Subscribe for 33¢ / day

This is being written during the latest school shooting and I must note that this is not the only school shooting but the latest. The frustrating part is that the only thing we seem to be able to do is send prayers. I don’t know about you but I’ve lost track of how many of these atrocities we’ve had to witness, but I’ve sure seen more than I ever wanted to.

From a constitutional point of view there are those pesky civil liberties that we the people are so proud of; you know, say whatever, worship however, possess any type weapon/arms to defend yourself, etc.

We the people are supposed to engaged in forming a “more perfect union” and from what I can tell we sure have a long ways to go. Like most folks around here, we have guns in our family and we hunt and we’re really not into gun control but we do know that it doesn’t take 30 rounds from an AR-15 to drop a deer/moose/elk/bear/cougar/prairie dog/coyote.

It seems to me that machine guns, howitzers, bazookas, hand grenades, land mines, plastic explosives, surface to air missiles, dynamite, and M-80s/cherry bombs have always been illegal for any of us common citizens to possess or use. None of this stuff is meant to help us shoot pheasants or ducks.

Rather all of the above weapons were designed as weapons of war and serve no other purpose than to kill people. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the Second Amendment and, by the way, here’s what it actually says: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

At the time this was adopted the country had just liberated itself from England and my recollection is that the English not only forced colonists to quarter their troops but when doing so they confiscated their weapons. Thus the amendment seems to have two sections, the first being that we have a right to create a well-regulated militia. So do we North Dakotans have a right to create our own militia when we think our freedoms are being overridden by the Legislature? If so, the literal reading of the Second Amendment means the government has no right to tell us what kind of weapons you and I can possess. So get out there and get your howitzer and whatever else you and your militia think you need to defend yourself from such intrusions.

But then again, maybe some common sense has to enter this arena and we need to admit that some limitations are in order, including such things as banning military-style weapons and making sure that we aren’t just giving weapons to folks who would do us harm.

This is no easy task. I know hundreds of people who have armed themselves with pistols with the intent to protect themselves, and all of them hope they never have to use them. But then again I’ve also met some folks who should never be allowed to possess a gun. Thus the hard part of finding a common sense solution is sorting out who should be allowed to have a gun, and given that outlawing guns will assure that only outlaws will have guns sure seems to complicate who gets one. So the best I can do is assure you that the guns I own aren’t meant to shoot people and hope that somehow we can slow up the folks who are intent on hurting themselves or others by using guns that are only made to shoot people. Here’s hoping we can resolve this conundrum before any more atrocities occur.

Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, non-profit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.

0
0
0
0
0