On Monday morning millions of Americans awoke to news of one of the most gruesome mass shootings to take place in the United States; claiming the lives of over fifty, injuring more than five hundred, and leaving countless many more traumatized by the mindless killing. As is routine for shootings in the US, the news was immediately accompanied by one end of the political spectrum declaring that the weapon was not to blame and the other end calling for legislation to prevent similar events from happening in the future. There should be no argument as to whether or not something should be done to prevent these tragedies, though finding a solution that makes a compromise between the rights of the citizenry to live unmolested and the desire for the citizenry to not have a miniscule chance of being killed while going about their lives has remained a decades long struggle.
In the wake of the shooting politicians, journalists, and critics alike each lined up to present their arguments against the role of firearms in modern society.
“Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again” was one of two-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s remarks tangentially placing blame on the organization whose bylaws establish its purpose as existing “To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…”
A journalist from Market Watch continued on the same tone, penning a thoughtful column which could be summarized by quoting its saying that “Hardly anyone wants to take away your family shotgun…
And almost no one wants to take away your hunting rifle, either. Most don’t care about it at all. And, assuming you are a normal, mentally stable individual, hardly anybody wants to take away the pistol or the handgun you keep for home defense.
In spite of the opinions placing blame on the pro-Second-Amendment charity, there exists a struggle an ocean away that demonstrates just why the right to keep and bear arms is of such importance to our fledgling republic. Just over two centuries ago, the private ownership of arms allowed a continent of underrepresented and overtaxed citizens to rebel against their government and begin the American experiment we’ve been living since. Although the Constitution establishing the right to keep and bear arms has often been the basis for maintaining their private ownership for self-defense, the right was thought to be there to protect the people from the government rather than each other.
As the world moves towards more democratic and just ways it may seem difficult to imagine the need to rebel against a government in a civilized society, but the Catalans are experiencing this just now. Fueled by a familiar feeling of taxation without representation, those in the Catalans feel they would be best served standing on its own as a country. As their region continues its spotted history with Spain, they’ve found their shores lined with thousands of Spanish police officers sent by Madrid to stop what the Spanish courts have declared an illegal and unconstitutional referendum to secede from the country.
The government of the Catalans has indicated that 844 people were injured by Spanish police in efforts to shut down polling stations, remove people from polls, and dissipate civil unrest from the aforementioned. As far as Spain is concerned, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said, “Democracy won today because the Constitution was upheld.”
Ultimately, the Spanish Constitution allows the government to suspend the powers of the regional government. With no democratic recourse for what the Catalans perceive as a tremendous slight by the Spanish government and no constitutional right to arms, their choices have narrowed to hoping the international community can influence Madrid, rebelling against the government in a one-sided battle, or continuing to suffer under conditions that forced one oppressed citizenry into its position to become the greatest country in the world.
As for our country, president Trump made his position on allowing regional governments to secede clear as he sided with Rajoy in saying it would be “foolish” for Catalans to try to leave Spain. “I think that Spain is a great country and it should remain united,” he said.
Perspectives expressed in op-eds are not those of The Daily Caller.