Gun Fetish in America - The Well-Armed Elephant in the Room
I've decided to rant out my thoughts on the subject of gun control and the second amendment in a blatant attempt to try to compel the people of America to a sanity that seems far from their grasp. In particular though I want to point out the absolutely dangerous and zealous irrationality of those who refuse to allow even sane gun laws to pass.
Responsible, rational, compassionate gun owners need to unite against the irrational cult of guns that is far too vocal in America.
Alex Jones, complete nutjob
More Machine than Man Now
The Gun Lobby is a well-oiled machine that makes sure their interests are well-protected. Some see this as a noble endeavor with goals to protect the second amendment rights of gun owners in America but in actuality its all about business, keeping gun manufacturers raking in profits and fueling gun culture in America. There's a reason why after every tragedy some jackass comes on the news saying that MORE guns, not less, are the answer to being safer, because weapon sales often spike after mass shootings.
The reason why this sale spike often takes place is twofold, one you have people ignorantly being told that more guns are the answer, that they will be safe if they have guns, and two you have right-wing conspiracy theory nut-jobs who think that mass shootings are government planned inside jobs designed to give an excuse to take your guns away. These crazies actually think the government is going to impose Martial Law and that their dumb-asses are going to fight off actual well-armored well-armed well-trained military troops with civilian grade weaponry
This behemoth of lobbying is one reason why lobbyists, and money in politics in general, need major overhauls to keep from too much control by special interest groups. I can think of few special interest groups that are responsible for more death and more suffering than the gun lobby, who support the irrationality of citizens and feed into absurd narratives about it being your God given right to own extremely deadly weapons.
Defense Against Tyranny?
The creation of the Second Amendment was probably the second biggest mistake the Founding Fathers made when drawing up the foundational documents of American government – the biggest mistake being that they didn't nip slavery in the bud. I suppose it wasn't their fault considering that, at the time it was written and ratified, the second amendment was not just a good idea but a necessary one. Of course there is a big reason why the second amendment exists, and it's not what right-wing nutters tell you.
America was entirely built on a frontier with Native American tribes and other European nations controlling territory on a massive border that spanned all thirteen colonies. During the 1700s there was no railroad across states, travel was by horseback or horse drawn carriage or perhaps down the coast by ship meaning that it took an exorbitant amount of time to mobilize troops. So if some attack occurred, no matter who was doing the attacking, the fledgling nation was relying on armed militias and to hold out until help could arrive.
Keep in mind that there was no centralized Federally controlled military when the Constitution was being debated upon. The amendment is there so that State militias can be formed not so that any yahoo in 2015 can buy a semi-automatic gun with a 30 round magazine at a gun show with ease.
Minutemen and Militia members helped win the war and were crucial to the defense of our nation's massive border in the early years. It wasn't like today where there are troop transport helicopters and multiple branches of the armed services who could quickly respond to a threat on US soil. So for the Founding Fathers having Americans be armed was essential to preserving the liberty they'd just achieved, if the British or any other enemy decided to attack in some remote corner of the new Republic it would take a long time to move any troops to defend them.
Many right-wing gun fanatics will tell you that guns exist to fight the government if it steps out of line, as if the Founding Fathers wanted to make sure anyone who disagreed with the government they'd just set up could fight back against them. Of course this is absurd as George Washington himself put down a would-be rebellion that was caused, just as with the Revolution itself, by insurgents who didn't want to pay what they felt were abusive taxes. 13,000 Militia men were called up by Washington to end the so-called Whiskey Rebellion. Anyone stupid enough to think that the Founding Fathers intent with the Second Amendment was so that armed rebellions could spring up the moment some group decided the government was showing some amount of tyranny is an idiot.
Any rebellion has to be a response to real tyranny or it is totally invalid just like the Whiskey Rebellion, a bunch of selfish assholes who wouldn't submit to a reasonable tax - the same as selfish assholes who refuse to curb their gun fetish to help stop gun violence and view every attempt at gun control as tyranny.
So what is my point anyway? The Second Amendment is about militia, a common man army that is not needed anymore but was a good idea at the time. Of course now the only militias that exist are usually right-wing nuts who are practicing for some imaginary New World Order scenario where they think they are going to hold out against the US military or some Red Dawn scenario where the Russians invade.
