It’s Past Time

Well, we’ve had another mass shooting incident and we’re right back where we were after the attack at Gabrielle Giffords campaign rally. Back then, we were in the same place we were after the Fort Hood shootings. Before that, it was Virginia Tech. The arguments are always the same: the left screams for more gun control and the right refuses to even acknowledge that something is wrong. This time, the right-wingers have a new strategy: indignation. They say this is not the time to start a dialogue on gun control and, frankly, they’re incensed that anyone would even suggest such a thing. Mike Huckabee said that having such a discussion is offensive to the American public. Okay, I’ll buy that politicizing such a terrible act of violence may be offensive to some people. But, many of these conservatives don’t seem to have a problem religifying things. Huckabee, himself, blamed it on sin, saying it was inevitable since we’ve ordered God out of our public lives. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) blamed it on atheism and attacks on Judeo-Christian values. Fred Jackson of the American Family Association (such a lovely group) blamed the shootings on liberals saying

” I have to think that all of this, whether it’s the Hollywood movies, whether it’s what we see on the internets, whether it’s liberal bias in the media, whether it’s our politicians changing public policy, I think all of those somehow have fit together—and I have to say also churches who are leaving the authority of Scripture and losing their fear of God—all of those things have seem to have come together to give us these kinds of incidents.”

So, we can’t talk about keeping guns out the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, but it’s okay to blame everybody who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with you on just about everything? Way to go, right-wingers, you’ve managed to find a new level of dickishness.

I do understand the hesitancy to talk about gun control. As a supporter of the Second Amendment (and even, in some cases, concealed carry), I believe the amendment is about more than just having a weapon for target shooting or hunting. I do not believe that the “well-regulated militia” apply only to the  National Guard or Reserve units. Two things that most of my liberal peeps don’t get is that 1) the authors of the Bill of Rights viewed the right to keep and bear arms as a natural right (i.e. not granted by laws, customs or beliefs) and, therefore, is universal and inalienable. 2) The 2nd Amendment was never intended to make sure the people could go hunting or plink at paper targets. It was seen as a hedge against a tyrannical government. In the days in which the Constitution was written, the militia was every man between the age of 15 and 50 (you also had to have two good teeth, one upper and one lower, to bite open the paper cartridge). Counting on the National Guard to protect us from out-of-control government would have seemed ridiculous since that same government can nationalize the Guard and take it out the state or the people’s control. What the basis for my belief? The knowledge that the 2nd Amendment was based on the English Bill of Rights of 1689, which was put in place to keep the monarchy from disarming the people. James II tried that and it didn’t work out so well for him. What it boils down to, friends, is that gun ownership is part of the American DNA, handed to us from out ancestors.

Now, for my conservative brothers and sisters. Yes, the right to keep and bear arms is a natural right. And, yes, that right is guaranteed in the Constitution. But, don’t you see that there must be some kind of limit on this? We’ve already accepted other limits on weaponry, why can’t we do it again? I’m tired of this argument. You need to wake up and smell the coffee. People in this country are dying in droves because guns are too available to nut jobs. Stop letting  Wayne La Pierre, the National Association for Gun Rights and other whack jobs scare you into being intransigent morons who think the U.N. is going to come take all our guns and start the New World Order. It’s not going to happen and refusing to even discuss the issue of what’s happening, right here and right now is just idiotic.

Obviously, the  laws on the books aren’t cutting it and I don’t know if any of the proposed changes to those laws would stopped any of these shootings. But, that doesn’t mean we just dig in our heels and ignore the problem in hopes that it will go away. Let’s pull our heads out of our asses, pray about it (or meditate, whatever works for you) and start a real discussion about how to stop such senseless violence from happening again.