Freedom isn’t free. You hear this saying a lot nowadays. Gun advocates are always reminding us of their Second Amendment rights. This amendment was enacted in 1791 when the weapon of choice was a single-shot musket. Isn’t there something about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in our Declaration of Independence? Shouldn’t my family have a reasonable expectation of coming home alive from our house of worship, mall, movie theater, elementary school, high school and college? I am sorry, but right now I do not feel very free. Where does one person’s rights end and my rights begin?
We have a handgun at home and, although I am not a hunter, I have nothing against hunting. Over the last 30 years, there have been 62 mass shootings in the United States. Most of these tragedies were from semi-automatic or assault weapons with high-capacity clips. Eight children are killed every day in our country due to gun violence. More people died from gun violence in the last two years than died during the entire Vietnam War.
It is time for common sense, reason and a large dose of love and compassion for our fellow man. Gun violence in our country is a national tragedy, and just think how we appear to the rest of the world. This is not only a moral and ethical issue, but as a physician, it is also a public health issue.