Gun Violence, Rights and Higher Law

In reaction to a story (“Parker’s father: I’m on a mission,” Aug. 28) about Alison Parker’s dad, Andy, working to prevent gun violence, a friend recently commented to me:

Alison Parker and Adam Ward. Photo: WDBJ7
Alison Parker and Adam Ward. Photos: WDBJ7

“Hopefully he spends some time advocating for mental illness treatment also.”

I do, too — for the sake of the mentally ill.

Regarding gun violence:
Unfortunately, all societies have mentally ill people.

Most societies don’t arm them.

We also arm the angry, the violent, the jealous, bad guys, good guys, guys with a beef, good guys-who-turn-bad-guys, the responsible and the irresponsible.
In some cases, does anyone even know who it is we arm?
I don’t worry about the guys I know who own firearms. I worry about those I don’t know — like the guys who just loaded up their pants, cars or vans with guns at the Roanoke Gun Show.
How much injury, death and family heartache is at the end of those roads?

We can’t let mental illness become the red-herring, excuse du jour for America’s gun violence.

And we can’t let America’s promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness be further diminished by those selfishly demanding their preferred, narrow, unrestricted right (sell/buy all guns, for everyone, all the time) at the expense of all Americans’ other rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The right to go to church, school, a movie, work, a mall without fear of getting shot.

We cannot add a Commandment (Second Amendment — to an unregulated extreme?) or subtract one (Thou shall not kill) at the cost of killing thousands, and the unregulated selling of the tools of killing.

Not for hobby, not for fear, not for greed, not for politics.

– Jerry Guzi

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