Let’s go from streets to discussion table

“You, telling me the things
You’re gonna do for me
I ain’t blind and I don’t like
What I think I see”
Takin’ it to the streets -- Michael McDonald
It has been a long time coming, but hundreds of thousands of high school students have taken to the streets in organized, peaceful marches to attempt to forge public policy change by heretofore silent, or perhaps disinterested, lawmakers.
They marched from the University of Nebraska to the State Capitol in Lincoln just as they marched on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, and a number of cities in-between. They marched in response to the shooting deaths of 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida.
According to The Associated Press, Parkland Survivor David Hogg told attendees at the Washington D.C. March for Our Lives rally, “We’re going to take this to every election, to every state and every city. We’re going to make sure the best people get in our elections to run, not as politicians but as Americans.”
We can applaud the effort by any group to encourage eligible voters. We must also look at the agenda of said group. In this case, it has been stated the youth want a ban on assault-style weapons, comprehensive background checks and a higher minimum age to buy guns.
It was the late 90s when the Brady Campaign to end gun violence succeeded in convincing the Nebraska Legislature to adopt extensive background checks.
Then came the school shooting at Columbine in Colorado in 1999. And Sandy Hook in 2012 and others. Lawmakers on many levels (local, state, national) were silent.
It seemed that reasonable gun control measures couldn’t be discussed without fears of trampling the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment. Then came the blame game (ongoing) which laid it all at the doorstep of the National Rifle Association. The blamers claim the organization is bankrolled by gun manufacturers.
Is that really what this is all about? Finding someone to blame. How is that going to change the situation? If you want to blame Congress, stand in line. There are plenty other groups hurling their disgust that way.
Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people. Cars don’t kill people. People who drive cars recklessly or under the influence kill people.
So, let’s get our focus on the right issue. Changing human behavior? Good luck with that in a fallen world.
I appreciate the frustration that has driven people – especially young people – to the streets with a hope that the people in charge will notice. Hey, it worked for the Vietnam War and civil rights.
So, we’ve seen the walk. Now let’s have the talk. Let’s have a reasonable, rational conversation with the lawmakers who can do something about putting an end to this mass insanity.
Let’s take it off the streets and put it all on the table and hash it out. I’m talking to youth and to lawmakers here, gun owners and those who dream of a gun-free society.
Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property. Gun-control laws adversely affect only law-abiding citizens. Pro-gun advocates say with guns we are “citizens,” without them, we are “subjects.”
They don’t want government to waste millions of dollars to make targets of law-abiding citizens.
The other side wants the killing to stop. They want schools to be safe. They don’t want children and parents to fear for their safety.
So, here’s a place to start the conversation. Consider a ban on assault-style weapons, comprehensive background checks in cities and states that don’t have them and a higher minimum age to buy guns while allowing young people to hunt. Make the necessary exceptions for law enforcement and the military.
Bring everyone to the table. Let the NRA discuss their training programs. Don’t discount the state and local hunter safety programs. They may have something to offer. Gun manufacturers? Why not?
Let common sense prevail.
Do something now.

The Imperial Republican

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PO Box 727

Imperial, NE 69033