“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This is the command of the Second Amendment and just as a Bible verse is valuable to a devout Christian, the Second Amendment is a verse advocates of gun rights and the National Rifle Association, hold dearly and unwilling to let go.
The plan was to write on another issue in celebration of my 100th article, but today America woke up to yet another massacre in Colorado which once again, put to question the issue of gun laws and the abuse of the Second Amendment. The record as at the time of writing is 71 people shot, 12 deceased, 2 died in Area Hospitals, 10 died inside the Movie Theater and 59 people considered injured. Why? Because a lone gunman named James Holmes decided it was a good day to take innocent lives.
Soon after the massacre, news media seized on the unfortunate event and in NY, security was beefed up at Movie Theaters all over the city. The people who died in Aurora Colorado had come to see the premier of the new Batman movie; the attack (unrelated) came just a day after Rush Limbaugh criticized Hollywood for collaborating with Democrats in naming a leading actor in the Batman movie “Bane,” similar to Bain Capital to wish the GOP candidate Mitt Romney is linked.
Over the past few months, the mastermind James Holmes gathered and kept a huge arsenal of weapons; he had no criminal records, he graduated with honors from the University of California and was a medical student not long ago before he dropped out. He was described by those who met him as a loner who wouldn’t talk to people. No doubt the shootings cast pall over ‘Dark Knight Rises’ weekend opening, but the question no one is asking is how 24-year-old James Holmes, got access to all the weapons used in the massacre.
Each time a massacre of this magnitude happens, we hear about security being beefed up or the talk of police and the FBI being deployed to quickly secure places of interest; same was the case in 1999 after the mass shooting in Columbine High School and in Virginia Tech; but soon after the events, the entire nation seems to forget to deal with the main issue or what should be considered the root cause of the unreasonable killings.
Despite the loss of innocent lives, gun right advocates and the National Rifle Association continue to fight any attempt by lawmakers to address the issue of illegal gun possession and the easily accessible gun markets that persistently open its doors to anyone willing to hide under the cover of the Second Amendment. The question is should innocent people continue to die just because of the selfish acts of another who was able to acquire weapons in the name of the right to bear arms?
Based on news reports, James Holmes acquired his weapons legally; I mean not one or two guns but more which he was able to purchase from a sporting goods store in the Denver area. The question is how many guns do you need to protect your Second Amendment rights? The fact is there is a big problem here and the lawmakers are allowing gun advocates and the National Rifle Association to get away with murder under the cover of Constitutional right.
While the Second Amendment is a right bestowed upon every American by the founders, it should not be seen as a right to unreasonable accumulation of weapons that are in most cases, used to end the lives of innocent people. It should not be a right for one to just literally shoot everyone like games reserved for the hunting season. So far, Holmes has surrendered and has shown no remorse for his actions, making one to think he has concluded the massacre was justifiable.
Police officers and the FBI have taken over the investigation, we have seen bloody and groaning victims streaming out of the Theater and many are either injured or traumatized; the question is what is next? Are we going to just forget there is a problem with gun laws in America? Or do we wait until the next victims are killed before there is a review of the gun laws and unreasonable flow of weapons in the Nation? Just like what we saw today, many will follow if nothing is done to address the issue.
Dr. Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is an expert in general law, foreign relations and the United Nations; follow on Twitter @san0670