Our Children, Our Present, Our Future

By Fleming El-Amin

Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, American Coalition for Good Government

The media has been inundated with opposing views on the appropriate response to the tragedy of Newtown, Connecticut and Chicago, Illinois. The theme for these horrendous and cruel events is the safety of our children.

How do we as responsible citizens do a better job of addressing the violent culture that has placed our children in their sights as targets?

Can we honestly just say that these killings are the price we pay for living in a Democracy?

As a Civics and Economics High School teacher, I am familiar with the historical context of the liberty we have in the 2nd Amendment. “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”.  The meaning of the “right to keep and bear arms” in 1789 meant a flint-lock rifle, n  ot an Uzi.

The interpretation was changed in 2008, as a result of the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller.  This case granted more freedoms for individuals to bear arms, however, even with more freedoms for individuals granted in this case, the Supreme Court indicated that it did not mean that the government should not impose restrictions on gun ownership.

So why is it so difficult to have an intelligent debate on the critical need to restrict the easy access to automatic weapons designed for military combat?

Why can’t the safety of our children, their present safety, and their future safety be the focus of this needed debate?

I have a younger brother who is an avid hunter and I was introduced to the safety of guns as a young boy under the careful watch of my grandfather. Neither one of them would object to limiting this military designed weapons with 30-100 clips.

Hunting in the woods is as American as apple pie. However, hunting down our innocent children is barbaric and we need to dedicate our energies to stopping this violent aspect of our culture.