Its a Saturday night special
Got a barrel that's blue and cold
Ain't no good for nothin'
But put a man six feet in a hole
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Fetish: Any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion.
The USA has a problem that it refuses to admit is a problem. Gun violence in this nation of ours has reached epidemic proportions. Movie theaters and office buildings have become free-fire zones while the NRA and gun manufacturers not only sit back, playing Nero while America burns, but add fuel to the fire by fighting against anyone that dares disagree with them. One of the latest arguments I’ve seen buzzing around the Interwebs tries to compare gun ownership with car ownership. I’ve used this argument myself to advocate for mandatory registration, training, and liability insurance for gun owners similar to what I have to have on my car to legally operate it. I will use this apples-to-oranges argument no longer thanks to the following irrefutable fact:
Motor vehicles, used as the manufacturer intended, transport people and cargo. Handguns and assault weapons, used as the manufacturer intended, kill people.
You can try to compare guns to any other item in human experience. The only comparison I have seen where lethality is the intended purpose is the Ebola virus. American culture has always had an unhealthy fascination with guns and gun violence. We are surrounded by this violence in our media every day. Games, television, movies, and music all extol the virtues of gunplay. Show a bullet going through three heads in a row (I’m talking to you, Deadpool), get an R rating, show two people having sex, here’s your X. If that isn’t a sign of a thoroughly fucked up culture, I don’t know what is.
The NRA would like you to believe that the answer to gun violence is more guns. Let’s go back to our Ebola comparison. The answer to the spread of Ebola is NOT more Ebola. The answer is vaccination and curative medicine. More guns is simply not a viable solution to gun violence. Not only do I want to not have to worry about some disaffected idiot with a gun and a grudge when I go out in public, I also don’t want to have to worry about a passer-by thinking he or she is Dirty-bloody-Harry and shooting back!
Gun fetishists (see definition above) almost always rush to the 2nd Amendment as defense of their choice. In doing so, almost all dive right past the “well-regulated Militia” part of the sentence straight to the “shall not be infringed” clause. The writers and signatories to the Constitution did not intend the current free-fire zone that America is becoming. They were working from their own recent experience of standing up to a government that did not allow a voice to the governed being deposed by bands of home-grown militia members with the guts to stand up to one of the best professional armies of the day. They were talking about muzzle-loading black powder muskets and rifles. It is my firm belief that, as with much of American culture and politics of today, those who wrote our Constitution would be appalled by how their words have been interpreted, especially in relation to the advances in people-killing technology.
This is the point in my rant where the Constant Reader of this inconstant blog would normally get my wise and well-thought (snicker) answer to the problem at hand. I don’t have one. I do know that just as more Ebola isn’t the answer to the spread of Ebola, more guns is not the answer to the spread of gun violence in America. The answer is probably going to be comprised of many different initiatives. Common sense would dictate that one of those initiatives would have to be the reduction in the number of guns on the street. All that I know right now is that the status quo of gun violence in America is no longer acceptable.