February 15, 2018: Thoughts From My Son on This Week’s Tragedy

Yesterday, a horrific tragedy occurred in Florida. I have struggled to put into words my feelings, so I want to share something my 17 year old son Eric wrote about yesterday’s shooting, I’m very proud of him.

“Yesterday, America witnessed yet another tragic shooting that ranks as the 8th most deadly in modern US history. But instead I would like to talk about cars.

The first cars hit the road in the late 1800s, but come the invention of the Model T by Ford, the car became a crucial piece of societal life. Originally, these cars were driven without legislation and by no surprise, this caused issues. There began to be needless casualties spanning from minor but avoidable injury to death as a result of reckless driving and design flaws. Come 1960, Congress acknowledged the need for legislation to insure the safety of automobile operators in the event of a crash, and also to deter reckless people from getting behind the wheel. Flash forward to the modern day, and car restrictions are quite heavy with license requirements, speed limits, test requirements etc. Wait, why am I talking about cars?

Both cars and guns have evolved dramatically since their debut with new technologies and methods of production. The difference is, as they both got more lethal, only one of the two brought legislation along with it. Now it would be absurd to suggest that cars should be banned altogether given their practical purposes right? The same can be said about guns. Yet, not a single person is arguing that auto manufacturers should be allowed to cut safety features out of their cars, that speed limits should be abolished, or that someone convicted of driving drunk should be able to go out on the road again unpunished and unrestricted. So why would we not have similar restrictions for guns?

Though, there is one pretty major difference in the two I may have left out. Guns are made to injure and/or kill. Whether that be hunting, self defense, or cold blooded murder, these are lethal weapons.

But not all guns are created equal. I have no problem with an 80 year old lady keeping a revolver in her bedside table drawer in order to shoot a violent intruder if necessary, but I’d have a hard time believing that same gun could take 17 lives so swiftly and easily as they were taken today. Instead, an AR-15 was used, which packs significantly more force than your average handgun and still fires bullets small enough to lead to inoperable complications if you live long enough to see the hospital. And this is one of the tamer guns available on the market. It does not even scratch the surface of other major assault riffles that are also legally purchasable.

To the ladies and gentleman of Congress:

How many deaths will it take for you to acknowledge that overly powerful weapons are too widely available to citizens and are causing the deaths of your own constituents? It is time to step off the high horse that your party has so kindly provided you, and be rational representatives of our nation. Guns are deadly, and there is no reason that there should not be heavy legislation surrounding this market. Open your eyes, because thoughts and prayers don’t cut it anymore. God does not have a seat in our government, you do.”