Change Is Needed

I am going to write a bit off topic today.  If politics triggers you, it would probably be best to skip what I am writing today.

My husband and I went to a funeral this last weekend.  An extended family member went to a local gun store, purchased a handgun and was able to walk out of the store.  Within a couple hours, this person was gone.  There are far more questions than answers as to why this decision was made.  Honestly, I did not know this person well enough to even venture a guess.  But the fact remains that this kind of death, no matter how close you are to victim doesn’t matter.  The outcome is heartbreaking and those left behind will never truly get over such a loss.

The state of Wisconsin does not have a waiting period when purchasing a firearm.  That safety measure was eliminated in 2015.  Why?  I have no idea.  But I would guess that the NRA donations to the powers that be in Madison had a lot to do with it.  With that single stroke of the pen, hundreds, thousands of lives have been impacted.  You have to wonder what a 48 hour wait would have done in this situation.  All of us know how a single incident can be so all consuming that you cannot possibly believe that you will get over it or feel better.  But, a good night sleep and time to think and reflect can make a big difference.  I myself cannot count the number of times I have gone to bed thinking that something was the absolute end of the world, only to wake up the next morning and think I can get through this.  Or in retrospect, it wasn’t that bad.  Waiting periods allow for that time of reflection, to cool off and realize there is another answer.

I am not interested in debating the 2nd amendment with anyone.  The fact of the matter is that as long as it is in the US Constitution, people in this country have the right to own firearms.  But that doesn’t mean that common sense can’t be applied.  Waiting periods and background checks need to be a part of the process of buying a firearm.  It makes absolutely no sense that purchasing a firearm is as simple as walking into a store and walking out with something that has the power to kill.  Yes, I am aware that there are thousands of products that also have the power to kill as well.  But as far as I know, nothing else has the shear force of a firearm.

The day before the funeral was December 14th.  That day was the 7th anniversary of  Sandy Hook.  This was the second deadliest school shooting in US history.  On that day 20 first graders were murdered in their classroom along with 6 adults.   The perpetrator of that mass murder was a mentally ill individual who had firearms purchased for him by his mother.   I remember thinking that this incident will finally bring meaningful change to gun laws in this country.  Seven years later, we are still waiting for the politicians in  Washington D.C. to put people over their donations from the NRA.

I respect people’s right to own guns.  I live in a state where hunting is an important part of our culture.  I myself have never hunted but that doesn’t mean that I am opposed to hunting or think that it should be eliminated.  I also understand why people want a handgun for protection.  These are rights that we have and in all honesty are not going anywhere.  I have accepted that as our reality in this country.  That set aside does not change the fact that we need some serious reform to protect everyone.


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