Gun Nuts & The Apocalypse, Gun Control & Kumbaya… America’s Delusions
The bumper sticker read “Today they call us gun nuts. But when the apocalypse comes they’ll call us heroes” I was driving home after officiating a secular wedding the other day when I noticed the proclamation stuck to the back window of a Ford pickup truck. As an Atheist, this is a disturbing exclamation point on the dangers of christian fundamentalism in America. The Religious Reich is waiting for the end of the world. But I’m afraid that if they’re kept waiting too long they might hasten it’s arrival. Of course, with all the talk about the 2nd Amendment and gun control as a result of a string of mass shootings, the most recent occurring at Sandy Hook Elementary, the end of the world may soon be at hand.
In my last post “Just Shoot Each Other” I pointed out that guns are smarter than we are. Some folks have taken my words to mean that I’m against guns. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m a gun owner, and I strongly support the 2nd Amendment. But, I’m also concerned with the historical shadowing of the amendment by both sides of the debate. One side claims that anything goes. The other side says that it all needs to go. Two extremes, and not enough reality. And, after today’s announcement that President Obama and Vice President Biden have put together a gun control package that includes a ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines, I knew that it was time to put some sanity back into the discussion over guns in America.
Gun Nuts & The Apocalypse, Gun Control & Kumbaya. Two sides of a debate that has been going on for a very long time. What both sides fail to acknowledge are the weaknesses in their arguments. As for the rest of us… well… we’re kinda stuck in the middle, hoping that neither side gets their way. However, I would venture to say that what most Americans really want is a dose of sanity for once. No more knee jerk, fear induced, rhetoric. No more attempts at creating chaos in the name of ideological idiocy. It’s time to face some cold hard facts about guns, violence, the 2nd Amendment and freedom and liberty for all.
Gun Nuts & The Apocalypse
“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”
The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. In 1787, guns of the period were muskets. When the colonists fought for independence from Britain(1775-1783), they used muskets. For the most part, both sides were equally matched when it came to firepower. The reason the colonists were victorious against the British wasn’t because they fought with better guns. They fought the British unconventionally. Gorilla warfare. Today’s gun nuts rail at the top of their lungs that they can defend our country against a tyrannical version of the U.S. Government if they are allowed to own semi-automatic(assault style)weapons and high-capacity magazines. They also talk about using assault style weapons for home protection. But, I’ll get to that in a moment… The Gun Nuts use Jefferson’s quote, “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” in support of their argument. Jefferson is one of my heroes. But, we need to take the comment in the context of Jefferson’s era. Governments could be effectively opposed back then, and revolutions could be had as long as the weaponry was equally matched. At that point in time it really came down to conviction and tactics. With emphasis on tactics. Jefferson could not have foreseen the high technology weaponry that our government possesses today. Let’s just forget about drones, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons for a moment. Let’s forget about tanks, armored personnel, carriers, fighter jets, etc. Let’s just look at a single gun in the arsenal of the U.S. Military. How about the Metal Storm?. This weapon fires 180 bullets in less than 1/100th of a second. Does anyone think a citizen militia, armed with semi-automatic… hell… even automatic weapons, would stand a chance against such a massive amount of firepower from a single weapon like the Metal Storm? The body count would be astronomical! Now, unless the NRA is willing to lobby for public access to the use of all the weapons technology of the U.S. Government, including biological, chemical and nuclear… Look, America has the most powerful military in the world, and the gun nuts think they can defend themselves against it!?
Tyranny doesn’t usually arrive with gunfire and fanfare. It sneaks in the back door, and is always the result of fear. Tyranny loves fear. When people are afraid they make bad decisions, bad choices, become ignorant and complacent. They’re always asleep at the wheel. Then when the reality of life says “BOO!” they wake up, reach for their guns, shutter their windows, lock their doors, and isolate themselves from the big, bad, evil world. They tell the very government that they don’t trust to protect them at all costs. They gladly surrender their liberty for false security, and then bitch when those liberties actually start to disappear. But, by the time they snap out of their bitching stupor, they’ve elected tyrants, given them the keys to the nation, their god’s blessing, and are then left to wonder what happened to liberty. Benjamin Franklin said, “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security”.
Gun Nuts don’t understand that their guns, no matter how technologically sophisticated, WILL NOT protect them from a superior fighting force, or the tyranny they, themselves, helped create. Not in today’s world. The fact is that all tyranny is the result of bad choices, blind choices, ignorant choices, made by a frightened people. IF they really want to protect themselves from tyranny, and the nation as they claim to want to do, they need to vote. Our right to vote in our Democratic Republic is the most effective deterrent against tyranny ever devised. But, even that is not an absolute defense. You see, we already live under a tyranny, and it’s not Obama. It’s called the christian god. If you happen to be a Gun Nut who insists that the apocalypse is coming, want god to bless America, and think anyone who disagrees with you is a secular, homosexual, atheistic commie… you really shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun. Period. You’re a nutcase and have no business owning firearms of any kind. Put the weapon down and step away from your bible.
