Joe the Plumber aka Samuel Wurzelbacher, penned an open letter on the website Barbwire, where he explained to the UC Santa Barbara victims' parents that the deaths won't undermine his "Constitutional rights." I read his letter, and though he does express sympathy and sorrow at the loss of their loved ones and states that he will pray for them, in the same breath he also states ... "But: As harsh as this sounds - your dead kids don't trump my Constitutional rights."
I have a few thoughts I'd like to share.
What about the Constitutional rights of those kids who were shot down like animals in the street? What about their hopes and dreams Joe? What about their futures? A longed for career? A dreamed of wedding? Children? What about their rights? You say that their lives, taken at the hand of an insane maniac, don't trump your right to own a gun. I disagree. I understand that YOU are a responsible gun owner, BUT as harsh as this may sound ... dead human beings trump your gun rights any day. PERIOD.
The shooter purchased his guns LEGALLY. Doesn't that make you pause for even a minute? The shooter was terribly, mentally ill. How would a gun shop owner KNOW that? You can't tell crazy by looking at it. We live in a very dangerous world that is fast becoming more and more unsafe. There have been approximately 40 shootings since Newtown. That is CRAZY. Constitutional rights are for everyone to enjoy and I consider LIFE far more important than your right to bear arms. We are not living in 1800's.
According to you, you believe that if everyone were armed we'd be safer. I don't agree with that. It would seem to me that if everyone were armed we'd have a nation full of paranoid people who, very likely, might shoot first and ask questions later. Life and liberty are constitutional rights also and should be enjoyed without the fear of being mowed down by an AK47 because you decided to go to a movie theatre or attend a particular school. I understand that YOU are a responsible gun owner, BUT, as harsh as this may sound ... dead human beings trump your right to own a gun PERIOD.
You have to at least try to see the other side of your argument. Violence is much too pervasive in America. There are mass shootings so often that it is now almost normal. All the loss of life that leave loved ones left behind to suffer and sorrow for their loved ones who are gone forever. Why is it so, so important that you have the right to own a gun or an arsenal? I think it is because YOU are paranoid. You are afraid. You are threatened.
I think the world would be a better place if guns were illegal. Maybe that is not realistic, but something has to be done to stop this insanity. You say the one thing you never want to go through is what these parents are going through now. I don't doubt that. But I also believe that if you did ... if you KNEW how it felt to have your son or daughter mowed down by a crazed gunman your opinion might shift ... in a nanosecond.
I think that sometimes people are so set in defending what they believe that they forget to think. To really evaluate all aspects of a situation. They are so unyielding. But if, in order to promote the greater good, could you give up your guns? Probably not.
And therein lies the problem. People who are so unyielding and implacable that change cannot happen. And there's always money. The gun lobbies and the NRA are VERY powerful organizations who have pumped gazillions of dollars to candidates who support their agenda. It's gotten so crazy. So out of control that reality has become horribly skewed and no one is even able to see it.
So Joe ... I hope and pray you are never touched by gun violence. I hope your children never find a gun in your home and playing around accidentally shoot a kill a neighbor, or vice versa. Because it happens all the time, every day, all across America. People are being killed by guns. And it's wrong. Very, VERY wrong.