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Layla Demay Headshot

Americans Have Easier Access to Semi-automatic Weapons Than to French Cheese

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Sixty six point two million French nationals as well as 90,000 Americans living in France are exposed to high doses of French cheese, demonstrating no health damage from the exposure, and yet, it is easier for Americans in the U.S. to get access to a semi-automatic rifle than, say, to the stinky Vacherin Mont d'or or Corsican cheese.

Of course, French cheese is not protected by any article of the Constitution. No amendment guarantees any right to cheese. As a French citizen living in the U.S. for the past 16 years, and who eats her average annual 24 pounds of cheese, I struggle to understand why the right to own a semi-automatic rifle is so sacred in America, circa 2012.

According to recent polls, a majority of Americans believe that access to weapons is a right that should not be restricted. According to Brady Campaign records of mass shootings, there are 20 mass shootings per year.

So what are the solutions to the national epidemic that plagues the country?

Gun laws as they are drafted are unable to keep children and innocent bystanders away from bullets that may or may not have been destined to them. New York City principals sent an email to parents assuring them that a security protocol is in place in each and every New York City public school -- and that should the unthinkable happen, the schools know what to do.

Securing schools is a minuscule part of the solution. Ultimately, it will only serve the security gate makers. Of course, you can be sure that once all the schools are secured, the next nutcase will practice his shooting skills on a church assembly, or maybe a funeral procession. The opportunities are endless and the bunkerization of America can only go so far.

"A dinner which ends without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye," said Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin a French lawyer and politician, epicure and gastronome. But one struggles for a quote praising in such poetic and elating terms the gun, the pistol, the bullet or the rifle with a large magazine.

Barack Obama, the president of the United States of America, and a Nobel Peace Price winner has an opportunity to show true leadership, not as a pastor providing comfort in time of tragedy, not as a father weeping for the lost lives of children, but as a political leader willing to change policy, for the greater good of the people, even if at this time, the people disagrees with the measures taken.