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GUEST COLUMN: The big change: Gun bless America

Willie Mae Samuel

Willie Mae Samuel, founder and director of the African American Connection for the Performing Arts in Rome

Most of the people that I have ever known believe in the 2nd Amendment and cherish it as a right. Growing up in South Carolina, I cannot remember one family in my small community who did not have at least one gun in the house.

Have you noticed that when extreme gun supporters are questioned about the high powered rifles and the automatic assault rifles, their response to the question is to never stop in the middle? They act as if there is no middle ground. Usually, the question is not should we do away with ALL guns, but what can a civilized people do to get the high powered guns off the street and out of the hands of individuals who may decide to use them on other human beings? I have not heard any one calling for anything other than gun reform. It is asinine for anyone to believe what the fear mongers are trying to propagandize to the weaker minded believers. No one is trying to stop those who may go deer hunting or rabbit hunting or dove hunting, or even have guns to protect themselves and their family. The gun lobbyist’s first response is, ”No, We must have our second amendment right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. We want to keep our guns!” The opposition always jumps from one extreme to the other. Former President Obama and all of the people who are calling for gun reform are labeled as people who are against the 2nd Amendment. The President simply stated that for normal living in a civilized society there is no need, that he could come up with, which would require an individual to have to walk, run or drive with an automatic assault rifle. When in office, each time that he asked the question, some citizens would scream, “Oh! He wants to take our guns away.” They would run out and purchase another gun and put fear in the hearts and minds of those who would listen to their lies and not think or reason for themselves. He never said that he did not believe in the 2nd Amendment and never intended to take our guns away. His desire was to keep America safe from herself.

When the Constitution was written giving Americans the 2nd Amendment, most guns were muskets using gunpowder. There were no guns with the capabilities of shooting bullets that could explode on impact or once it entered the body, nor did we have guns capable of shooting hundreds of rounds at one time.

We here in America said that we built this country on Godly principles. For the last 40 years we seem to not trust the God whom we call on to bless America, but we have put our trust in guns. We have the G’s all twisted. Many of us are saying guns bless America. We attend church every Sunday trusting in our all-powerful God who created the universe and set everything in motion. He gave man dominion over all creatures large or small. Now we have decided that guns are the answer to all of our disjointedness. Guns are the answer to all of the hate and confusion and race baiting, low moral standard and lack of integrity. Even during slavery days, the master and the slaves were able to coexist without waking up every morning desiring to kill each other. It did not mean that the slaves loved the condition in which they lived. It meant that the slaves believed in the God that they were praying to daily. The God who finally brought civility and reason to the hearts of leaders and other noble minded individuals.

While we are looking across the ocean and blaming other countries for sending us dangerous criminals, home-grown terrorists are in our homes and the homes of our neighbors, and are able to purchase 40 or more guns with no questions asked. It does not matter, Mr. President, which part of the world they grow in. Terror is terror. Gun control is common sense. But when was the last time you heard or saw common sense about guns ruling this country. Ten years ago a very weak law was passed, but since that time we have had an average of 36 people to die every day and our leaders do not blink an eye. Those 14 children in Texas deserved to be protected by the leadership in this country. Common sense gun control legislation is a must. Can you imagine what went through the minds of those 14 children who were killed in that church? Can you imagine what the 5 year old, who was shot 5 times and lived, will remember about what he saw and heard in that church on that Sunday morning?

What is it that will not allow this country to have a decent conversation about outlawing assault rifles? Is it money and the love of money? What is standing in the way? The NRA donates millions of dollars to the Republican Party every year, and very little to individual Democratic candidates, and has emerged as one of the largest and most influential lobbies in the Washington. NRA has had many victories in court, but for some strange reason I do not believe the NRA is the cause. My belief is that the hearts, soul and minds of the gun advocates have been hardened against human decency and a high level of morality. When we have leaders who express satisfaction in violence being inflicted on others, other weak-minded individuals will follow. We now have leaders who would seem to find it more natural to close out their messages by saying “Guns bless America.” But let us remember that the God who left man in charge is still sitting there giving man time to confess his sin and turn back to Him. An old minister of old said, “It is time for us to be what we is, and stop trying to be what we ain’t, because when we try to be what we ain’t we can never be what we is.” So is it “guns bless America” or “God bless America?”

Willie Mae Samuel is the founder and director of the African American Connection for the Performing Arts in Rome.