Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Right to Arms (and Life)

I was thinking about our Bill of Rights a couple of times yesterday, particularly the Second Amendment which allows us to bear arms (i.e. weapons, pistols, rifles, shotguns, assault rifles, etc.), .  I thought about it when I read about the woman who hugged a policeman and was killed when his revolver accidentally discharged.  I thought about it a second time when I read that a federal judge in Florida tossed out another provision of the new Florida gun statute (yes, the same statute receiving so much publicity recently when George Zimmerman, the self-authenticated watch dog, stalked a young black man and shot him to death).  The provision rejected by the federal judge made it a crime in Florida for a doctor to ask a patient about gun ownership.  I am not making this stuff up.  That’s what the law really said.  A doctor couldn’t have a conversation about gun ownership because, apparently, it might lead to a suggestion that the guns might be stored safely in order to prevent harm to a child.   I would guess that the Florida legislature is probably considering a new law making it illegal to use a cautionery “Drive safely’ to friends, family, children when they are going on a long trip.  Nobody,particularly our government, should tell us what to do is the apparent motif of the politicians in that state. 

This insanity prevails in Michigan as well.  The Michigan legislature has recently passed a law no longer requiring mandatory protective headgear for motorcyclists, and I understand that the deaths in the first three months since its passage are three times greater in the helmetless, but free, group than those smart enough to protect themselves.  A proposed bill under consideration by the Michigan State legislature would change the current law that prohibits people with concealed weapons permits to carry their hand guns in churches, bars, schools, sports arenas, etc. When I go to my church, the tendency is to hug a lot and hugging is not necessarily just among friends, but strangers who happen to be sitting nearby.  We’re all there for the same purpose, right?  I ask myself, what if this stranger is carrying a firearm?  What if his only purpose in attending my church is to show others that he has a weapon and can wear it in church?  What happens if, like the unfortunate lady yesterday, that firearm discharges while he is being hugged by a fellow worshipper?  Then, there’s the combination of alcohol and guns.  Do we really want to be around an angry person with a gun who is drinking heavily at a bar?  How about a sporting event where the kid is sitting on the bench because he is not as good a player as the kid out in the field?    Is it a solution to take the weapon to the event to have a little talk with the coach to guarantee some playing time?  How about a nice little chat with the teacher who gave your kid a bad grade?  It would seem to guarantee a better grade if the teacher noticed the gun sticking into your belt.  If you think that’s a good idea, please don’t visit the schools where my grandchildren are students.  But you can do something. A petition drive to prevent this bill from going into law is being led by Rev. Eric A. Stone – pastor at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Essexville, MI.   You can sign the petition and forward it to all of your friends as well.  

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