Making Sense of the Virginia-Tech Tragedy Print
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Tuesday, 17 April 2007 08:56
The United States and much of the civilized world are mourning the loss of 32 innocent lives in yesterday's madness at the Virginia Tech university.
The massacre has revived the issue of the constitutional right of Americans, even those who are mere immigrants to the United States as in the case of the Virginia-Tech shooter, to bear arms.
There is no doubt that the status quo, as defended by the National Rifle Association, will continue to prevail. Americans, including green-card holders, without any criminal record will maintain their legal right to purchase even automatic guns.
Perhaps American policymakers and decisionmakers can arrive at a compromise if they will examine American history and the development of guns. It is true that the founding fathers of the United States decided that Americans be given the constitutional right to bear arms.
But the founding fathers at that time were familiar only with flintlock rifles. The technology at that time produced only the so-called "Brown Bess" guns, which became famous because of their widespread use during the American Revolution against the British colonizers.
Perhaps there should be a new law limiting American civilians to the right to bear only flintlock rifles while leaving to the United States military and law-enforcement agencies the use of modern high-powered automatic rifles. If this were the case, then the Virginia-Tech shooter would have probably been able to shoot only one or two victims, as he would have needed time to reload a "Brown Bess" gun, if it were the only kind of weapon that he would have been allowed to purchase. # # #

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Last Updated on Sunday, 06 May 2007 23:09
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