If you see something, say something
By Don Valentine
We have the responsibility to “Be our brother’s keeper.” It’s a moral responsibility to speak up if you see something that does not look right. In the Charleston incident, National Public Radio reported that one of the villain’s friends had taken his gun away. He was concerned about racist comments and feared his friend would do something awful. If his friend had only followed up on his premonition.
Instead, after an hour of worship this Monster shoots the pastor and eight more in cold blood. Potentially they could have been spared if we just limit the easy access to firearms. The second amendment states: “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 Founding Fathers and subsequent court rulings have not concluded that psychological background tests would be an infringement. The Founders did not make this amendment so a psychopath could possess arms to kill elementary school children [Sandy Hook], college kids [University of Virginia massacre] or people enjoying a movie in Arizona.
The President is on point with advocating restrictive, stringent rules to possess firearms. Certain segments of our Republican patriarchs refuse to reign in the easy access to arms. The strong N.R.A. lobby notwithstanding, we should have a psychological test administered prior to gun sales. Moreover, states like South Carolina have such a lax background check you can buy a gun in less time than it takes to apply for a driver’s license. This monster had a felony charge on his record when he bought his gun.
C.N.N. noted federal figures estimated 310 million non-military fire arms in the U.S. Factor in we have about 330 – 350 million citizens. That equates to one gun for every person over 12 years old. This tragedy MUST be the nexus to once and for all get Congress to come to terms with a viable impervious federal gun statute.
Stringent gun laws will help. As a community we still have to be diligent. In this current cataclysm the signs were apparent. N.P.R.’s Diane Rehm reported that his friends had read parts of his manifesto. Add the anti-Black comments and parading the slavery supportive confederate flag. These were obvious precursors to what happened.
In our terrorist-riddled world there are elements that do not favor our security. Call 911 if you see something that does not look right. It is far better to be “Wary” than “Sorry”. If you see something, say something!
Don Valentine, Free Lance Writer, U.C. Berkeley ’89 B.S. Psychology, McGeorge Law School J.D. ‘92.