Interest groups, such as the National Rifle Association, have conducted a scare campaign that plays to the basest of human emotions—fear and paranoia. The most blatant lie was the one the NRA promoted during the Obama administration—the government is coming to get your guns; closely followed by Washington is going to limit your right to own firearms and when that happens we will be one step away from a totalitarian government that subjugates Americans to the worst forms of repression. The net result? Politicians are spooked. Even in the wake of Sandy Hook, politicians discussed measures to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others, but did nothing. But it appears the only measures likely to pass Congress was not willing to mandate universal background checks for gun purchases and measures limiting high capacity ammunition clips. Neither the federal nor state governments appear to have the will to put their money where their mouth is and to keep mental health care in the hands of government. Neither federal nor state politicians appear willing to vote the money needed to improve mental health.
The result is that we live in a society that over analyzes and limits some of our freedoms and completely ignores life-threatening aspects of others. The bottom line, however, should be that no one has the right to take away another’s inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When you are murdered on the grounds of the Appalachian School of Law, Virginia Tech, or Sandy Hook Elementary School, some one has taken away those rights. If people’s actions or inactions played a role in the killings, they should be held accountable. (To be continued)