This morning I read about a 14 year old high school freshman who was suspended for having a wall paper depicting a rifle on his school issued laptop. According to the rules students were not to upload anything deemed threatening.
He didn't seem to think it was threatening. He likes guns. He's thinking about one day joining the military and he found a picture he liked on the Internet. I decided to see if I could find it and I did on a page offering gun themed wall paper.
I found it interesting that the flag is that of the one time Yugoslavia. Colorful to be sure. Kind of neat wall paper for a 14 year old.
I browsed a bit more and found two examples with American flags and wondered if the school officials would find them less offensive. Not that I think any of them realized what the flag on the one that was chosen represented.
But it isn't the flag of course. It's the rifle. Isn't it? It seems to me we're driving ourselves crazy over symbolism and not getting to the crux of the matter which is the type and capacity of said guns not to mention the mental stability of those who have them.
I have no argument with those who don't think assault rifles are a necessary part of the average gun owners life. Nor 30 round clips. A regular automatic clip has somewhere between 7 and 10 shots roughly speaking. I'm not an expert but from what I've seen anyway. If you can't hit an intruder before you have to change clips it's a pretty good bet he'll get you. As for those out to mass murder, well...
The argument about the militia reference in the second amendment has been decided by the courts but I dare say the framers of the Constitution hadn't envisioned an automatic rifle of the sort our military uses today. Rifles back in those days were single shot and weighed a ton. It has always amazed me how bloody our early wars were considering the amount of time it took to ready a weapon.
More than any of the above, however, are the numbers of those weapons already in circulation. I equate that with the problem we have with illegal immigrants. They're already here. The weapons are already out there. How on earth do you expect to find them when they are legally owned? Just like what are you going to do with the 11 million illegals already within our borders?
We're finally at least having some discussions about the latter. Look how long it has taken? Since the days of Ronald Reagan when he gave those here at that time amnesty. Yet we did nothing further and here we are again.
I haven't a clue as to what a remedy might be. I agree with the background checks. You can limit the size of magazines but that can be circumvented. You can give "amnesty" to those who already have "assault" weapons but sell no more. Is the Constitution written broadly enough to allow that? Should that be revisited?
The fact remains there are millions of guns "out there" and just where is any ones guess. There's a whole lot more to the problem than background checks and banning certain types of weapons. Until we look at the entire problem, which is complex and wide reaching, and start addressing each segment, it, like so many other difficult tasks, will continue to be kicked down the road.
At the rate we're going with gun violence, however, we won't have to worry about the kids and grand kids inheriting an insurmountable debt. There won't be any left!