How and why? Answering questions about the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek Wisconsin
Published: Sunday, August 12, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
The state of Wisconsin was rocked Aug. 5 by the second major violent assault in the United States within two weeks. According to the Associated Press, the attack that took place in Oak Creek, Wisconsin at a Sikh temple and was instigated by Wade Michael Page left six dead and three injured. Like the Aurora, Colorado shooting before it, this attack has left many people wondering “why?”
Though the motives of the shooter are much harder to comprehend, the question of “how?” is a much easier to answer: The Second Amendment has been allowed to continue its strangle hold on Americans.
The Second Amendment is one of the most argued about amendments of the Bill of Rights. The text states, “a well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Many people interpret this text to mean they are allowed by the Constitution to keep weapons, without regulation. The National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbies to keep this interpretation.
Even the United States Supreme Court agrees. In the 2008 Case Parker V. District of Columbia the Supreme Court decided to uphold District of Columbia V. Heller, stating "[the] Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”
However, this interpretation is outdated and dangerous. A more appropriate conclusion to come to would be that during the writing of the Constitution, when America did not have a standing military, a militia was important for the protection of the country. Once America gained a standing military, the Second Amendment was no longer necessary. The danger of the amendment goes further than misinterpretation.
In the Aurora, Colorado shooting and the Oak Creek shooting, the shooters purchased their guns perfectly legally. According to the Committee on Law and Justice in their paper “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review,” an estimated 500,000 guns are stolen from gun owners and gun dealers each year. Given these facts the “right to bear arms” begins to look like more of a liability, than a right. Arming law-abiding citizens helps to arm criminals.
Americans continue to do nothing about it. They continue to vote for politicians who will go to astounding lengths to avoid losing votes during an election year. President Obama and Mitt Romney themselves said that they would not open the debate on gun control because it was wrong to “politicize” these tragedies.
Opening the debate would fail to do anything anyway. People are more concerned with defending the “right to bear arms,” than protecting the very right on which this country was founded, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The attack in Oak Creek was a tragedy. Any loss of life that could be prevented is. Americans are duty-bound to do anything within their power to stop such tragedies. Until the people of the United States stand up and say, “enough is enough,” history is doomed to repeat itself.