Sunday, January 20, 2013

History Colliding

Tomorrow, January 21st 2013, is a very important and memorable day.

Tomorrow we celebrate the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr. We celebrate his life and what he helped this country to become. Some will argue that civil rights haven't come very far. But I disagree. Of course those that disagree might say I'm a privileged white woman, but hey... opinions are like assholes... every one's got one.

MLK Jr was a courageous man in a time of struggle. He was a baptist minister who fought for civil rights with out weapons. He used demonstrations, sit ins, speeches and marches to demonstrate his point. He was one of many leaders of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This boycott ended racial segregation on buses in Montgomery and Alabama by a Supreme Court Ruling. Until the ruling black men and women were required to give their seats up to white people when they got on the bus. Rosa Parks sparked the boycott by refusing to relinquish her seat when a white person got on the bus. Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end racial inequality with nonviolent means.

Dr. King was a great man. His life was cut short when he was assassinated on April 4th, 1968. He was killed because of his efforts in the civil rights movement. He was shot by a high power rifle. This event prompted riots and calls for peace for days.

Tomorrow we will also celebrate the inauguration of the President of the United States. President Barrack Obama is about to begin his second term as President. He won the election last November against Governor Mitt Romney.

President Obama is a black man. The first black President. Is that important information? To an extent; he's the first but other then that, no. The color of his skin should be irrelevant. But it is because of the work the Dr. King did in the 60's that our President is a black man. And he is also the reason it should be irrelevant. With out the efforts and contributions of Martin Luther King who is to say where our civil liberties would be... for man, woman or child?

Now it seems that President Obama wants to pass legislation regulating gun ownership in our country. Some people feel this is a huge violation of our civil liberties. Some people think this is important to safe guard our families and prevent automatic weapons, high powered rifles and extended magazines being sold to criminals.

What the plan is, is to keep these weapons out of the hands of criminals. To prevent killings in our schools or movie theaters or other public places. It's also to prevent shootings in private I'd guess. My question is how does making those things illegal stop criminals from using them? I mean after all... criminals by definition don't follow the law. So does that mean that the law abiding citizens are the ones that are going to suffer from this law? Is it a violation for our second amendment rights to bear arms? Should the government have the right to tell citizens what kind of guns they can or can't own to protect themselves and their loved ones? Only history can tell us how it'll turn out.

It seems ironic to me that tomorrow we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King who's life was spent trying to up hold civil liberties for all and who's life was taken by a high powered rifle. And we celebrate a Presidents new term in office when he wants to cut civil liberties by taking away high powered rifles.  It's something to think about how the histories we celebrate tomorrow are colliding. How one man has come to such great heights because of another mans efforts and death. And how that mans efforts at maintaining civil liberties seems to be being cut short by a man who owes his rise in power to that effort.

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