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National Gun Violence Awareness Day

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” By clinging to Second Amendment fears, we adhere to failed practices related to gun violence.

Could it be that Lt. Governor Dan Patrick of Texas accidentally hit the proverbial nail on the head with reference to gun violence? Following the latest school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, Patrick claimed, “Guns are not the problem but are part of who we are as a nation.” During a televised conversation with George Stephanopoulos, Patrick urged citizens to look inward as a nation. Even as Patrick agreed that the United States has more guns than any other developed country in the world, he argued, “It is our Second Amendment, you know, it talks about a well-run militia, the Second Amendment. Our teachers are part of that well-run militia, by the way. It’s guns that stop crimes.”

Yikes! I think Patrick may have inadvertently put us on the right track toward finding a partial solution. A nation that believes guns are part of who we eventually succumb to an overload of weapons. Logically, massive gun ownership will drive us toward becoming a nation of violence. An average of one school shooting a week? Seems violent to me. I remind myself that our discussion focuses on the United States; not war-torn areas in the Middle East.

The Second Amendment came about during a time in history when our fledgling nation needed to maintain vigilance against the British. Could it be that the Second Amendment needs to be revised? Not eliminated — revised. Can the word “sensible” be added to current gun conversations without defiling constitutional rights?

Although I do not advocate taking all guns away from all citizens, I think that perhaps the time has come to consider that traveling down the same worn and pain-filled path will probably result in more mass shootings. By remaining obsessed with the Second Amendment, advocates choose “being right” over being whole.

Any time laws take precedence over the safety and even the lives of our children, the rest of the world, and in fact, we ourselves must define the United States as a nation of insanity. We do not have to continue the insanity. We can wake up. We can remember that we were once a nation that believed in and cared for one another. Surely, if we follow Patrick’s suggestion to look inward, we will find more to our core than attachment to guns. Hopefully, intelligent individuals can engage in conversations about sensible considerations.

Throughout most of our history, the United States represented a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. Yes, we always had guns. However, for most of our citizens, guns did not provide even a partial definition of who we were as a nation.

And by the way, teachers have never been and should never be thought of as part of the militia. To do so is insanity indeed.


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