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I Want to Live – in Peace

By Nicole Noles

LWV of Charlotte County

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

That’s what the NRA wants you to believe. That’s what the NRA says every time the issue of reasonable restrictions are suggested for gun buyers. Gun restrictions are un-American. Gun restrictions are unconstitutional.

Gun restrictions mean the bad guys will win.

But a good guy with a gun could not have prevented, or mitigated, the Las Vegas massacre that claimed the lives of 59 people and injured 520 Sunday night.

The NRA wants you to believe that one citizen’s Second Amendment right is more important than the rights of the many to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The right to own a silencer is more important than the life of your colleagues.

The right to buy bump stock devices is more important than the lives of your friends.

The right to own a semi-automatic rifle is more important than the lives of your family members.

It’s a gamble that innocent American citizens are losing every day.

The bad guys have an upper hand. And the armed citizens of this country aren’t going to be able to stop them when our own citizens snipe at us from the safety of a hotel room, out of range of danger while they reign terror on our friends, colleagues and family.

By all accounts, there was no way to know the Las Vegas shooter, who does not deserve to be named, would turn “rogue.” It’s true that background checks would not have prevented this tragedy. The NRA is right about that.

But a ban on semi-automatic weapons, silencers and bump-stock devices could have.

Yes, he could have still acquired all of these. Bad guys can still get all these items, even if we make them illegal.

But we don’t have to make it easy. Why is one person’s right to own these items more important than our right to go to a concert and make it home alive?

Does any one American need 49 guns?

According to stats from ABC News, there have been 273 mass shootings this year. There were 483 last year.

Americans are living in a war zone, and we have become numb to the casualties. Vigils put a band-aid on our conscience so we can ignore the horror that our fellow citizens are living and grieving through in the name of Second Amendment freedoms.

Because this is the the land of the free, and innocent blood in mass shootings is an acceptable price to pay for the right to bear semi-automatic weapons, silencers, and bump stock devices.

Remember, this shooter and other mass-shooting killers were not hunting for food.

These killers were not defending their homes or their lives.

These killers were not defending our country, or our fellow citizens.

These killers murdered our colleagues, our friends, and our family members in cold blood. Like we were the animals. They murdered us in large numbers, by themselves. Because we armed them – with liberal gun rights and the barest of restrictions.

We don’t have to give up the Second Amendment. But it is time to restrict the rights of a few for the safety of the many.

The shooter got what he wanted – the death and destruction of innocent Americans. We lost the battle. Even if we had been armed at the concert, we would have lost the battle. It was a trap – a lethal trap. And it’s legal.

Todd Blyleven, son of Hall of Fame pitcher Bert, who helped run survivors to safety during this worst mass shooting in our history, said, “We can’t let these people win.”

Why do we keep letting domestic terrorists win?

We can disarm them. Australia did it. We can too.

Do we have the courage to protect innocent Americans? Or will we listen and follow the leaders who tell us we should learn to get small so that we do not infringe upon the rights of gun-toting domestic terrorists to kill us like animals?

I will not “get small”. That is not the American way.

I will stand for my right to safely attend a concert, a movie, or church, without being attacked by Americans wielding semi-automatic weapons. I will stand for the Americans who died senselessly at the hands of domestic terrorists.

I will stand for tighter gun restrictions and a ban on semi-automatic weapons and accessories. It is my right. And I want to live. In peace. That is also my right.

Will you?

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