviors which have resulted in fatalities for many years.  However, many people haven’t made a personal connection due to the fact that gun violence hasn’t affected them in a personal way.  I must agree that it is one thing to see it on the news and feel sorry for those families that have been affected by tragedy.  Once the human massacre occurred at Sandy Hook, the tragedy went from some obscure event to a very personal and emotional event.  Furthermore, as an educator, the tragedy has come very close to home. 

I just want to state for the record that I am not a proponent of arming educators.  I think that the president of the NRA has completely lost his mind.  Arming teachers is seriously not the answer.  Furthermore, repealing the second amendment is also not the answer.  The founding fathers of America gave citizens the Bill of Rights as a measure of protection from the tyranny of the federal government.  The core of our government focuses on the health of its citizenry.  It is why power is divided and shared in America.  There is no basis for repeal of the second amendment.  The blame should be placed on the moral decay of society’s people.  The NRA has used its influence to keep guns and ammunition flowing freely.  I don’t understand why high powered weapons are sold at department stores like WalMart.  I say make the bullets so expensive that purchasing bullets will have to be a fiscal decision.  Remember, people kill people, not weapons and machinery.  Unfortunately, man has found a way to bring harm to his fellow man.

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