Mericle: What will future historians think of us?

Mericle: What will future historians think of us?

I read with deep dismay of the Lincoln Town Council’s resolution to oppose the state’s proposed gun control legislation.

As a professional historian, I often wonder what future historians will think of the people in our time.

One question they will undoubtedly ponder is why it took us so long to solve our gun problem.

Guns take the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year, and yet no action is taken. How can this be so?

Perhaps the most telling comment was from councilman Ken Pichette, who complained of people “legislating from the heart and not the brain.”

Leaving aside for a moment the gross inadequacies of the “brain” side of the NRA faction’s argument, I want to ask why anyone would think it’s OK to legislate without the heart? What kind of people do that? Is it really so difficult to legislate from both the brain and the heart?

Even if the Second Amendment stated categorically that “Americans should have the right to bear any and all weapons that exist now and forevermore” (notice how different that is from the actual language of the Second Amendment) it would still be wrong.

Yes, the Constitution, like any document, can be wrong. That is why amendments exist in the first place. That the Second Amendment says no such thing only adds insult to endless, tragic injury.

I know there is no persuading the “brains” of certain people, among them those who choose NRA platitudes over the vast majority of opinions from historians, public health specialists, criminologists, and legal scholars, who tell us that the only way to solve this problem is to reduce the number of guns in our country.

So instead I ask gun control obstructionists to take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror, and ask: why is it that you have chosen to prioritize the interests of weapons manufacturers over the very lives and futures of children in classrooms, of people going to a concert or a movie or the grocery store, of people depressed and suicidal, of kids handling guns found in their homes?

Because that’s what you’re doing. This is not now nor has ever been about curtailing the right to guns for recreation and hunting.

You don’t need semi- or fully-automatic weapons for that. Rather, you are fiercely protecting the gun industry’s right to sell absurdly dangerous weapons to average people for profit. Full stop. And profit they have, enormously so, and at a terrible cost to our country.

I don’t know what happens when we die, but if you are ever asked to answer for your sins, this will certainly be a difficult one to explain.

Additionally, we seem to have decided in this country that nothing can be done.

We have gone from being a country that embodied a “can-do” spirit to one that throws up its hands at the senseless murders of over 100 people a day.

Our founding fathers must be spinning in their graves.

Michele Mericle