Columbine, Dumblane, Newtown and Other Schools: The need to Ban Firearms

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 17th Dec 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

It is when the safety of our children comes into question that our society faces its greatest challenge. School shootings challenge more that the community in which they happen, they impact the whole of society, drastic change is needed now.

End of Innocence!

We all consider our children to be precious, to be the future of our way of life, yet this past week reminds us that children are fragile and every once in a while it takes an event like the Newtown killing of innocent schoolchildren to provide a shock to society at large. Isn't it time to change? Time to say "No more school killings", but how?

Columbine and Dunblane

On April 20th 1999 two students executed a vicious attack on their fellow students at Columbine High School; these students had planned to massacre hundreds of students with guns, knives and bombs. This was an American tragedy, resulting in the killing 12 students and one teacher, that should have made the majority of the population sit up and think and call for change!

A few years earlier a similar event across the Atlantic certainly made British people sit up and think, when a gunman entered Dunblane primary school and killed sixteen children and one teacher it certainly made Britain sit up and think and triggered an immediate change in the law, making private ownership of handguns effectively illegal within one year, yet no such action happened as a result of the killings in Colorado, indeed the killings went on.

The Second Amendment

The American response to the demand to give up handguns almost always comes down to a question of an attack on the second amendment, yet should this be the case? This amendment guarantees "the right of the people to keep and bear arms", yet the reasons for its introduction is entirely different to the times that are faced in America today. The right to have arms is understood by the drafters of the bill of rights as a long-established natural right under English law, upon which the American constitution is founded whilst the founders of that great nation fought against English rule they respected English law, and most specifically the English Bill of Rights from 1688 and built elements of this into their fundamental laws.

Yet whilst America's founding fathers relied on an old English document in drafting their new constitution, although it should be recognised that this Bill of Rights has zero impact on British law today and there has never been in Britain any overriding understanding of the right to bear arms by the common people in the UK.

Yet the United States of America was actually born from revolution and that would have certainly had a dramatic effect on the laws this young nation created. The need for armaments could repel foreign invasion, suppress insurrection, deter un-democratic government as well as facilitate self-defence. At the same time it was anticipated that weapons be used for law enforcement and by the military. These are all noble aims, which are commendable, yet something has changed over time and firearms, particularly handguns and assault rifles, have become weapons of terror, bringing brutal slayings in many aspects of American society.

Newtown Killings December 2012

The Killing of 26 children and staff in Newtown Connecticut brings us up to date with killing children in schools, the one place where they should be safe at all times, but sadly they are not. This should not happen in a place of education, schools should be special, they should enlighten our children not place them in danger.

What happens when society cannot protect our young? This is the point at which we can start to see

Firearms Ban

The right to bear arms does not mean that people should have to carry them on or about their person any time they choose. Indeed there are many rights that we possess, yet we do not avail ourselves of on a daily basis, these rights are there should we ever need them, this is similar to the right to legal representation - it is a right any citizen can avail themselves of, but it is rare they need to do it on an everyday basis, unless of course they live a criminal life.

The right to bear arms does not necessitate having guns on or about your person at all times. The majority of people do not need to have a gun with them each and every day, not even pro-gun lobbyists believe that. We should know that when we are walking about the streets of any city that we have the right to do so without facing the risk of suffering from gun crime. Ultimately these school shootings are the tip of a violent crime iceberg that impacts too many large cities, and not only those in the USA.

It is time to get serious about carrying weapons in everyday life, surely carrying firearms in a public place that has not been designated for gun use, should be a crime, incurring a serious sentence of ten years, perhaps 25 years, or even life, for being caught in possession of an assault rifle, irrespective of whether a crime is intended. Weapons should be kept in a lock-box unless being used for a legal purpose. When being transported they should be securely locked away and should never be on display.

Agreed it is not guns that kill, but the people that use them and in this regard all gun owners should be regularly tested to ensure they pass the requirements for continued ownership. In other words we need to get tough on all aspects of gun ownership.

To be clear the writer was born in England and is now a Canadian citizen, yet at the same time is concerned about increasing violent crime in society, much accompanied by guns. American may take exception to foreigners commenting on their laws and constitution, but in doing so it may be their loss, because the heart of the US Constitution is connected to much of the western philosophical heartbeat, and this is not simply an American problem it has reached international proportions and needs swift resolution, for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

Surely the time has come to ban the carrying of weapons.

Your View?

Please note that the views represented in this article do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the author, they represent views that have been collected over a number of years, by observation and discussion with citizens from around the world including a large proportion of Americans, some from pro-gun states such as Texas, certainly the problem of the second amendment in the USA is a complex one and bears major consideration if that country is ever going to solve its problems of violent crime. There are no easy answers, but is is clear that a discussion must commence.

Your view is most welcome in this pressing matter. One more senseless act of killing is one too many; it must stop now.

Please add your comments, or feel encouraged to write for Wikinut and start writing your own contribution on this or any other subject.

Tags

Columbine, Dumblane, End Of Innocence, Firearms Ban, Gun Law, Newtown, School Killings, The Second Amendment, Us Constitution

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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Comments

author avatar Mark gordon brown
20th Dec 2012 (#)

Yes it comes down to people defending their right to bear arms over the common sense to protect kids.

