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Las Vegas Shooting: Will We Ever Change?

vegas race 2

I am grieving for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting along with the rest of the nation.

Truth be known, I live in daily fear of mass shootings. Every morning when I send my kids off to school I wonder if its the last time I’ll see them.

I was thinking about it on Sunday afternoon, in fact, just hours before a man shot and killed 58 people who just wanted to visit a country music festival.

I have been working since Tuesday on a post for Wide Open Country about the victims of the shooting. They are you and me. They are moms and dads and brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, sons, daughters, best friends. They are businessmen and housewives, they are police officers and waitresses. I know all their names, the ones who have been released anyway.

I realized today that I have been to the outdoor concert venue where the shooting took place.

Vegas concert

I was there in 2013 with my husband, running my first half marathon (and he ran his first marathon).

It was a momentous occasion for the both of us, so we decided to go big or go home, and we went to Vegas to run the Rock & Roll race there, which took runners down the strip so you could see the lights.

Vegas Race

We saw the All American Rejects perform before the race started.

A gun went off.

It was the starting gun. It signaled cheers from the crowd of over 40,000 people. It took me over an hour to finally reach the starting line because I was so far back in the corrals.

las-vegas-shooting-graphic-ap-ps-171002_4x3_608

I can’t help but wonder if maybe, maybe this time will be the time that we finally address this as a nation.

I am a gun owner, and a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. I’m also in favor of sensible gun reform.

Yes, I know the difference between a fully-automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon. No, I’m not afraid of guns. No, I don’t want to abolish the 2nd Amendment and give up my gun. I don’t want you to have to do that, either.

I have had endless arguments with people who seem to think that any attempt at regulation is tantamount to abolishing the 2nd Amendment, but y’all, there is a grey area in between.

It’s not all or nothing. In fact, regulation is built into the 2nd Amendment.

I know, everyone always quotes SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, but if you don’t acknowledge the regulation part, then how much of a 2nd Amendment purist can you really be?

Here’s the whole text, in its entirety:

“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.”

See? I didn’t make it up. They intended us to regulate the “militia” (which is all of us).

I have seen some folks deciding that maybe it’s time to get rid of bump stocks, and that’s a really good place to start.

We could also make a national registry of violent felons and people whose mental health has been declared as a danger to themselves or others, so that when violent felons or mentally disturbed people travel across state lines to purchase guns (like the VA Tech shooter did) the vendors know not to sell them any.

We could close the straw-purchase loophole that made it possible for the Columbine shooters to obtain a weapon from a friend.

We could make mental healthcare affordable (note, I didn’t say “free”, I said “affordable”) and easily accessible.

All of these things would be a really great way to prevent more mass shootings. If we could stop even one, I’d consider that a victory. I don’t want to know where the next one will be, but I know there will be a next one.

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