“and another one gone…and another one gone…another one bites the dust…”
In the wake of the tenth anniversary of the horrendous shootings at Sandy Hook, there are two questions all of us must ask: The first question is: “What?” What is it going to take?
What is it going to take for us to courageously use our common sense, our sense of decency, the innate sense of our humanity, and take action needed to stop mass shootings?
Simply put, how many more have to “bite the dust” before we act?
There have been 609 mass shootings in the United States this year! This is more than a statistic it is an epidemic – an epidemic that should be treated just as seriously as COVID-19. We are losing human lives to senseless gun violence at an alarming rate. The US population is just under 5% of the world’s population, yet we own over half of all the guns in the world – and make no mistake – this tragedy is about guns.
Take the gun out of the equation and instead put a ketchup bottle in every shooter’s hands. While the splatter might look the same, every victim would still be alive.
Unlike other instruments used to take life, only guns were created solely to kill. They were not designed to slice potatoes, hit a baseball, remove unwanted body hair, or drive us to Grandma’s house. Guns have one reason for being – death – and they are very good at fulfilling that reason for being. Even more disturbing is that the current incarnation of guns can kill so many in a very short amount of time.
This is a matter of guns, and it is a matter of us moving beyond thoughts and prayers to enact comprehensive gun reform now.
Note that this is not a rebuke of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
We do have a right to bear arms, but we also have a greater obligation to protect, and that protection begins with removing access to weapons of mass destruction. No one should own a weapon that fires 100 bullets a minute. That is a military-grade weapon, and before we go down the well-worn path of “these weapons are for hunting” let us honestly admit that if you need a 100-bullet/high-capacity assault weapon to kill a deer…maybe you should try fishing?
No one, and I’m going to repeat this, no one (outside of military and law enforcement) should ever have access to, or use an assault weapon. They are nothing more than personal weapons of mass destruction. There is a reason nobody is allowed access to, and ownership of, a hand grenade, a missile launcher, a tank, or an atomic weapon – they were created for only one reason – to quickly eradicate many human lives in one fell swoop.
And while we are on the subject of human life, this is not just about the loss of life. It is about the loss of the promise of life…of what these slain individuals might have attained… the love they might have held and given…the movement forward of humanity that might have occurred by the efforts of their lives.
Which leads to the second question: a question for every citizen and especially every legislator within the United States: “Are you ready to take action to protect and save those lives? Yes or No?”
If yes, I propose the following template by which we can all take action to significantly reduce gun violence:
“Yes or No” Comprehensive Gun Reform Program
1) All must obtain a license to purchase and own a firearm.
- A) There must be extensive vetting in which applicants submit personal details
(including about their past) and go through a typical background check and waiting
- B) Require all applicants to complete a certified gun safety course.
Note that these requirements are basically no different from that which is required to
obtain a driver’s license.
2) The establishment of a national database to register/track guns.
Again, just like purchasing and registering an automobile.
3) A complete ban on all assault weapon ownership and sales.
- A) Including banning bump stocks and high-capacity magazines.
- B) A mandatory buyback of all current assault weapons (tax credit?).
4) Limit purchases – allow people to buy just one gun monthly.
There is no reason why anyone needs to purchase more than one weapon per
5) Funding for gun violence research and grief support from licensing and
This is a shining example of how we extract positivity from potential negativity.
How we move from the problem, to solving the problem.
6) Government-mandated red-flag legislation.
We must begin to view gun violence as domestic terrorism and treat it as such.
7) Actively instill the simple truth that guns are never the way to gain
respect, make a point or solve a problem.
Again, we draw the funds for this campaign from registration funds.
The above is an outline for a comprehensive approach to true gun reform. More than just a blueprint for reducing gun violence it also stands as a tool for defining anyone’s stance on gun reform. With this approach, every voter now has the means by which they can demand from every candidate a simple one-word answer as to where they stand concerning gun reform – “Yes or No?”. In turn, any candidate who (in any way) does not unequivocally say “Yes” means “No” and gives every voter a clear choice as to who deserves their vote. Furthermore, the “Yes or No” approach to true gun reform can and should be asked of every candidate running for any public office.
Just as it is an undeniable truth that we are all human, it is also an absolute truth that we all share life and have an obligation to protect that life…to protect anyone from “biting the dust.”
The time to live that truth is right now and hopefully, by living that truth, in another ten years we won’t be asking, “When will senseless – bring us to our senses?” and we will have moved from “Another One Bites the Dust” to “We Are the Champions.”
Seth Adamson is an Author, Teacher and Counselor specializing in Relating and Personal Transformation. His first three books “The Art of Relating” – “hu·man·u·ni·ty” and “raise-istance” are available on amazon.com. Seth is also the founder and Executive Director of the One Humanity Foundation and the Worldwide Coalition for Peace. Seth’s podcast “The Art of Relating” debuts in early 2023.