When the Amendment was written guns fired lead balls and most firearms were inaccurate and took 20-30 seconds to reload and even fire a second shot. Even the fastest most precise soldier in the Militia could probably only fire 3-4 rounds per minute with a Musket. Of course in the modern day we have pistols with 30 round magazines, we have semi-automatics that fire off as fast as you can pull the trigger and reload their sometimes massive mags in 10 seconds or less. No longer simple hunting rifles that take ramrods and powder to fire we now have weapon far deadlier than anything the Founding Fathers could have envisioned when they wrote the Second Amendment.
Dangerously, and irrationally, millions of Americans now defend the Bill of Rights without understanding it. Rather than being filled with AMENDMENTS – a word which reveals that the Founding Fathers were inviting us to CHANGE them as time went on – they see the Constitution as filled with incontrovertible truths handed down by God. This is a form of religious insanity that I cannot wrap my head around and which I can't imagine existing in a prior time. This fetishistic superstition about the Constitution being some sacred document literally makes no sense and bothers me to no end.
The Founding Fathers were reasonable men of their day, many were deep philosophical thinkers, learned men who knew what they were doing. But many were also slave owners and almost all were Universally dedicated to the rights of white male land owners. They were not infallible, they were not guided by the hand of God, they were just men, intelligent men for their time in history, but just men. Anyone who thinks that somehow the Bill of Rights is sacrosanct doesn't grasp what the term Amendment means.
The Founding Fathers could not have foreseen the future, they could not know the way our society would be structured in a few centuries time or how deadly our weapons would become. They also could not have foreseen the irrational belief that somehow the rights in the Constitution were sacred and could not be changed.
Yes its true Thomas Jefferson talks of inalienable rights coming down to us from birth from nature's god (deism not Christianity) but those rights are not easily discerned. See as deists most of the Founders believed that rights could be discovered, like they were part of the natural order, since human beings have an innate and natural sense of fairness, empathy and justice we could use reason to arrive at what rights might form the foundation of a better society.
The Constitution is not Sacred
Bearing it All
In modern times, with weapons far more dangerous than those of the Founder's time and with no discernible or rationally defensible need for militias what reason is there to defend the Second Amendment? Well for many the reason is simple, self-defense. Even with the amount of mass shootings and the amount of gun homicides in general in America people still believe that the safety guns provide to them and their families is more important than the lives of thousands gunned down each year.
Statistics, however, show that of all the gun homicides reported in America (thousands upon thousands) a small percent (BELOW 3%) of these deaths are actually justified instances of self-defense. Despite this there are as many guns in America as there are citizens. So where is the statistical benefit of gun-ownership versus the negative impact? Other than, perhaps, in hunting for food, I could find no numbers to justify gun ownership in the face of overwhelming violence. Please don't think that I am calling for guns to be outlawed, I do think that certain types of gun should remain legal, particularly hand guns and certain types of hunting rifles.
And what if the notion that if we take guns away from law-abiding citizens only criminals will have guns? This scare tactic applies only to people who want an outright ban on all firearms.
Should we Repeal the Second Amendment?
Your rights are your rights for a reason, they must be reasoned out and justified. I have seen, from people in my own life, the danger of the gun fetish. It is an irrational and fanatical thing. Of course there is nothing wrong in-and-of-itself with owning a fire-arm and I want to make it clear that I am in no way calling for the banning of all guns in America. What I am calling for, because of the irrational and absurd fetish some of my fellow Americans have with guns, is a repeal of the Second Amendment. Go ahead, gasp in horror, label me a tyrannical Statist or traitor, whatever you have to do to indulge your knee jerk reactions but it almost seems necessary at this point.
I know, its wishful thinking, but there seems little choice if we ever hope to actually curb gun violence in America since it is an irrational view of the Second Amendment as sacred holy scripture never to be questioned that keeps us in deadlock.
