The Consequences of Your “Rights”

I am so lucky to live in a country where people are so proud of their rights.  This country was founded on freedom (well, not really but let’s not go there…) and us Americans are pretty darn proud of that freedom.  Our list of rights is pages longer than many countries’ list of clean water sources.  We are so lucky.

One of the rights that many Americans are most proud of is their God-given right to carry a weapon.  With the increasingly prevalent issue this country has with shootings, this right is one that seems to come up time and time again.  People get all up in arms (ha, no pun intended), saying “don’t let these outliers take away our God-given right” Well, guess what.

Your God-given right is killing people.

I was just reading a post that a friend of mine shared about the lack of mass shootings in Australia.  Australia hasn’t experienced one of these tragedies in 19 years.  19 YEARS!!  Meanwhile, America has experienced 355 mass shootings this year – which brings us to over one. per. day.

Chalk it up to the media – sure: the media has a way of glorifying criminals and thus inspiring copycats.  To an extent, I agree.  But is this to say that other countries don’t have as influential of a media outreach?  Surely we can’t be that naive.

Chalk it up to mental illness – fine: many of the people who carry out these acts are mentally ill in some say.  Does this mean there are not mentally ill people in other countries?  Hmm, no…that doesn’t make sense either.

I chalk it up to your precious God-given right.

Australia (just taking this as an example) modified this right just over 19 years ago.  In the 12 days following their most recent mass shooting, the Australian government processed, voted on, and passed lengthy new legislation which banned dozens of assault rifles (you know, the ones killing people in America every single day).  They actually bought the weapons back from their owners, trading a God-given right for peace.  What a concept.  When will we be able to see this rationally?  My god, it could be so simple.

I’m sitting in an airport terminal as I write this, and a 3 year-old girl just approached me and asked if I would teach her how I buttoned my coat, since she only knows how to zipper hers.  I hope the world becomes a better place for young Bella.  Such innocence, while the rest of us adults sit here subconsciously analyzing our fellow passengers, scanning the room for the next crazy person with a God-given right.

It took Australia 12 days.  It’s been two days since our last mass shooting.  What have we done?