VISION FOR THE FUTURE CREATES HISTORY. To determine the evolution and manner in which science, technology, and society will unfold requires vision. The ability to imagine what can be and work towards that goal. Without creativity, without passion, and without perseverance, we are lost to roam shiftless and blind like a ship without a sail in the night. - Eric C. Leuthardt
In the wake of the another mass shooting, especially in this heart breaking episode involving children, I have to ask myself what was the true intention of the Second Amendment. Not being a historian, my general impression from the encoded law “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,” is that the government wanted to give people the right to protect themselves. Fine, I get that. There is a technical twist, however. Arms are essentially referring to a technology – a machine that has lethal force. In a free state we are allowed to have these lethal machines to enable the safer wellbeing of the citizens. Again, makes sense. Now fast-forwarding a couple centuries, we have seen the advent of other lethal machines that are widely owned. Cars. High powered, fast, hurtling pieces of steel that serve the purpose of transportation which carry more kinetic energy, momentum, and force than anything Smith & Wesson can produce. Now if these machines had been present in the time of our founding fathers, does that mean the right to have an automobile would fully prohibit any limitation on who can use them? As a neurosurgeon, I often have to tell patients who have had a seizure that they cannot drive for six months, or a patient that has lost vision that they are no longer able to drive at all. If motorist rights were guaranteed by the constitution would we forego driver’s education and hand the keys to sixteen yearold and say best of luck? Would there be a National Motorist Association (NMA) that hysterically opposes any legislation on cars so that people who are blind or epileptic can get them at any time and without any restrictions. No, of course not, that would be dangerous to the person and the society. So why is it that having the right to a technology (i.e. guns) eliminate the social responsibility of having an education in its use and restrictions on who can access that technology? It doesn’t.