I am sick and tired of hearing the phrase, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  We live in a nation that has more guns than citizens and one of the worst homicide rates out of any civilized country, and yet, those who are against stricter gun control will tell you their firearms are not to blame.

I know for some of you out there, this entire “conversation” that is happening in congress about gun control seems like a sick joke.  The answer seems obvious because, well it is.  Take the firearm out of the equation and save lives.

Unfortunately, thanks to the supreme court’s ruling in 2008 in the famous case of The District of Columbia v. Heller, the second amendment which stood for over 200 years has had its meaning drastically altered.

“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,” was intended to give the states the right to keep a standing militia in order to prevent a future tyrannical take over by the federal government over its people.

The second amendment was not written to assure that you and I have the right to own multiple killing machines with high capacity magazines.  The amendment had been challenged in court three different times prior to 2008 (in 1876, 1886, and 1939) and each time the amendment held its original meaning.

What is most shocking is the Supreme Courts ruling that every individual citizen has the fundamental right to keep and bear arms occurred after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, the worst school shooting in our nation’s history.

If the right to bear arms is suppose to protect “bad guys with guns” by arming “good guys” with guns, then why have we since seen the Aurora, Colorado shooting, and most recently last month’s Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting?

We live in a country that has more non-military firearms than citizens and, in fact, according to an August 1st 2012 study conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) there are over 125,000 federally licensed firearms dealers.

According to federal figures, as reported by CNN, in 2009 there were 310 million non-military firearms within our borders.  To put that figure into perspective, in their January 3rd report the U.S. Census Bureau reported the population of the United States in July of 2009 to be about 306 million persons.

In a nation that has more guns than citizens, and more guns dealers than grocery stores, we cannot expect to change this unfortunate status quo of crime and violence.  Those who say crime rates would go up if we enforce stricter gun control laws, I say open your eyes to our allies abroad who boast homicide rates that are incredibly smaller than ours.

Our second amendment right is fundamental, it is not absolute, but what is absolute are the results of gun violence; just ask any family who has lost a loved one to a crime committed with a firearm.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not ignorant to the fact that we have a problem with violence in our culture and that we have a mental illness problem as well.  But I am also well aware of the fact that our congress has allowed the National Rifle Association to draft legislation which severely reduces the power of the ATF to enforce gun laws.

We must challenge congress to be more transparent with it’s citizens on the issue of gun control.  We must take the guns out of the hands of those who are not officers of the law and those who are not using them to hunt.  Lets encourage a culture that doesn’t glorify this type of behavior.

They say the first step to fixing any problem is admitting there is a problem in the first place.  America, we have a gun problem.

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