Open Book
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say something, do something

In the early 1600’s Galileo reached a point where he quit arguing for his scientific explanation of heliocentrism. Instead, he simply invited opponents to look through his telescope. Sadly, so certain were his opponents of what they thought they knew, most refused even to take a peek.

Today, many of us are so sure of what we think we know that we won’t even take a peak at another perspective.
This reality is on parade following another mass killing. Advocates of gun-control and gun-rights are so busy arguing, demonstrating, and insulting each other that they don’t dare peak at their opponent’s point-of-view. Meanwhile, mass shootings are so common many have become numb to the deadly toll.

God’s people cannot be numb.

Many claim guns are the problem. Technology has made firearms more effective. Even those with weak bodies in addition to warped minds can be deadly, thanks to modern firearms. When the US Constitution was adopted, it was only a well-trained rifleman who could fire three rounds in less than a minute. Today, any moron can fire three rounds in less than a second.

Others claim our culture glorifies killing. In his book
Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill, US Army Ranger Lt.Col Dave Grossman believes a steady diet of violent entertainment is the root cause of mass shootings. Children witness hundreds of violent images a day. Scientific research quantifies how our entertainment industry conditions children to be violent, indoctrinates some to see killing as a solution, and even teaches the mechanics of murder.

But few people will even take a peak at how our right-to-privacy has fed the death toll. Last week’s shooter was diagnosed as mentally unhealthy at age three! Fellow students agreed he was dangerous. He was expelled from high school. Over thirty times the police responded to complaints about his activity. He was medicated. He was seeing a counselor.

Yet the killer’s right-to-privacy prevented all this data from being included in the
NICS system designed to prevent or at least delay a prospective buyer from acquiring a firearm. The killer was too young to buy alcohol, but our cultural right-to-privacy allowed him to buy deadly weapons.

Privacy, in fact, isn’t mentioned in the Constitution. Unable to cite a right-to-privacy, in 1965 the Supreme Court discovered a “penumbra” formed by unspecified “emanations from the Bill of Rights.” Eight years later the Supreme Court used this penumbra formed out of emanations to legalize abortion.

Regardless of your view on gun ownership, there is a cultural consensus that a person’s personal conduct should prohibit that individual from possessing a weapon. Felons, the dangerously mentally ill, perpetrators of domestic violence—all have, after legal proceedings, had their personal right to bear arms revoked.

Time and again prospective killers give warning signals—personal threats, posts on social media, etc. Although others have seen and have reported such signals, authorities are strictly limited in how they can confront a potential crime.
David French suggests we empower friends and family to be able to actually do something after they “see something” and “say something”.

gun-violence restraining order (GVRO) would be similar to a restraining order now common in family law. It would empower citizens to go beyond saying something, then left only to hope that something is done. During the past three years law enforcement failed to act ahead of time on information provided prior to the Charleston church shooting, the Orlando nightclub shooting, the Sutherlands Springs church shooting, and now the Parkland school shooting. Those misses cost over 100 lives.

A GVRO law won’t solve gun violence. But it will empower citizens. It targets demonstrably dangerous individuals, not gun-owners as a group. And it could return to family and friends the power federal incompetence has lost—the power to save lives. ~

Dan Nygaard