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author avatar M G Singh
20th Dec 2012 (#)

Easier said than done.Been to USA so many times and believe me no arms control is possible. If it happens in the next 10 years I shall be surprise. You may like to readhttp://general-law.knoji.com/gun-laws-and-economy-in-the-usa-can-they-be-controlled/

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th Dec 2012 (#)

It is indeed sad if this tragedy is also forgotten without tackling the core issue head on - siva

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author avatar Terry Trainor
20th Dec 2012 (#)

If any president of the US banned fire arms they would not run another term, and go down in history as the person who took away people's rights and if anybody was shot by a criminal there would be an uproar.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Dec 2012 (#)

There is I believe a difference between a right to bear arms and actually owning them. I do not believe in removing the Second amendment, but that right but something must be done to attack the use of illegal weapons.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
20th Dec 2012 (#)

Takeaway the right for honest citizens to own guns is the same thing as taking away the right to bear arms. Take away the right for honest citizens to own a gun or guns and all you are doing is putting out the welcome mat for the crimal. You might as well put up a sign saying rob me. Beat me. Rape me. I'm defenseless.

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author avatar Retired
20th Dec 2012 (#)

Excellent views peter. You raise some great arguments. I agree that something needs to be done about these senseless and horrific tragedies.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
20th Dec 2012 (#)

Seems like not only us patriots think you are talking crap Peter but so do the authorities if the state of Connecticut because they are going to train all teachers and other school officials to carry concealed weapons.

No matter what kind of laws banning guns idiots like you may want to see passed. God help the honest, law-abiding citizens if you ever succeed because no law you pass will ever keep criminals from getting guns and disarming the citizen will simply make them more easy prey for the criminals.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Dec 2012 (#)

Jerry, I knew you would feel very strongly on this matter and I can see the vehement anger in your words defending gun law, it is words like this that could be used by some people with a psychotic mind to become a killers. I know you are not like this, because I do appreciate your viewpoint on a wide variety of subjects.

In my humble opinion training teachers to carry weapons is NOT the answer, it puts guns in the classroom, where they should not be.

The greatest challenge here, is exactly as you point out the access to weapons by criminals. To be precise I did not talk about disarming citizens I talked about gun safety and there being no need, for the law abiding citizen, to carry guns on the streets of modern cities. We must stop criminal use of guns first and foremost, that is vital.

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author avatar tankermone
20th Dec 2012 (#)

I respect your opinion, although I do not adhere to its tenets. Banning firearms already exists in many places in this country, and yet the killings still happen. The only thing which would have prevented this, because the attackers won't care about gun laws, is to allow any legal citizen to carry, and therefore be able to defend against such an attack!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
20th Dec 2012 (#)

Tankermone ther are four or five states now that do allow honest citizens to carry concealed weapons without a concealed carry permit and those states have the lowest rate for violent crime of all the other 45 or 46 states. Several other states already have legislation in the works that would allow citizens of their states the same right.

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author avatar Buzz
21st Dec 2012 (#)

I hope the US congress get to fix this problem and soon. Merry Christmas, Peter and everyone.

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author avatar Retired
29th Dec 2012 (#)

Thanks for the insight,success for your article

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
29th Dec 2012 (#)

I have had several private messages from readers in support of my opinion in this article, including one stating the comment regarding me "talking crap" is language unbefitting any responsible writer and ought be deleted and the pro-gun lobby, supported by people like Jerry Walsh, amount to a spewing of illogical and dangerous verbiage justifying their need to feel safe, yet truth is that in the majority world outside of the United States (where ownership of guns is generally prohibited) there is much less gun crime and lower murder rates than in any major city in the US, this is a significant factor.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
30th Dec 2012 (#)

Hey, Peter, I don't need a gun to feel safe--I can just as easily kill with my bare hands...they too are registered as deadly weapons. On the other hand, having a gun is my right under the constitution and no one, and that includes your mysterious friends who share in promulgating your "crap" is going to take that right from me. And, by the way, if you are going to use my name, at least spell it correctly. My last name is spelled W-A-L-C-H.,

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
2nd Jan 2013 (#)

Let me assure you Jerry that the misspelling was an accident sir, as I would never do that deliberately, having a name myself that has been misspelled so many ways.

There should be no reason to use words such as "crap" in making any comment on any subject, such a low comment demeans not the writer of the original article, but the comment maker.

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author avatar vpaulose
29th Dec 2012 (#)

Good post. Thank you dear brother Peter for your affectionate appreciation and guidance. Wish you a prosperous and happy New Year.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
2nd Jan 2013 (#)

Someone asked me once how wars start . I suggested it was when people have differing views , that may then get heated and violent , plus with added weaponry, it can become lethal .Out of the heart , the mouth speaks .
Bless you Peter.
Stella....just a thought

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author avatar Jerry Walch
2nd Jan 2013 (#)

Peter, asan adjective, one of the meainings of the word "crap" is Of very poor quality; flimsy. As for "Talking Crap" being demeaning...people use that expression all the time in real life. BTW I see that some comments are no longeron your page...Are you following the lead of The Queen of the Delete Button?

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
2nd Jan 2013 (#)

Jerry, I have not deleted any comments from this or any other page.

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