They Do Have One Good Point Though…
Now, there’s one argument from the Gun Nuts that does have some validity. They want the ability to defend themselves. On this point I will agree with them. Violent crime was up in 2011 in the United States for the first time in 20 years. 6 million people were victims of violent crime , and approximately 17 million were the victims of a property crime. The largest increase was seen in assaults, which rose 22 percent. Do these statistics lend support to ownership of semi-automatic assault rifles with high-capacity magazines? I would argue no. Do the statistics lend support to the ownership of semi-automatic pistols? In my opinion,yes. The fact is that people should always have the right and ability to protect themselves if they’re lives, or the lives of their loved ones are in imminent danger. But, I have yet to be convinced that a semi-automatic assault rifle with a 30-50 round magazine is an appropriate response to a threat in a person’s home. As far as I can tell, the ownership of such weapons appears to be more of a testosterone fueled novelty, driven by television shows and movies. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of action movies! I love “The Expendables” series. But, I also know the difference between fantasy and reality. Assault style weaponry is absolutely impractical as a home defense weapon, unless of course, you’re breaking into your own house with an assault team to clear out refrigerator insurgents who are holding your steak hostage. But seriously, high-powered rifles are inappropriate for such a task. Do you know where that round will end up after you miss your target and it rips through the wall? Assault rifles are also an impractical weapon for on-the-street personal security. Can you imagine seeing hundreds or thousands of people carrying them around in a city? Of course you can if you’re a Gun Nut! It’s called the apocalypse! Now as far as home defense… Home defense? Shotgun or pistol. Keep it simple, straightforward, and as safe for innocents as possible. The sound of the slide on a shotgun will most certainly get an intruder’s attention. If not, tell them to smile and say “cheese”.
Gun Control & Kumbaya
“If it was up to me, no one but law enforcement officers would own hand guns…” Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Federal Gun Legislation Press Conference in Washington, D.C., November 13, 1998.
Just say no. I’ve heard that a lot over the years. Whether its drugs, porn, guns… Just say no. The fact is that America, right or wrong, was brought up on guns. Our country is unique in this way. Strangely, we have more guns than most war-torn countries. And there is a segment of our society that insists that guns need to go. Well, I’m happy to say that as long as the 2nd Amendment stands, it’s just not going to happen. There is this notion, within the anti-gun/gun control/kumbaya crowd, that getting rid of all the guns will bring peace and tranquility to the streets of America. I have to disagree. America is unique because America is, by its very nature, a violent and abusive society. It’s in our DNA. We insist on disagreeing with one another all the time, so we need an easy way to settle our disputes. We’re not the smartest cookies in the jar, but we are the bloodiest. And on top of that, we’re paranoid reactionaries who must react with violence whenever it suits our ends. Whether it’s political, religious, sports, girlfriend, boyfriend, road rage… it’s all about ending a dispute quickly, efficiently, and as bloody as possible. Mind you, all of what I just said is true, but that doesn’t matter. I once again point to the 2nd Amendment. I will also point to the right for people to defend themselves. Now, I know there are quite a few people who will be quick to jump up and say, “Just call the police!”. I certainly wish it was that simple. Bear in mind that the average response time for police in the U.S. is about 8 – 10 minutes. A lot can happen in that amount of time. And, unfortunately, we’ve seen the results of this in recent history. The fact is that police departments across the country are over-worked, underpaid, and not surprisingly OVER equipped. Police departments are nearly as well equipped as the military, but the focus of their technology isn’t so much about protecting citizens as it is about putting drug dealers and drug users away. That’s important because we all know how dangerous a pothead can be to an innocent store shelf of Doritos. And, of course, protecting the public from the next “terrorist” attack, which could come any minute. Seriously… The police can’t be everywhere, and even if they could, I’m not sure I would want to live in a place that was a police state (although we’re getting close to that).
Mass Public Shootings
The recent mass shootings around the nation have prompted calls for stricter gun control, to an outright ban on all guns. Even the Gun Nuts have thrown their own pile of steamy rhetoric into the arena by suggesting that we need more guns, armed militias, and armed teachers. Both sides of the debate are taking their ideas to the extreme, and nobody is asking the most important question of all. “Why?” Why are these individuals committing mass murder? Now, I know some folks have suggested that these assailants are mentally incapacitated, disturbed, or otherwise out to lunch. This is probably true. But why are they? In the end, the only things we know for certain are that innocent people are dead, families are left to grieve, and ideological idiots are pining and pandering for votes on the headstones of the victims. The murderers are either dead, or standing trial with very little attention paid to what drove them to do what they did.
I suggest that these murderers are a symptom of a larger, more insidious disease in America. That disease is delusional thinking. We have turned the human condition, in this country, on its ear. Americans, for the most part, are hypocrites, and today’s youth are seeing through the facade of the so-called “American Dream” that they have been hard sold on. They’re discovering that it’s all a lie. They’re finding out that there’s very little to look forward to, very little to work toward, and nothing and no one to trust in. They’re learning that the “American Dream” is, and always has been, fake. It was created by those who already have to make more off the backs of those who haven’t and never will. Today’s youth has been fed a steady fat laden diet of “You can do anything! You can be a star! You can be famous! You can be rich! Just give it you’re all, work hard, and you can be successful!” But, it really is just a dream. It very rarely comes true, save for those who happen to be at the right place at the right time. Pure luck – better odds of winning a $2 Billion Power-ball.
Blame can be placed right now for America’s mass murder mania. Blame can be assigned to more people than simply those who pulled the trigger. Those who bear the weight of responsibility for these tragedies are: Politicians who have sought to divide and conquer, turning our democracy on its head, and offering nothing but lies and cheats with a slimy smile. Parents who leave their kids with the video game babysitter and Totinos Pizza Rolls, and reward them when there is none earned. And, of course, the Clergy who shamelessly fill people’s heads with the total bullshit of an amazing afterlife, then promise false hope for being jesus’ slaves, for denying themselves at the feet of the mythical tyrant, and draining their hapless flock of the desire to live for the here and now. The gun doesn’t kill. It’s the society that’s holding it. Shame on all of you.
It’s not a matter of regulating guns, or banning guns. It’s not a matter of more guns, or more armed citizens. It’s a matter of taking responsibility for America’s sick delusions.