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. Bill Of Rights

The photograph below depicts the very reasons why we must not allow our government to use tragedy to exploit, 'We The People' with manipulative fear tactics. Or to expedite executive orders to maneuver circumstances to further induce a state of uncertainty and despair amongst its citizens and guests thereby creating hysteria that allows for unrest. As the president, vice president and congress pave the way to chisel at the Bill Of Rights beginning with the Second Amendment people are crying out for solutions and resolve not more governmental inefficiency and malpractice. Our rights are guaranteed and entrusted to us by our forefathers through The Charters Of Freedom and we do not want to tamper.  But an attempt to do just that is underway by our government that is proving itself corrupt again and again. Official’s intent on setting an order that would put its people and our future in danger of tyranny. We need leaders capable of overcoming catastrophic, tragic, painful events and their own wills to serve the voice of the people at times like this. Leaders not motivated by power, greed and gains that will fight for good over evil who are able to make decisions that will secure the betterment of the United States of America not lend to the destruction and decay of the very fabric and principles that once made this country great. Instead our current regime is shamefully using the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut to further a self serving political agenda in regards to our right to bear arms.

Members of an Einsatzkommando firing at men standing at the bottom of a trench. Circa : 1941-1942. Whereabouts unknown. Photographer unknown.
Members of an Einsatzkommando firing at men standing at the bottom of a trench Circa • 1941-1942 • Whereabouts Unknown • Photographer Unknown
©USHMM Courtesy of Dokumentatioarchiv of the Oesterreichischen Widerstandes • Original Post The Shoah Memorial

No matter how bloody or violent an act if it is in self defense or intentional, random or planned, murder, war or sport etcetera we have romanticized and glamorized guns since their invention. We do it in whatever media available or possible for profits and especially through entertainment such as video games, films and music videos. All of which are directed through advertizing campaigns that are designed specifically towards capturing a market dominated by children. Then every time something goes terribly wrong we turn to look back like we do when we trip over nothing apparent and ask how and why. It’s only after horrific acts of evil such as took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that we are brought to our knees in tears gasping. We look for answers to questions that are addressed again and again but unfortunately and to our discredit and disgrace to this date have not yet been resolved. Perhaps it’s because there is more opinion (including my own) on the matter than there are answers.

For years now I have wanted to take a gun safety class and learn how to shoot a firearm but now I have no interest in it. Several things happened, the person (a family member) that I trusted to show me how to shoot a gun/rifle thought it would be really funny to show me for the first time how to shoot a gun by having me do everything wrong. Yes, very funny it was that I couldn’t hear for at least a day followed by a fierce ringing in my ear that lasted another few days. I couldn’t move my right shoulder and arm for a week. Really… this is one of the problems isn’t it? Irresponsible attitudes and ownership of weapons not just guns but knifes as well especially when children are involved. That whole “My child and I’ll do what I want with ‘my’ (emphatic whine) on ‘my’ child.” But then when it comes to drugs, graffiti or lying the parents have a complete different sense of priority and clarity. Here there is no room for humor no matter how warped the parent’s attitude towards their child/children and guns. When it comes to teaching children why using drugs is wrong and no laughing matter the approach and perspective is generally as it should be, strong. If only more parents had this consciousness about guns period. We address it as ‘gun safety’ which is important but then we leave our children unattended with a gun in their hand? Can we expect much more from parents who are willing to lie to their children to save face about things like their own drug use, “I never used drugs” or if they are willing to admit to using drugs they say, “It was the worst thing I ever did and I didn’t even enjoy it.” How can anyone hope for a wonderful future for their child/children when the foundation and approach to teaching truth stems from betrayal and lies? When it comes to guns some parents actually think that their children look awesome, badass or cool holding a military style assault weapon. They find joy and take great pride in their child as they watch them at the age of ten or younger 'shooting up all that shit.' Yeah… that is just so cool because when it comes to being a parent badass would definitely be a defining term I would want to achieve and use to express a moment involving guns between an adult and a child. Good God help us!

Hunting? I love the sport of hunting I love the idea of providing meat from a hunt as a source of food for the table. Even though I have been a vegetarian for most my life I want to learn how to hunt. I wish that I could have hunted with my dad. He did teach me how to make and use a sling shot and that is one of my most fond memories of time spent with my dad. I’m sure to the surprise of many I am not against guns or hunting. I am against any parent putting a military assault type weapon in a child’s hands or a troubled adult and then teaching them how to load and fire that gun. There is no measure of safety in any world that guarantees against something horrible taking place a direct result of giving this kind of knowledge and responsibility to a child or troubled adult.

