The Cost of The Right to Bear Arms

One week ago Monday, the 16th of April, 2007, a lonely young man named Seung-Hui Cho took his revenge on “them,” as allowed for by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. I do not raise a liberal or a conservative flag today, but try to reflect simply on what happened. Cho legally purchased his first handgun on February 9, waited one month, as required by federal law, then legally purchased his second handgun on March 16.

Actually, these purchases weren’t legal: Cho was deemed a danger to himself due to mental illness by a Virginia judge in 2005, which would have disqualified him from purchasing a handgun according to a 1968 federal gun law barring those with a history of mental illness from purchasing firearms… but let’s assume that a concerned acquaintance of Cho’s hadn’t reported to the V-Tech magistrate one day that Cho “might be suicidal,” and continue on, for the sake of discussion.

After purchasing the guns, this young man used them as he saw fit. Very, very, very illegally, yes; but once a man holds a weapon in his hand, it is beyond the law to control how he will use it.

We know that freedom is not free, that freedom must be bought and maintained at the highest price. When stated in sweeping language, by a politician or a major motion picture, most Americans are pleased to agree. On the 16th of April, the freedom to bear arms in America cost thirty-two families the lives of their loved ones … and the nation remains free to bear arms, for display, for recreation, for protection. There will be more deaths, thousands upon thousands more, and America will purchase a freedom that most other nations no longer believe their people deserve. Is this worth the price?

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