Happy New year to fellow Lazio readers!...First, I must say a big thank you to everyone who has visited and commented on my blog since day one. So to all of you, I say...ooshhee!!!(Thank you)
Now to a more important topic on my heart, gun violence. Its no new story that recent gun related violence stories in America have sparked debates that might eventually lead to new gun laws, curbing or restricting the possession of certain types of guns. I have held debates with individuals on both sides, read stories and propositions and put myself in the shoes of everyone who voiced their concerns about this important issue. These are strictly my views, and I am very open to hold an intellectual debate on this issue.
It might seem a little weird for me to talk about this. Let's face it, I'm a Nigerian-born American resident with a funny name, story and accent. My family members, though I never saw them with guns, I have no doubt their military training would have exposed them to different types of semi-automatic weapons and artilleries.
We have heard and read about recent massacres; Aurora shooting, Sheik shooting and the Sandy Hook elementary massacre. These recent massacres, I believe, have sparked debates on gun violence, more specifically between the National Riffle Association (NRA) and Obama administration. During one of my talks, a friend told me about her strong belief in the judgement of our founding fathers; George Washington, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and others who fought through blood, sweat and tears towards the development of this great nation. My friend expressed her concern that America might just be losing its fundamental values as a nation with these ever-changing laws. She highly valued her second amendment right and felt that limiting our gun laws would only limit her freedom in the most democratic nation the world has ever produced.
Another good friend of mine made a point. She was concerned that 'if' a civil or international war ever came about in the United States, citizens might not be able to protect themselves. While I agree with her intent to protect America, I disagree with her approach.
First, I think as American citizens, it is very important that we remain objective and not subjective in our thought process, more specifically on the issue of gun violence. I start my first argument by sharing a quote I read from a Facebook friend's status. It says, "One of the signs of a dying church is when the pastor/ leader says, ' we have always done things this way'." That being said, I do strongly believe that the founding fathers fought for the freedom and greatness of this country. I also agree that these fundamental laws, written in the declaration of rights and into other parts of the constitution were put in because of the passion and love for this country. The truth is, we all love America. I love this country, and I would not want things to go down the gutter.
That being said, I think it is very important that we look at the current laws we have, re-define them, and decide if the current laws are applicable and favorable to the progress of present-day America. If the cons of the current laws outweigh the pros, then I think then it’s time for a change. A change I believe America's posterity would never regret.
Second, I think we should look more closely at the shooting massacres within the past year. Let's compare common traits of those incidents and analyze traits that the shooters had in common. From my evaluation, I observed two major things the shooters had in common.
1) All shooters used at least one assault rifle to execute their plans.
2) They all claimed to be mentally challenged or disabled
This brings me to my next point. Solutions!
It’s no surprise that people are killed daily all around the country with guns. More than 900 gun related deaths have been accounted for since the mass shooting in Connecticut. I think we should look at our short and long term solutions. Short term solutions would focus on ways to significantly reduce gun related deaths and injuries within a short time span. Long term solutions would focus on the same thing, only within a longer time span.
I support curbing and banning of semi-automatic assault rifles and I agree with President's Obama's proposal to limit the magazines. I do not see any reason we need weapons that would shoot multiple rounds at a time. Although I've never been hunting, I know people who take delight in hunting and I support keeping shotguns or other guns that would only be effective for hunting purposes. I think these types of guns would, to a great extent, protect majority of citizens who need to use one for protective measures at needed times. I think these measures would significantly reduce the number of gun related deaths, if executed today!
Long term, I think it is important to look at the state of care for mentally ill individuals in the United States. I agree with NRA's proposal to register all mentally ill patients in the U.S, the same way AIDS patients are registered. This will help gun and artillery stores identify and easily make decisions on potential customers' potential eligibility to buy weapons. Also, it is important to ensure that families of mentally ill patients have restricted gun access or undergo proper training on how to keep their guns away from the mentally ill family member. Psychologists and psychiatrists would need to come up with a system where individuals with certain mental diagnosis are prevented access to weapons.
Finally, I think its high time we re-evaluated our video games. Though these games are entertaining, it is important to know that they indirectly function as simulators for murder-suicide. Remember the same individuals who planned out 911 learned to fly planes via simulators. I have more ideas, but I'll stop here for now.
These are strictly my views and I offer no apologies for writing this.
P.S. I have no favoritism for any political party. I think it is simply common sense to choose leaders who have the capacity to be more efficient than blindly clinging to a party!