Gun owners’ rights? What about the victims’ rights?

AP, August 3, 2010: MANCHESTER, Conn. – A warehouse driver who a union official said was caught on video stealing beer from the distributorship where he worked went on a shooting rampage there Tuesday, killing eight people and wounding two before committing suicide, authorities said.

“Omar Thornton, 34, pulled a handgun after a meeting in which he had been offered the chance to quit or be fired,” Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminy said.”

“Thornton had been caught on videotape stealing beer,” Teamsters official Christopher Roos said.

On Tuesday morning, about 50 to 70 people were in the warehouse about 10 miles east of Hartford during a shift change when the gunman opened fire around 7 a.m.

“Thornton was alive when police got to the scene but killed himself before officers got to him,” Montminy said.

His girlfriend’s mother is quoted as saying, “After shooting his co-workers … (he) called his mother … He wanted to say goodbye and that he loved everybody.”

(She) described Thornton as an easygoing guy who liked to play sports and video games. She said he had a pistol permit and had planned to teach her daughter how to use a gun.

I’m all for the Constitution of The United States.

However our country, society and people have changed since 1776.

The Second Amendment to the Bill Of Rights “that protects the right to keep and bear arms” was adopted on December 15, 1791.

Is THIS what they meant? Did our founding fathers and drafters of our Constitution and Bill of Rights really intend that just because someone has a gun permit, he or she is allowed to use it however?

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

I don’t think that the intention was to allow “people to keep and bear arms” in order to KILL other people just because the bearer of the arms is angry and uses the arms to kill those who make him or her unhappy.

This man had a permit to have a gun, then he used it to murder other people when he was caught breaking the law.

Sure we all get angry but how many of us actually KILL others?

Let’s not forget the kids who have access to guns who, not supervised and/or restricted completely, utilize them as a way of expressing their emotions; i.e. killing other kids then killing themselves.

THESE are trends in our society that put EVERY ONE OF US in potential danger every day.

It’s a shame, but it’s the way our society is. One person disgruntled and angry with a gun, one kid unhappy with access to a gun (or worse) can, and as we’ve seen, does cause death and destruction.

Is there really a solution? I doubt it. Our society is so intent on securing and maintaining everyone’s RIGHTS that we forget, or ignore, that the victims of those whom were violated, slain, assaulted, murdered are less consequential than the person who committed the crime.

Joseph P. Cupp

Wheeling