Obama’s evil plot to turn us into a socialist and/or communist country starts with gun control. Now everyone is arming against the government and against all those imaginary violent criminals plaguing our neighborhoods. So guys, do you think . . . maybe . . . you could take a short break from defending your Second Amendment rights and your doomsday preparations to spare a little bit of your time to help defend some of our other rights like privacy or maybe help us solve our other (real) problems like . . . governmental gridlock, the national debt, the bad economy, the predatory banking industry, Wall St. cheats, and voter apathy.
Don’t go crazy or anything. Just pick one. Considering the success of the gun lobby and boundless energy you have for defending your right to create an arsenal, your participation will go a long way to insuring we solve those problems in short order.
Then you can return to stuffing Teflon tipped and hollow point rounds into the large capacity magazines for your assault rifles, uh, sorry, I mean military-style, semi-automatic, sporting guns that happen to shoot military strength projectiles as fast as you can pull the trigger.
Don’t get me wrong. I love guns. I grew up with them. Learned to shoot at 12. If I had extra money and time I’d be at the Bass Pro Shop or Cabella’s stuffing my shopping cart with a Walther PPK and maybe a Smith and Wesson Model 29 and definitely an AR-15, which I’d trick out. Why those guns? The Walther and S&W–James Bond and Dirty Harry. The AR because it’s a bad-ass looking weapon.
I’m not kidding really. I view semi-automatic pistols and assault-style carbines in the same way as owning a high performance car. They’re dangerous toys we boys love to show off.
Pulling up to the restaurant valet station in a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport guarantees moist panties for miles and can create warp fields of envy for the baldest, fattest schlub on the block.
Same with flashy firearms. Pull a tricked out AR-15 from your gun case and all the boys are going to want a look.
But be honest about it stop wrapping your fantasies with the Constitution. We buy guns and cars to fulfill our fantasies and as props for the stories we tell ourselves about our identities.
The speed limit’s 65. Get caught with a lead foot or cornering too fast on a public road, you’ll get a ticket for reckless driving, your insurance will cost you more–and, if you’re driving fast enough, you’ll lose your license.
There are only 15 states with stand-your-ground laws that entitle you to do a George Zimmerman. You remember him, right? The vigilante from Florida who disregarded the police’s order not to follow Trayvon Martin and who stalked the hapless kid, menaced him with his weapon and then shot him in (cough, cough) self-defense. In the other 35 states, if there’s a reasonable alternative to shooting and you pull the trigger, now you’re in trouble.
It’s bizarre to me that anyone would balk at rules designed to deprive the negligent or criminal of their Second Amendment rights.
Like everyone else, the Newtown school shooting upset me. That tragedy caused me to think hard about the role of guns in our lives and how we (try to) solve our big problems. I’ve talked to numerous friends on both sides of the gun debate and after carefully considering their arguments I declare the Second Amendment debate a red herring.
It’s a fight dumped upon us by a real life Terrible Triviums. (The faceless beast from Norton Juster’s book, The Phantom Toll Booth.) In the book, Juster’s Trivium distracts Milo, the Humbug, and the Watch Dog from finding Rhyme and Reason by cozening them into engaging in endlessly meaningless tasks like moving a pile of dirt from one place to another with a pair of tweezers.
Sound familiar? Real life Messrs Trivium, our politicians, religious leaders, liberal groups like the ACLU, wealthy conservatives like the Koch brothers, and the financial elite sketch ersatz fault lines in the sand, spew propaganda and patiently wait while we create self-organized lines of demarcation.
Once the sides have been declared, we build our arguments from the propaganda provided by people from our side of the fault. We start with our conclusions and back fill the data to suit. We bicker endlessly over nuances without distinctions like the Bushmaster AR 15 is not an assault rifle, it’s semi-automatic bullet shooting sports equipment and we make stupid and illogical arguments like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
Thus immured in our respective echo bunkers we pretend the world will be a better place if only people can or can’t have guns, if only gays can or can’t get married, if only abortion were legal or illegal, if only the government supported or didn’t support the so called 48 percenters.
We collude with our leaders in maintaining a zero-sum politisphere in which we never have to take responsibility for our failures. We don’t have to hold ourselves accountable for electing ineffective and corrupt leaders. They don’t have to hold themselves accountable for their abject failures.
It’s a lot easier to argue about issues with no solutions. We know damned well that solving the real problems require honest self-reflection, hard work and self-sacrifice.
To Liberals and anti-gun people: As far as guns go, ownership is enshrined in the Constitution and supported by 200 plus years of case-law. There are approximately 80,000,000 gun owners who possess in the neighborhood of 300,000,000 guns. A robust economy has developed to support their needs. Eliminating guns or severely curtailing their sale is not going to happen. Nor should it. Build a bridge and get over it!
To Conservatives and Second Amendment zealots: we’ve got a gun violence problem. Stop pretending that the over abundant supply of guns and the lack of oversight of the weapons and their owners has nothing to do with the problem. Sorry, only an idiot or a partisan can look at the facts and say “We don’t have a gun problem, we have a people problem.” Yeah no fooling. But without the guns, we don’t have a gun violence.
Yup. That’s a lot of stating the obvious. Yet for all that we still can’t seem to see things as they are. Instead we see one when there are two and two when there is one.
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