Guest Columnist William Lambers: Founding Fathers would want gun control today


Published: 03-30-2023 12:41 PM

The tragic shootings in Nashville, with children and staff at the Covenant School being killed, demands action from Congress. But so many times we have seen Congress do nothing after gun violence.

If America’s Founding Fathers could have traveled in time to today, they would be horrified to see these mass shootings in our schools and communities. They would also be shocked that the Congress has done so little to stop these tragedies.

The Founding Fathers, if they could have foreseen the terror of today, would surely have revised the Second Amendment. They would urge us to implement gun control today.

There must be some limitations on the right to bear arms of the Second Amendment. There must be gun control including banning assault weapons. As the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once wrote “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

There are many simple, common sense steps that Congress should pass into law right now to protect Americans from the scourge of gun violence.

Nicole Hockley, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in 2012, says “Simple policy actions — like background checks for all gun sales, requiring secure storage, enforcing magazine limits for firearms, and implementing extreme risk protection orders — are proven to save lives. We demand that legislators pass these sensible remedies now — before another life is taken by gun violence.”

The Congress should pass legislation that would ban assault weapons like the ones used in the Nashville shootings and many other attacks.

The Founding Fathers would not want us to ignore the present danger. The right to bear arms in the Second Amendment was written by the Founding Fathers because in their time the Minutemen and militias needed guns to fight for America. There was no well-established U.S. Army at that time like the powerful one we have today to defend the country. Achieving and preserving America’s independence in those early years relied upon the citizen being able to possess a musket and be called into action. That is what led to the creation of the Second Amendment.

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But times are different today, and the security of our country depends on gun control legislation to protect our citizens from these constant shootings. Nobody is safe right now. Gun violence can happen anywhere.

Assault weapons should be for the military and police. There is no civilian need for these weapons. As General Wesley Clark once said, “I have grown up with guns all my life, but people who like assault weapons should join the United States Army, we have them.”

The most powerful nation in world history should be able to protect its citizens, especially children, from being gunned down. There should never be any fatalities at schools or anywhere from shootings. Banning assault weapons needs to happen to help achieve the safety we expect as citizens.

Mark Barden, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund, says “We know, firsthand, the devastating consequences of weapons of war in mass shootings. Limiting civilian access to military weapons like these will save lives; that fact is indisputable.” Barden is the father of Daniel, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action says, “Assault weapons have been used to cause unspeakable harm in matters of seconds — in grocery stores and schools and at parades, and are the weapon of choice for mass shooters for a reason. These weapons of war have no place in our communities.”

Every loss to gun violence is a loss shared by all. We should all be united to prevent it from ever happening again.

William Lambers is the author of “The Road to Peace” and “Ending World Hunger.”