By Rabbi Yeshaia Charles Familant
In the aftermath of the Parkland massacre of seventeen persons,- fourteen students and three staff – and seventeen more wounded – at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (February 14, 2018); and the nationwide protests, organized principally by students under the banner of “March For Our Lives” (March 24, 2018).
Since you serve the presumed wishes of members of the NRA with a greater sense of loyalty than you do your fellow Floridians – by whom you were elected into office – you would demonstrate more integrity by taking a job with that organization and resigning your seat in the senate to allow another to serve in your stead, who would more faithfully represent the majority of Floridians. In Florida, 62 percent of voters support a nationwide ban on the sale of ‘assault weapons,’ while 56 percent of voters oppose arming teachers and school officials, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. In a separate question with different wording, 53 percent of voters support a nationwide ban on the sale of all ‘semi-automatic rifles.
And if we were to poll school children in Florida – let alone the millions of children throughout the country – who are not yet eligible to vote, how do you think they would vote regarding a ban on semi-automatic weapons and stricter gun controls?!
Further, according to the New York times, you, Senator, have received the modest sum of 3.3 million dollars from the NRA. Is this amount so paltry, Senator, that you can claim that it has no bearing on your consistent defense of the Second Amendment? I wonder if your defense of that amendment, cherished by so many gun owners, would be quite so principled, were you deprived of that money.
Finally, a word or two about the oft-referenced Second Amendment: Proposed by James Madison after the Constitution was ratified in 1791, its purpose was to have, at the ready, an armed militia in times of national emergency. Today, this is precisely the function of the National Guard. The exact wording is as follows:
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.
Having used guns and other arms to ward off the English during the Revolutionary War, the amendment was originally created to give citizens the opportunity to fight back against a tyrannical federal government – not to murder innocent school children and the rest of unarmed persons residing in our country.