Empty Nest - Writer thinks about ‘We the people’
By Curt Swarm
With the slaughter of innocent school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the almost daily acts of gun violence in the United States, I would like to offer up some thoughts, not that they will do any good, but here they are anyway.
Fault is always looked for. It is not the fault of an overabundance of weaponry in the United States, it is not the fault of the NRA, it is not the fault of gun manufacturers, it is not the fault of the government, it is not the fault of violence in our entertainment industry, it is not the fault of our news-hungry media, and it is not the fault of our mental health system. We the people are to blame.
Knowing the vulnerability of an unarmed citizenry, it was we the people who wrote the constitution allowing for the bearing of arms, and it is we the people who insist upon a loose definition of that second amendment right. Thus, we have an overabundance of guns in the United States.
It is we the people who support the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington DC and is responsible for almost paralyzing politicians with fear of voting against gun rights—once again reflecting the will of the people.
It is we the people who support gun manufacturers. If it were not for the crazed obsession of the people wanting every kind of conceivable weapon, the gun manufacturers would be out of business. It’s a simple principle of supply and demand.
It is we the people who elect politicians who support the will of the people. Gun rights was hardly an issue in the last election. The topic was considered too divisive. It was the economy and jobs that were the hot buttons, followed by health care, foreign relations, immigration, environmental issues, gay rights, etc.
It is we the people who crave violence from the media. Violence sells movie tickets, books, and video games. If the demand for touchy-feely love fluff was higher than for violence, then that’s what the media would put out. Once again, supply and demand. By the way, it was the will of the people who forced the movie industry to curtail the display of cigarette smoking on the big screen. The same could occur with scenes of violence.
It is we the people who demand sensational news stories from the news media, thus the 24-hour news outlets were born, creating an even greater need for hyped-up reporting. The news piranhas would not be there if it weren’t us bottom feeders.
It is we the people who underfund a mental health system that is in shambles. Every state does their own thing with very little centralized coordination. Hint: it’s probably not a good time to cut funding for mental health.
So what’s the solution? When it comes to protecting our children, the will of the people is changing pretty fast. When we the people cry, “Enough is enough! There are too many guns on the street. There is too much violence in the media. Our mental health system is in shambles.” Then that’s when the politicians and courts will respond. But it all takes time. At least we have a political system that responds to the will of the people.
In the mean time, it is the responsibility of the president of the United States to protect the people. I hate to say it, but to insure the safety of our children in schools, the NRA is probably right. We need armed guards in the schools. Stop the act of violence first, then work on the solution.
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com.