Monday, January 14, 2013
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
That's where the NRA is on the current debate over gun violence. That's where they try to focus attention away from the real issues. Sure, mental illness is a part of the problem; okay, the video game industry might well be part of the desensitization of youth to killing; alright, the 2nd amendment to the constitution exists and you might misinterpret it to say that the right own a gun may not be limited, AND, Holy Crap, we can completely ignore the rights of a free people to live free from violence.
Spinning the Constitution is probably the worst of these claims but the rest have been used as distractions over the core issue in all of the debate. Guns are a part of killing people. No, the gun, in and of itself, does not kill people. Without it the violence against innocents would be far more difficult however. Sensible limitations on the types of equipment that are allowed legally in the hands of citizens is reasonable.
We HAVE a well regulated militia. It is called the National Guard. You do not hunt with an AR-15 toting a 30 to 100 round clip. A military style gun belongs in the hands of the military. If you claim you may need protection against the government (YOU, btw, ARE the government) then you are talking about being treasonous. Remind me again what the penalty for treason is.
The Constitution explains that one of the primary functions of government is to provide for the general welfare. Since when does gun ownership trump the general welfare? My RIGHT to not risk being shot by a gun nut is not less, somehow, than a limited right of gun ownership. If you are not a registered member of a well regulated militia what right should you have? We may well need a Second and a half amendment to clarify what the framers of the Constitution intended when they included the amendment in the first place.
When the revolution was over after our declaration of independence the debate was how America could defend itself from foreign invaders without having to maintain a standing army. The idea was to have registered members of state based militias capable of responding to an external threat. It was about war and defense of the country. These were also much simpler times. Knives and single shot muskets were the technology of the day. No one argued for the private ownership of cannons. The framers did not envision the advent of mass killing machines that took another half century to begin to develop... as weapons of war.
This was not about hunting. Much of the rural population of those days hunted... as is the case today. There are rifles made for hunting. They generally have a few shots before reloading but not more than ten. Pistols are not hunting weapons. Although I was glad when a friend had a pistol as a water moccasin tried to steal a fish from my catch, it was not a matter of hunting. Target practice is a recreational use of a weapon. There are even Olympic events using target weapons. But, you have to take note that these contests are not carried out with mega-clip weapons.
Put your thinking cap on and try to concentrate... the debate is about the unforeseen changes in weapon technology as much as it is about how to define the problems we, law abiding citizens, face as a result of the upgrade in technology. We need a discussion that includes all of the side issues but the central problem is the lack of limitations on guns has, de facto, taken away my liberties. My rights are threatened by the unthinking adherence to antiquated gun laws. The second amendment does not, repeat, NOT defend my right to free speech any more or any longer. It threatens my right to free speech. The inflexible attitude shown by the gun lobby says volumes about how little they think of my right to free speech.