The moment people realize that owning a deadly weapon designed specifically to kill should not be their right in the twenty-first century is the moment we can actually move forward and dig ourselves out to the hole of these tragedies. Yes I do think people should be able to own certain types of guns, particularly hand-guns for self-defense and rifles for hunting. Many people dislike hunting but I know that many people use hunting to help feed their families and keep the population of certain animals from getting out of control. I am not unsympathetic to those who want to own guns, I simply don't see how any reasonable argument can be made establishing it as a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT that should be in the Constitution.
Just like it is not your right to own a chainsaw, a lawnmower or a machete, it should not be your right to own a gun even though, just as with the above items, I think that some guns should be legal to own.
We need sane gun reforms that help keep guns in the hands of those who can use them responsibly and keep them out of the hands of crazies and criminals. But every time the most basic gun legislation is introduced the gun lobby and the irrational rabble of gun-nuts that support it start bitching about their “rights” being infringed.
If you really think its your RIGHT to own an AR-15 there is something wrong with your thinking, you are not reasonably considering what your rights should and shouldn't be but are likely engaged in an irrational gun-fetish. There is a balance to be struck between safety and liberty but a certain brand of gun-owner simply do not see it that way, they think any attempt by the government to protect its populace from rampant gun violence is tantamount to tyranny.
Can we Keep the 2nd Amendment?
If you live in a bad neighborhood and need a gun for self-defense fine, I understand. If you live in the middle of Montana and need to hunt predators that are picking off your cattle, again, I get it, you should be able to own a gun. Where we disagree is this idea that 1) It is your God given right and 2) The government has no right to regulate who can own what kind of weapon and how hard it is for them to get their hands on said weapon.
Of course we understand at a fundamental level that the government does have the right to legislate gun control including what kind of weapons can be owned and ease of citizen access to such weapons as well as screenings to try to cut down on the amount of crazies and criminals who can get a hold of guns. Of course none of it will be 100% fool proof but that doesn’t mean the numbers can't improve drastically. We understand that we don't want citizens to have military grade weapons or armaments such as missiles, explosives, etc.
But of course most gun owners already tuned me out when I said we should repeal the Second Amendment. To those still reading this I say this – if you want to keep the Second Amendment the least you can do is support reasonable efforts at gun control legislation and be just as vocal as the uber right-wing crazies who decry every attempt at gun reform as a direct attack on the rights they assume were granted them by their magical Father figure in the sky.
Guns are Designed to Kill
People say that guns don't kill people, people kill people and use guns to do it. They also say things like “should we outlaw forks for making people fat?”. These arguments are meaningless red herrings designed to distract from the actual points being made. Guns are not like forks. Forks are designed to convey food to your mouth, the damage they do, if any, is slow and dependent entirely on the will of the user who can only harm him or her self (unless force feeding someone). Of course the analogy also compares being fat to being shot, which is a bit absurd. Fat people do have greater risks of various health issues but hardly the same sort of health issues a person with a fucking bullet wound faces.
Guns are DESIGNED to kill animals and humans that is their only purpose. They are not like cars, which convey people place to place and not like forks that move food from plate to mouth, guns move speeding metal into the flesh of living breathing targets with the intent to wound and kill.
Prime example of a red-herring
People need to think deeply, rationally and compassionately about guns in America. Unfortunately the vocal cult of guns and the powerful gun lobby that feeds them are here to make sure no sane discourse on guns in America ever take place. The voices of sane gun owners tend to be drowned out by the babbling irrational cacophony of the fetishists. To make matters worse we have a media that is, in large part, afraid to speak out on the issue.
Just look at this latest tragedy. Yes there has been some discussion about gun control but much of the discussion has been drawn into a quagmire - side-tracked into a debate about the Confederate Flag, Southern pride about the Confederacy. Rather than addressing gun control or the actual racism still present in America the discussion has been about a symbol of that racism, the Confederate Flag and the gun-nuts have called for Church leaders to ARM THEMSELVES under the delusional notion that more guns = more safety.
Something has got to give and while I know my opinions on the subject will win me no points with most Americans the discussion needs to come to a front. We can no longer obfuscate the issue or defend the irrational and borderline delusional way that some Americans deal with gun rights in America. At some point we have to address the well-armed elephant in the room.
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