To the Editor:
According to the Constitution, our United States government is created to, among other things, ”insure domestic Tranquility and provide for the common defense.” These vital and necessary functions have increasingly become more and more indistinguishable. America spends more on defense annually than the next 13 nations combined, and yet we remain 25 times more likely to die by gunfire at home than citizens in any other country in the world.
We now are spending almost as much on military defense as we spent at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet more Americans die each year domestically from gun violence than died in the prosecution of both of those wars put together. I needn’t list all the mass shootings — they are too numerous and too depressing to recount. But isn’t it time to redistribute some of that defense spending to domestic defense?
There is no prospect for tranquility on our home front with the increasingly present danger of some madman opening fire on innocent citizens, worst of all little children, anywhere, anytime. If nothing else, there is no justifiable reason for the Second Amendment to protect ownership of automatic or semi-automatic weapons, which are responsible for many of these mass shootings. We are becoming hostage to domestic terror, the very thing we have spent trillions to suppress overseas. With literally thousands of American lives at stake each and every year, we need to invoke a more realistic approach to our government’s responsibility to carry out those basic protections guaranteed in the Constitution.