Gun Debate: How Did We Reach This Point?

To The Reader’s Forum:

I have, I think, studied the debate about guns from several angles, and have reached the conclusion that any solution that would make our society more safe and secure is going to be extremely difficult for several reasons:

1: The increasing militancy of the gun lobby (read manufacturers) and its front organizations. Coupled with that is the fear of the power of those organizations (seriously overstated and overestimated).

2: The vast numbers of firearms (some 300 million or so) floating around this country.

3: The Second Amendment to the Constitution and the confusing wording therein. There are many who think – and say – that the Second Amendment trumps the whole rest of the Constitution. I would suggest that they have it backward, and that the rest of the Constitution; the other nine amendments of the Bill of Rights, and the Preamble, trump the Second Amendment in any argument about defining “domestic tranquility, (promotion of)the general welfare, establish justice, and (securing) the Blessings of Liberty”

I am not amused by people describing themselves as in favor of the Second Amendment. As long as it is a part of the Constitution, every American ought to be in favor of it. With the caveat that they should also be just as much in favor of the rest of the Constitution.

4: The pervasive and unthinking culture of the worship of guns. How did we reach this point as a society? It has come to be a religion on the part of many. How did they come to view an AR-15 or an AK-47 as a thing of beauty instead of the ugly beast that it really is? When nobody remains who bows down to the graven image of an assault rifle, maybe we can have some meaningful changes in laws – and feelings about these deadly things.

Sam Alessi

Scottsdale, Ariz.