The Right To Bear Arms

____-Shouldn’t everyone get at least one bear arm to hang on their wall before they die?

One major rule of a dinner party states that you never discuss religion or politics.  Things can get ugly.

For 48 hours this week at a client conference, that’s essentially what a colleague and I did during dinners and post-dinner libations: debate, argue, and every now and then agree on societal, religious, and political issues affecting the world today.

And since this forum isn’t a dinner party, and most of what is written here is already ugly, we’re going to address the massacre in Orlando.  This may cause some of you never to read this blog again.  I’m fine with that.  Let’s first start on common ground by defining, and lending context, to some items that I’ll address today:

We all know what the 2nd amendment says.  It affords us the right to bear arms for purposes of self defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.  It was passed on December 15, 1791.  One of the first 10 amendments also known as the Bill of Rights.

According to Wikipedia:  The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689.  The Supreme Court also ruled in 1939 that “the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a ‘reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.'”

We shall now cut to the chase.

I’m not against guns.  I have lived with guns in my house.  I know many, many good people who use guns to hunt.  I have shot guns before.  But what I can’t understand for the life of me is why people defend the need to purchase semi-automatic, military-style weapons for personal use.  Deer hunters, duck hunters, bear hunters…any type of hunter…if you need a semi-automatic weapon to take those animals down than you’re either the biggest p*ssy hunter I know…or you need to find another hobby.

And let’s address the self-defense argument.  I’m certain there are no statistics on this, but I’d love to know how many gun owners have saved themselves, their families, or helpless others from certain peril by brandishing their firearm to ward off the assailant.  The one instance I’ve heard of when a man used a gun in self-defense…was the former DJ of the Mount Washington Tavern (I believe it was DJ Kenny, if memory serves), who was in a property he owned downtown and a homeless/drunk/high person broke in and DJ Kenny shot him multiple times.  THEN DJ Kenny had to pay God knows how much in legal fees just to prove it was self-defense and he didn’t overdue it by shooting the intruder multiple times.  Score a victory there for the self-defense argument…minus being broke due to attorney fees.

This isn’t the battle of Lexington and Concord here.  Forming and maintaining a militia to protect the “state” is an argument that’s about 300 years past its expiration date.

But what about the war on terror?  Won’t we need semi-automatic weapons when ISIS attacks us?

Let me tell you something.  The war on terror has been about as effective, and is about as stupid a phrase, as the war on drugs.  It’s a nonsensical phrase conjured up by George Bush that gives the government the authority to fight an endless battle that will never have a clear winner.  Hell, even the folks who backed the war on drugs have softened their stance in the wake of the legalization of marijuana.

People call the massacre in Orlando a terrorist attack.  I think that’s BS.  People call it a hate crime: I buy that.  Because in the end…EVERY TERRORIST ATTACK IS NOTHING MORE THAN A HATE CRIME.  Jihadists hate the western culture.  They hate gays.  They hate Christianity.  Terrorism sounds scarier and worse than a mere hate crime.  But at their core, every terror attack is really a hate crime.

Again from our friends at Wikipedia:  A hate crime is a prejudice-motivated crime, often violent, which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim [or victims] because of his or her membership (or perceived membership) in a certain social group. Examples of such groups can include but are not limited to: sex, ethnicity, disability, language, nationality, physical appearance, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Ethnicity.  Nationality.  Religion.

Terrorism is just a hate crime.  But the word terror carries a lot more clout in politics and in the media.

____________________________________________________

Late night talk show hosts usually acknowledge an incident like this during their opening monologue and then proceed with the show.  They don’t want to risk offending a portion (or up to half) of their viewership….and they conform to the normal bullsh*t line of “everyone is in our thoughts and prayers.”

But Monday night was different.  Monday night….a few of them took a stand.

Stephen Colbert was particularly emotional and poignant.

Conan O’Brien had one that really spoke to me…as someone with two young daughters:

And Samantha Bee let out some anger at the incident on her show as well (perhaps worth watching the most):

_____________________________________________________

But the bottom line is this: nothing positive is going to happen.  If it didn’t happen after Sandy Hook, it ain’t happening.  That’s the God awfulness of it.  Whether it’s 25 first graders, 50 people at a club, 24 people at an office party in San Bernadino….soldiers at Fort Hood, a Bible study class in a Charleston church….there are too many politicians with their heads up their asses to make a difference and effect change.

The sad part is…no one is saying to take away guns.  I’m saying to take away the guns that have no business in the hands of any law-abiding (or otherwise) American.

“But you can’t take away my AR-15!  I like to shoot it at ranges.  I’m responsible! I’m not mentally ill, nor do I have desires to harm anyone!”

You know what….I was responsible, not mentally ill, nor did I harm anyone every time I blew coke, shot heroin, or popped ecstasy.  But I’m not bitching at the fact that I can’t do those anymore, am I?*

Some things need to be done for the good of the people…regardless of whether a few folks feel insulted by not being able to pop off 45 rounds in a minute at the range.  Grow a pair and find something else to do with your time.  Read a book…if you can.

In the meantime, be mindful of every public place you visit.  Churches, schools, movie theaters, clubs, and work parties are all potential places of death.  Perhaps you should buy a gun…if everyone had one, after all, the world would be a much safer place.

 

*Joke was for effect only.  I’ve never done those things. 
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