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Commentary: “From my cold, dead hands”

How – and perhaps more importantly - when did the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution manage to take the citizens it is supposed to protect and defend as hostage?

You know what I’m talking about.

I do not understand the whole gun culture in these United States of America. After the killing of those 20 innocent children and six adults at Sandy Hook in Connecticut, 80% of Americans were in favor of changing – or at least tweaking - gun laws and yet nothing was done to institute any sort of change.

Money talks on Capitol Hill when it comes to guns. Life, not so much, unless they are talking about fetuses.

And so the killings continue. On college campuses, at our schools, in shopping malls, in movie theaters, in temples, in churches, in the workplace. Anyone, anywhere, at any time is at risk of being killed by a member of a society obsessed with guns in what has become the 21st century United States of America.

And will we the people rise up and do anything about the number of guns flowing into our society? Oh, folks will rise up, but just not in any sort of way that is productive and responsible.

Nothing will make the masses rise up like the mention of gun laws. They rise from every corner and concrete bunker of the country. They quote the NRA’s Charlton Heston’s “From my cold, dead hands” like it’s one of their Ten Commandments he brought with him from his movie “The Ten Commandments.” They threaten violence against what they perceive as their “tyrannical” government, and they buy more guns and more ammunition, and the cycle of violence continues.

I’m thinking instead of any sort of change in the gun laws, the next thing will be security checks and metal detectors at every mall in America because it’s certainly not the fault of the guns – it’s the people who need to be stopped and searched. Want to go to the movies? They won’t just be looking for rogue food being taken into the theater – we will all be passing through scanners looking for anything those in power have deemed to be illegal. Again – it’s certainly not the fault of the gun – it’s the people. We’ll be passing through metal detectors at restaurants and bars and churches. At schools and libraries and hotels. At grocery stores and apartment buildings and National Parks. For it’s not the fault of the guns – it’s the people.

And for those who want to wear their gun proudly on their belt anywhere they go – let me ask you this. You’re in a mall and you hear gunshots and you pull your weapon. You run toward the sound and you come upon five people with their weapons drawn. Wwho do you aim your gun at? Who do you shoot and who do you defend? You might be trained to shoot your gun, but are you trained to handle any sort of situation that might arise with your gun? Under duress, can you figure out who the “bad guy” is?

Personally, I don’t want to live in a world where guns rule. I don’t need to see your gun on your belt – I don’t care. You don’t make me feel safe – you actually scare the bejesus out of me.

For those of you who believe any tweaking of the Second Amendment is an infringement on your freedoms, I ask you to think of my – and people like me – freedoms. I don’t feel safe and free to walk into a mall anymore. At a large gathering, I find myself looking at people and wondering – and I always make sure I know where the exit sign is. What about that? Can you give that feeling of being safe back to me with your automatic weapons and mass ammunition? I don’t think so.

We need politicians who aren’t afraid of the gun lobby. We need politicians who will address the need for mental health reform. We need politicians who have the courage of their convictions. We need a compassionate and caring republic.

We don’t need more guns.

SDGLN Contributor Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab, can be found HERE.