Whether it is Chicago or Colorado, gun violence is gripping the nation. Yet, we have to decide: is it enough to change our nation at the most basic levels?
I know that we are all feeling pain over the recent rash of violence gripping our nation today. You can’t walk down a street on the south side of Chicago after dusk without fear of gunfire.
You can’t head to a local movie theater for an anticipated premiere without the worst possible scenario playing out.
Yet, as I have said before, I say again: We cannot choose to fundamentally change America when we face these terrors, especially as we know that we will never be able to fundamentally change the dynamics of free will and evil on the earth.
It is very easy to blame the NRA or rally the cause for rigid gun regulations, as if putting some sort of gun purchasing limits in place will be the remedy to prevent any more tragedies by way of gunfire.
Yet, we have to ask the question: can limiting gun purchases also prohibit evil Americans from plotting the worst?
Do we have the capability – or even the political and social desire – to fundamentally change the freedoms that we enjoy in America? And, by the way, what measurable good would it do? Did Chicago – once known as Beirut by the Lake in the 1980s – become a bastion of community safety on its west and south sides of the city during its decades-long gun ban?
Sure, we have added and removed amendments from the Constitution before, so the 2nd Amendment could be in play if those in power in America – both the elected officials and the electorate themselves – actually pushed for it. However, what good would it do?
Both the United States Constitution – and the Provider of the rights protected by that document – grant Americans the ability to perform the greatest good and the most horrible evil in this nation on a daily basis. The same document that allows for inspiring free speech also affords bigots and racists the chance to voice their vile perspectives with the same protection given the civil rights leaders of the past. The same document that ensures a republican form of democracy also had to institute multiple amendments to make sure that minorities and women could vote with equal protection under the law.
America – much like life- provides just enough freedom to permit evil in our imperfect world. There will never be enough legislation to keep us completely safe or provide civic assurances in our nation without fundamentally changing the nation. If we are willing to change the 2nd Amendment in the interest of keeping us all safe, what’s next? Can we limit the 1st Amendment further to make sure that those that feel “threatened” are protected at the risk of restricting the free speech of others? Can we do – as some have suggested for the sake of “preserving the Union” – put proficiency tests into place for potential voters so that we have assurances that our citizen government is created through a more-educated voting base? We can always find something to put into place to “keep us safe”, even as we overlook the long-term detriment from the short-term action.
Therefore, we have a choice, yet again.
Catch more of Lenny McAllister’s “Freedom, James Holmes, Chicago, the NRA, Columbine and Fundamental Change” on Politic365.