Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo, P.A.

The Pulse of our Nation, a Gunshot to the foot

In light of the massacre in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, we are reminded of that
powerful slogan, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun".
This mantra is constantly used by those who want to stop any legislation dealing with the
curtailing of not gun rights, but of guns in our society.  Yet through all the massacres,
whether it was Columbine, Sandy Hook, the movie theater in Colorado, the one in California,
the South Carolina church shooting, the Sikh Temple, Fort Hood, or even the latest, the Pulse
nightclub, there were a lot of good people and yet that bad person, with a gun, succeeded. 
The reason for that is simple.  In order for that mantra of the gun nuts to be valid, all of us
would need to be walking around with a gun strapped to ourselves and maybe an Uzi in our
backpack.    With the entire populus armed to the teeth and at the ready to fire back, possibly
some of these massacres could be prevented or at least cut short.  But is that what we really
want?  A society where everyone walks around with a loaded weapon at the ready to fire. 
And if that was our society, how many innocent deaths would occur each year?  How many
trigger happy fingers would go off?  How many misinterpretations of the situation would
occur?  The answer is simple.  There would be far more deaths each year than all of these
massacres combined.

     So really we have only two options.  First, we can let things stand the way they are. 
We can prevent people from getting on a plane because they are on a no-fly list as being
suspected of being terrorists.  Yet, that same person could leave the airport being disgruntled
because he was not allowed to fly to his favorite city, and drive over to a gun store and
depending on the type of gun, within one to three days, walk away with a killing machine. 
Or, we can come to our sense and realize that there is no need for a weapon in the hands of
civilians that can kill over 50 people and wound another 50 more while keeping the police
at bay for hours.

     It is hard to extrapolate the intent of the founding fathers when they demanded the
Second Amendment, i.e. the Right to Bear Arms.  Even the most heinous weapon of the late
1700's could not do what an AR 15 can do in a matter of seconds.  The musket took seconds
to load that one shot and another second or two to fire it.  Killing people with a musket, 50
of them, even if they lined up with their hands tied behind their backs waiting to be shot,
would take tens of minutes.  Even using a cannon of that era and having 100 people gather
in a cluster, could not nearly produce the results of what an AR 15 can do.  In essence, does
the Right to Bear Arms mean that any individual should have not only the right, but the
power and the ability to massacre hundreds at a whim?  

     The gun people chime in that this is not a gun issue, but an act of terrorism.  They lay
blame with the Muslim religion and Islamic terrorists.  One cannot discount the fact that
Islamic terrorists have made the world more dangerous, especially the United States.  But one
cannot also forget that Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Oklahoma City Courthouse, was
not a Muslim, but rather a right-winger. One cannot forget that those that died in Charleston,
South Carolina were not shot by a Muslim, but rather by a Christian racist.  And although not
occurring in this country, one should never forget the ultra-religious Jew in Jerusalem who
shot up a Mosque, killing dozens of unsuspecting prayers.  Although this did not occur in our
country, it just exemplifies the fact that all religions have their zealots, all cultures have their
outliers and that blaming one religion does not solve the problems of crazies getting their
hands on guns. 

     The NRA has become an incredibly powerful lobby.  Maybe even the most powerful
lobby in Washington, D.C.   One must wonder how many of those senators and congressmen
do not dare vote against the NRA or for any meaningful legislation that may make a dent in
the plethora of mass killing devices out there for the public to purchase.  Even the high and
mighty Bernie Sanders, who we have the utmost respect for, did not stand up to the NRA
because he came from a rural state and feared the backlash of constituents if he voted against
the gun lobby.  So we will continue to put our heads in the sand and allow weapons of
annihilation to spread across this country.  We will blame a particular religion instead of the
fact that no country on earth has more guns per capita than the United States.  That includes
countries that have been war torn for decades.  Our population is the most heavily armed. 
We will continue to put our heads in the sand and continue to blame law enforcement, FBI
agents, the Federal government, the State government, or anybody that we can when acts of
violence like Orlando take place, rather than blaming ourselves for not having the courage
to make our politicians do the right thing and stop extermination devices from being sold.

     We would be remiss if we did not point out that only days after the massacre in
Orlando that a reverend in California, preaching to his flock, made statements that the only
thing wrong with the Orlando mass murder was that more were not killed.  That the world
was safer because there were less gays, lesbians, etc. in this country.  The gays, lesbians and
child molesters were all one in the same.  This rant circulated the internet but was eventually
taken down because it violated some of the terms of the carrier.  

     This man was a reverend.  Or is a reverend.  We do not know if he is on any no-fly
list, but chances are, he'd pass a background check to get one of those automatic weapons. 
Although we deplore what he said, we stand by his right under the First Amendment to make
those statements.  We even stand by his right under the Second Amendment, to own and
carry a gun.  However, we cannot believe that the Second Amendment was meant for
somebody with that much hatred in their heart, with that belief, to own an automatic weapon 
that within seconds, he could extinguish the lives of dozens and dozens.
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