Do you want real change that will lower gun fatalities?

“The President and Congress have a basic responsibility to keep Americans safe, and elected officials are not powerless to stop this. My colleagues and I have to do more to keep our communities safe.” – US Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA).

Not long ago, there was a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, normally a quiet town. First, another crazed man … and then another bunch of politicians saying, “let’s pray,” with no end in sight. 

Gun RouletteBut Gov. Northam (D) of Virginia is the exception, risking the wrath of the NRA to propose real change. He’s asked for a special session of the Virginia General Assembly to enact, in his words:

  • Universal background checks;
  • A ban on assault weapons, to include suppressors and bump stocks;
  • An extreme risk protective order;
  • Reinstating the one-gun-a-month law;
  • Child access prevention;
  • Requiring people to report lost and stolen firearms; and
  • Expanding local authority to regulate firearms, including in government buildings.

Now is the time for the General Assembly to act. What’s the alternative? Do nothing? Arm everyone? The next time, it may just as easily be a school, as it so often seems to be.

With that in mind, here is a theoretical but vivid picture of what might happen if we take the NRA’s … and President Trump’s… advice and arm teachers. These are just my thoughts, but unfortunately, I can foresee this horrible scenario or one very similar to it happening someday soon:

Johnny was a troubled small-town boy who went squirrel hunting with his Dad. People picked on him as a skinny, small kid growing up. He justifiably developed a bad attitude over his years in high school, hating those bullies. 

When he got out of school, he joined the Army where he learned to shoot assault rifles. But a big guy in a bar pushed him; Johnny got into a fight and shot the aggressor with a Saturday Night Special. He was dishonorably discharged and went to prison for a short time.

When he got out of prison, he started going to gun shows because no identification is needed to purchase a weapon, even for criminals. Eventually, he bought an AR-15 which he became good at shooting, using extended magazines.

Johnny returned to his old school which had a policy of arming the principal and assistant principal. He shot them first before they could even draw their small handguns. He then found out from the school secretary which teachers had guns… and shot them next as they ran from the AR-15.

He then shot the security guard, an elderly Sherriff’s Deputy, in the back as he ran for the exit. The guard knew that his Glock was no match for a military style automatic rifle.”

In this made up yet realistic tale, you the reader can surmise what happens next. It ends with Johnny being shot by SWAT and the NRA bought politicians saying let’s pray (again) and little else. Until it happens the next time, when again these politicians’ prayers are expressed to those grieving.

The point to this upsetting scenario is that simply arming a few teachers and posting an armed guard (like they had at Parkland) helps nothing. It’s just an excuse in place of real action which would lower gun fatalities.

Gov Northam is right. It is folly to permit anyone, including crazies and criminals, to be able to purchase weapons at gun shows with no background check at all. It negates the entire reason for having background checks. 

There is no reason for anyone of any age to own a military type semi-automatic rifle (which can easily be converted to automatic). I’m a gun owner and like to shoot other guns at target ranges; but it simply is no fun to shoot an AR-15, the gun used at Parkland and many other school shootings. I have shot an AR-15, a semi-automatic military assault rifle, numerous times at gun ranges.  The AR-15 does not hit a target; it destroys it. There is no skill involved. 

We have five times the per capita gun deaths of European nations. Why? Because we have more guns, ineffective laws and very weak background checks. Gov. Northam is to be commended for his efforts, but why don’t we have stronger national gun control laws?

Further, Rep. Scott is correct. These are not technical issues; they are political ones. Virtually all Southern GOP Senators and Congressmen have an “A” rating from the NRA, as well as a few Democrats. They oppose any and all national legislation which would lessen fire arm deaths.

Do you want real change that will lower gun fatalities? Be a single-issue voter. Pledge now to vote against any NRA supported politicians in the next election.


Image Credit: Gun Roulette by Steve Sack - licensed by at Daryl Cagle’s Store.

Jack Bernard

Jack Bernard

Jack A Bernard is a retired SVP with a national healthcare corporation. He was Chair of the Jasper County, Ga Board of Commissioners and Republican Party. He was also on the Board of Health for Jasper County and is currently on the Fayette County BOH. Bernard has over 100 columns published annually, primarily in the South.