Last I have been watching people that I know assemble small arsenals of guns and ammo in preparation for ‘the day’ or for one of those ‘just in case’ scenario’s. People tell me I’m paranoid and they are right, I am paranoid and so what. I too don’t just think that ‘the day’ is coming I know it is, we have Gods word on it. Will I be here for it only God knows the answer to that question for each of us? I do know this; nowhere in the bible does Jesus tell us to prepare for that day by amassing weapons and ammunition. Seriously and it is not about getting along or agreeing or disagreeing or agreeing to disagree. It is all about addressing the problem that we are faced with regarding the ability of a person, child, teenager, young adult or adult to commit mass murder. Guns are not the issue the problem begins in the home and it ends in a public forum discussion that follows a trail of blood, death and devastating loss. What causes a person to want to take another person’s life or to commit mass murder? Evil, hate, jealousy, envy depravation of values and standards. What makes you want to own more weapons than you could ever have a need for? I have no clue but I recently asked a very dear friend and adopted family member this, why are things that I do because I am a lesbian automatically scrutinized but when my brother brings a mass amount of guns to my mom’s home some of which are illegal no one cares? She couldn’t answer me, I can easily answer this and soon enough she answered it as well. To most and especially for religious people mine is the blatant sin/wrongdoing and for that religious person it makes it ever so easy to throw stones. However for that same stone thrower even when it is something that is illegal or unethical like pirating films or music, owning illegal guns, being a felon and owning guns, going shooting with a felon, buying guns and ammunition instead of food or paying your rent or mortgage its acceptable. It’s like all things selfish; we want what we want at whatever the cost and we want it now! We have our priorities screwed on half ass backwards. Now do me a favor and just fill in gun with drugs, sex, drinking or gambling... exactly.

Something that I cannot help but take to heart and notice is how my family and all of you are reacting to the possibility of Obama’s executive action concerning gun control regarding the Second Amendment. Here I am a lesbian and have had my civil rights as guaranteed by the very same Bill Of Rights not just infringed upon but denied to me because I am a lesbian and not one word from any one of my family members. I do fully understand the rage, frustration and the desire to wield righteous anger and to want do battle over the ‘possibility’ of being denied your right to bear arms I am not against the Second Amendment. But know this, all of my life I have been denied my rights and some of my life some of those rights by you my family. The difference to me is you are carrying on about guns and under the law I still don’t have the right to pursue my happiness and dreams, my right to marry, my right to hold my partners hand in public or embrace her, kiss her or dance with her without fear of being bashed or killed, my right to have a family, my right to claim and use my partners medical benefits, my right to receive my partners death benefits, my God given right to choice and to love God as I was created by God.

The answer is simple we each of us choose what sin and what laws Gods or mans we are willing to incorporate into our hearts, lives, families, and value system to include murder. Where am I going with all this? I am going here where I have been many times before; one of the commandments, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Most of you loath yourselves so in turn you loath your neighbor, enough to kill or commit mass murder? Absolutely! Satan is counting on it.

Bernie Boston's iconic photo "Flower Power," taken of protestors interacting with armed National Guardsmen in 1967.
Flower Power ©Bernie Boston • Kent State 1967 • Protestors Interacting With Armed National Guardsmen

Child Access Protection Laws
Child access protection laws make it a crime for a parent to allow a child access to firearms. Some states hold an adult responsible for storing a firearm in a way that allows a child access to the firearm. Some statutes impose an enhanced penalty if the child injures or kills a person with the firearm. Exceptions exist if the firearm is stored properly in a locked box or secured with a trigger lock, if the firearm was used in self defense, or the child unlawfully enters a home and accesses the firearm.

Parents can also be held criminally liable if they know or should have known their child possessed a firearm and failed to take the firearm from the child. Criminal penalties typically range from a misdemeanor conviction for allowing access to a firearm or a felony conviction if the firearm injures or kills a person.

About 100 demonstrators from the Occupy DC movement shut down rush hour traffic as they march through downtown November 2, 2011, in Washington, D.C. The demonstrators marched to the Justice Department while protesting police violence against fellow Occupy Movement camps in Oakland and other cities across the United States
Occupy DC • Chip Somodevilla • Getty Images Courtesy of The Atlantic

We should take a lesson from the child in this photograph and act on love, commitment and truth rather than fear. If you don't want to unleash the monster in yourself or your child I suggest that you learn to love yourself first so that you are better able to love your children and your neighbors. Let us stop blaming God for our mistakes and trying to hold Him accountable for our bad choices. I think that one answer is right in front of us and it would not require legislation, town meetings or executive orders. Stop enabling children by ignoring a parental responsibility to teach them right from wrong and good over evil. Do not place a weight on your children that is too heavy to bare there is a time and place for all things. Guns and violence are no less damaging to a child’s mind or heart when animated. Perhaps a game of baseball or a trip to the park is better suited for a child then a video game that is created for the sole purpose of annihilating every other character in the game.

When should we take a stance for good over evil? Always as situations present to us or to those around us for which we are present in the first, second or third. To do or say nothing is to give way to the shadow of darkness that can overcome when one least expects it. Gird yourselves and especially your children against evil rather than for evil.

-Petra Maricela Thomspon Violetarojo