What would Abraham Lincoln Say about Guns, Denver, Connecticut, Oregon and That Unruly Second Amendment
Two Buds on a Bench Shootin' the Bull
On occasion while taking a late night stroll around the deserted streets near the White House, I often run into the friendly apparition of Abe Lincoln sitting quietly on a streetside bench. He will often beckon me over to join him. Abe and I usually get to chatting about various subjects. Quite often, our conversations get to the subject of guns and gun control. The recent multiple killings at the Batman premier in Denver and the recent horror of Connecticut sparked our latest round of conversation. He knows nothing about the silliness of Batman, but Abe is disgusted about how right wing gun advocates have twisted the second amendment in their quest for more guns for more people.
The gun advocates argue that if they did not have their arsenals stashed in our basements, Obama and the evil liberals would encircle all the gun toters and take away all their rights. They see themselves as saviors of the people. Remarkably, the day after the shootings, hundreds of Colorado residents flooded gun shops to stock up on more weaponry before President Obama could ban the sale of semi automatic rifles. The same mad rush occurred after the school slayings. Never has Obama insinuated such action. Never could we have imagined the deaths of 27 innocents during the school killings in Connecticut.
Abe saw this gun crisis beginning to take effect during his term in office. In his day, the entire country was armed, as the Civil War was underway all through the land. He knew that when the war was over, both sides, especially the southerners would not want to give up their weaponry. he also felt that the country would find itself rather unstable and open to takeover and further revolution from disgruntled citizens. The cradle of gun rights was reborn, born again and strengthened in the south by opponents in the north. Some confederates thought they might be able to rise again and restore the old order while others thought that Lincoln's majority coalition would not hold together.
Mr. Lincoln was not that far removed from the American Revolution and our country’s fight for freedom from foreign rule, insurrection and British transgressions against Americans. He felt that guns were important during that period to ward off British attempts to restate their claims to the country. Early in our nation's history, the government felt that the citizenry should have guns to protect themselves from any regime that might try to change our government in those unsettled days just after the Civil war. Therein lies the differences in the concept of gun ownership. In his mind, it made sense to allow weaponry to be used against foreign interests, but the use of these same weapons to break up the Union or local government was in his mind intolerable and indefensible. The Union must be preserved.
In many minds particularly those of NRA members, hunters need rapid-fire, automatic assault weapons to stop the charge of crazed Bambis. AK 47s, with large capacity clips are apparently essential to deer and rabbit hunters. This may actually be true in some situations. In some cases, particularly in sparse regions of Alaska as an example, the use of automatic rifles could be condoned during severe conditions. Even though full automatic weapons are not allowed, some gunners have the capability to convert their single round capability to full automatic. That fact, along with the large capacity magazines make that type of weapon one to be banned. If a person feels the need to have and shoot such a rifle, he should enlist in the armed forces.
Abe recalled his youth when his single-shot, long rifle was all that he needed to stop a buck dead in his tracks. He related that to the Denver shooter, (his weapon was altered to fully automatic), as he wondered how much less damage the shooter would have inflicted with the less advanced weaponry of Abe’s time. He also thought about the weapon used by Booth and Oswald and the other crazed shooters of history. When gun advocates spout things like ”Guns don’t kill people. People kill people,” Abe absolutely cringes in disgust. The biggest promoters of that philosophy are the hard core GOP right wing extremists.
The president continues to see hope in our future, but that hope is dimming. We need to find and ride a new wave of honesty and integrity and most of all good moral character to guide us through the times. Until reasonable and moderate become accepted behavior, we will be forever mired in the politics of guns.
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