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Just saying that word is usually enough to trigger an onslaught of Teh Crazy. So I’ll wait while you get it out of your system. For the rest of us, here’s a video about kittens.
All done? Good. Now let’s have a reasonable, civil talk.
I’m bringing up the subject of guns because I just learned of some right-wing radio host calling for civil disobedience in Washington, D.C., on July 4. The disobedience? Defying the district’s law against carrying loaded weapons around in public.
Yes, boys and girls, these guys want to march on Washington with loaded weapons (I’m not linking to this page because I’d rather not drive any traffic there, nor would I like the lovely people who are commenting on the page to come over here. You’re intelligent adults, though. You can find it if you want to):
This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free. (emphasis mine)
I ask you, is this a good idea? Unless you’re a reasonable person, capable of rational thought based on a minimum of emotion, please don’t answer that. This eliminates the fearful people who would respond, “Hell, yeah! We have to show the government we ain’t gonna give up our guns!” as well as the bleeding hearts who would say, “That is wrong on so many levels I can’t even begin to parse it.” The rest of you, buck up and think a minute. I’ll wait, but no kittens this time.
OK? What did you come up with? If you’re like me, you recognized right away that the organizers of this march fall into the-fearful-people-who-would-respond-“Hell-yeah!-We-have-to-show-the-government-we-ain’t-gonna-give-up-our guns!” category. Because rational people, capable of any form of rational thought, know that nobody is trying to take anybody’s guns away. This is the problem with Teh Crazy. It is not only incapable of rational thought, it believes rational people are part of the vast conspiracy out to take their guns or perform any other task required by the Liberal Agenda to Destroy America. You likely also thought that having a group of people incapable of rationality who believe that the truth is a lie march around with loaded weapons is an insanely stupid idea, especially given … oh wait. I forgot that part.
We are truly saying in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.
I can only assume that if that is considered subtle, then not subtle must be storming the capital with guns blazing, which would be even more insanely stupid.
Let me be perfectly clear. I don’t want to take away anyone’s guns. I also wish there weren’t any, and I don’t think there’s a good reason to own one. But what I think and believe is not the law of the land, and I don’t believe I have to the right to force anyone to live by my beliefs. Simply put, I don’t believe in owning guns, so I won’t be buying one. I do, however, support common sense restrictions on buying guns, and I don’t think that violates the Second Amendment regardless of how it’s interpreted.
Interesting, isn’t it, that the Second Amendment seems to hold some exalted place in the pantheon of Teh Crazy’s sacred objects, the only Constitutional amendment that cannot be affected by any legislation whatsoever and the only one not subject to the originalists’ and textualists’ rule that laws mean only what the writers of said law understood it to mean?
Of course, I do have the right to petition the government to make my beliefs the law of the land, to ban guns, but in this case I’m not going to because I also believe that laws should be less restrictive, not more, and if they’re to impose any limitation or restrictions, they must make sense and not be because somebody’s god says it should be that way. We can’t be forced to make a decision, because when decisions aren’t made freely, there’s nothing substantial to back that up. There’s just what someone else decided that we should think too.
So, have your guns. But there can and should be reasonable restrictions on how and when you can buy them and how and when you can carry them. And those of you who want to keep your guns need to understand that they won’t make you safe. That great spiritual teacher Albert Einstein was appalled in 1932 about a disarmament conference didn’t seem to be going very well. He held a news conference:
If the implications weren’t so tragic, the conference’s methods could only be called absurd. One doesn’t make wars less likely to happen by formulating rules of warfare. … The solution to the peace problem can’t be left in the hands of governments. … I think the conference is heading for a bad compromise. Whatever agreement is made about the ‘types of arms permissible in war’ would be broken as soon as war began. War can’t be humanised. It can only be abolished. (emphasis mine)
That should be painfully obvious to everyone by now, but apparently it’s not. Einstein was speaking about violence between nations, of course, but his words apply equally to violence on a smaller scale, to any act of agression against any sentient being, no matter who barked first or why.
- Gun protest photo © 2013 Chris Aschenbrener (licensed a iStockPhoto.com); Einstein photo official Nobel Prize for physics 1921, PD.
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