Thinking Out Loud

December 15, 2012

To Our American Friends: It’s Time to Have the Conversation

Filed under: current events — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:45 am

To our friends in the U.S. in light of events yesterday;

Please accept our heartfelt sympathies.

Even though we’re close neighbors, we don’t fully understand the U.S. gun culture that is part of the DNA of those with whom we share this continent. And before we start to sound judgmental, we don’t always get it right up here, either; neither have we been immune to gun violence.

But we don’t think the framers of the U.S. constitution had yesterday in mind when they drafted the 2nd Amendment. Rather, I think they would be appalled, provided they were not completely bewildered trying to process where things presently stand.

This is only going to get worse. And worse and worse.

It’s time to drop everything else you’re doing and have the conversation necessary to save America.

It’s time to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

I know this subject rips at the emotions of people within the U.S.; and I’m not trying to open existing wounds. I am simply stating an opinion commonly held by people outside the U.S., an, “It’s broken; you need to fix that thing;” opinion which I know does not play well with some Americans. The push-back in the comments section was fully anticipated. I’m just saying that this is how it looks to outsiders. We grieve with you, and know the pain you are experiencing as a nation because this thing hits close to home for us as well. But it represents a set of circumstances that are unique to the U.S. that I truly wish were different; that Americans would begin now to beat their swords into plowshares.

I also want to say that I didn’t tag this blog post at all. I’m not looking to attract conversation here, I’m just expressing an opinion to regular readers here at Thinking Out Loud.

How does what happened get covered by Canadian news? Check out the commentary from CBC reporters Paul Hunter and Neil MacDonald especially Neil’s piece in the first segment from 6:59 to 10:28, and both reporters from approx 20:15 to 25:30 in the second segment

Deja vu all over again? Less than five months ago, we published this piece, Another Day of Random Violence

Update December 23rd — I found an interesting six-minute video today that I think you should see. The comments describing the “unique problem” in the United States are what I was aiming for here.


  1. I think it is a fair statement that the framers did not have yesterday in mind when they drafted the 2nd Amendment. However, to move from that understanding to repeal moves a bit too quickly. Better spend some time on why it was put in place. “Before one tears down a fence, it is wise to find out why it was put up in the first place.”

    Comment by pjreviewofbooks — December 15, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    • Paul, Just because this horrible act was committed with a gun, why do so many (including you) jump to the conclusion that guns are the root problem? Where is the discussion concerning the violence “taught” by video games and Hollywood movies? Where is the discussion on the break-up of the family in America? We have kicked God out of our schools in America and now one of these godless students has come into a school to do his evil act. I wonder if, while waiting desperately for the gunfire to stop, teachers could legally pray with their students and ask God to keep them safe? I suggest you turn your focus on the issues that cause such evil acts not on the tools use to commit them. This guy could have just as easily put a bomb in the school and killed just as many or more. Would you now be seeking the abolishment of dynamite? What has eroded the moral compass in America? And why? These are the real issues. And by the way… If just one adult in this school had access to a gun (a 2nd Amendment right), maybe some of these unfortunate little students would still be alive today.

      Comment by Larry — December 15, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

      • Guns don’t kill people, people do. I know. I’ve heard this before. I get it. And I’ll even grant you the point of the last sentence. But does that mean there should be a gun issued to every U.S. citizen to preserve a balance?

        Again, I just wish Americans could see how they’ve been typecast on the world stage. This situation is going to have to get worse before it gets better. More lives will be lost; adults and children.

        The U.S. Constitution is not a flawless, inerrant document. The framers of the constitution never expected separation of church and state to take its present form either. My argument would be that “the right to bear arms” is being somehow misapplied. But I’m not going to go as far to say that one view is right and another is wrong; I just wish my American friends could just step back for a minute and see how the American “wild west” looks from a British, or Canadian perspective.

        Sometimes when you’re in the middle of a situation you don’t see the big picture; didn’t someone say something about ‘not being able to see the forest for the trees?’

        Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — December 15, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

    • Jesus used hyperbole to make points, and I recognize that, in this case, it’s either hyperbole or spitting into the wind.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — December 15, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  2. Reblogged this on GoodOleWoody's Blog and Website and commented:
    T H A N K S !

    Comment by goodolewoody — December 15, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

  3. How about starting with the conversation about mental health, the family unit, love, compassion and the role christianity plays? Should everyone who has lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident demand that cars are repealed? Let’s not miss the bigger issue…we have a crisis in the mental health department.

    Comment by mj — December 15, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    • You can definitely put that spin on it. But that’s now foreign media will see it. That’s now how it looks to most people in the various countries listed in the 2nd Amendment link to Wikipedia I included.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — December 15, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  4. We don’t need to revoke the 2nd amendment. The 2nd amendment says clearly that we only have the right to bear arms in order to support ‘well regulated militia’, the likes for which it has not been utilized in the past 200 years, unless you count the Civil War. It’s a moot point when it comes to today’s gun control issues.

    Comment by missy @ it's almost naptime — December 15, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

  5. I was staggered to hear on the news that there are 9 guns for every 10 people in America, and that gun sales have soared since the latest tragedy.

    Australia banned ownership of guns under Prime Minister John Howard after the Port Arthur massacre and many thousands were handed in/bought back and destroyed. There was a dramatic decrease in murders and suicides using guns.

    I would not presume to tell America what to do, but surely at the very least, automatic and semi-automatic weapons should be outlawed?

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — December 18, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  6. A couple of things:

    1st: In regard to changing the way we are as a country because of the way “foreign countries see us”…we really aren’t concerned. We as Americans have opinions about Europeans countries and the way they are run. We would never ask them to change because of the way we see them. The same applies the other direction. It is a silly reason to change laws.

    2nd: In regard to whats wrong and what fixes it. You are just plainly wrong on the facts. There have been plenty of studies on gun law and there effect on violent crime. Here’s one from Harvard (hardly a rightwing hotbed):

    There have been assault weapon bans…they didn’t reduce crime. There are states where gun are far more regulated than others…Connecticut is one of them…they did not reduce violent crime.

    The only thing that has reduced violent crime in study after study is concealed carry laws. That is it.

    I notice the Australian bit was mentioned. Awesome. A great example of an idea that didn’t work. A commenter mentioned the decrease in gun crime. They didn’t bother to mention that these laws had zero effect on violent crime…it in fact…went up.

    My suggestion is that before you condescendingly lecture the citizen’s of some other country about what they should or should not do…know what you are talking about. Do not approach a complicated issue with silly talk that does no good for anyone.

    Comment by christopherlt — December 22, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

    • For the record, the comment which mentioned Australia was submitted by someone from Australia.

      There is no condescension here. I wrote the original piece (everything above the horizontal line) on the night of the tragedy, and everything I wrote came to pass in the 48 hours that followed. America has begun to have the conversation with an earnestness I have never witnessed before on this topic. In other words, I was reading the situation correctly.

      There is no arguing the direction the discussion has been going since the post date of this item.

      What I did say was,

      … I’m not going to go as far to say that one view is right and another is wrong; I just wish my American friends could just step back for a minute and see how the American “wild west” looks from a British, or Canadian perspective.

      To which you respond,

      …the way “foreign countries see us”…we really aren’t concerned.


      End of discussion.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — December 22, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

  7. I want to encourage everyone who is interested in learning more to watch the six-minute video here.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — December 23, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  8. […] In the meantime, I believe individuals can still make a difference, and it’s not wrong to push for gun law reform.  The day after Sandy Hook, I wrote this. […]

    Pingback by When Will The Gun Violence End? | Thinking Out Loud — May 27, 2014 @ 9:04 am

  9. It is deeply sad. Hate was the powerful killer here.

    Comment by angie — June 21, 2015 @ 9:56 am

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