Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When Guns Are Outlawed...

No Guns, just Roses

My Dear Friend and Brother, Emi: I have a good friend who is more like a brother, as I’m an honorary uncle to his sons, but that’s another story. Emi and I often have differing views. He thinks I’m a raving mad liberal and I don’t want to say he’s a staunch anti communist, but he probably believes O’Reilly sits too far to the left. Among our many topics for discussion is the proliferation of guns in our American society. Now I’m not too bright about some things and do not purport to be a scholar of the constitution, although I’ve heard enough squeals of “Second Amendment” each time a gun advocate’s trigger finger is threatened. But gun arguments on both sides have become so convoluted that I simply feel the need to inject some common sense into the argument.

When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns: The image of a frail wannabe Moses holding a flintlock rifle in the air and proclaiming in his stentorian voice, “I’ll give them my gun when they pry it from my cold dead hands.” Makes for great theater but makes little sense. The second amendment was written as part of the Bill of Rights, (can you tell me what the first, third, fifth, or other amendments say?) and says, “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 fear at the time was that the U.S. government might overthrow the people and if the people kept guns that would prevent such a possibility.

What the founding fathers did not have: The right to keep and bear arms in those days meant flintlock rifles and pistols that shot little iron balls. That’s all the government had too, except for cannons that shot big iron balls. The citizens with little iron balls outnumbered the government with their big iron balls so it made sense to keep and bear arms. Besides, the long guns were needed to shoot game, which was plentiful in the neighborhoods, not the zoos. Fast forward a couple of hundred years and weaponry has become more sophisticated. The only thing one shoots for dinner is the bull while shopping at the local super market and purchasing portions of a cow, pig, chicken or lamb to cook for dinner. The little pop guns that most garden variety crooks, cops, and weekend warriors carry are no match for the sophisticated weaponry owned by the federal government.

My nephew-in-law in the Navy: My cousin Steve has three adult daughters, one of whom married a Navy man and submariner. He was aboard, but not above board his sub the USS Illkickyourass floating under water in the Middle East. The Iraq war was going strong and our troops were looking for Saddam and his lovely family, the boy sadists. Intelligence got a lead on where Udau and Qusay were hanging out. The information was sent to the sub on which my son-in-law served and on that warm July day a designated sailor pushed a button that opened a hatch that allowed a missile to pass that flew through the air that blew up the house that Saddam built for his boys. Oh yes, the boys were in it probably torturing a few soccer players who had lost a game. Anyhow, Poof! There goes civilization from hundreds of miles away.

Popguns vs. guided missiles: The days when citizen posses kept their guns to ward off the threat of government takeover went out with powdered wigs and wooden teeth. Scratch that argument. So how about the good guys vs. the bad. Every once in a while a homeowner shoots a burglar. Yea for our side. But in fact, a resident is 43 times more likely to be killed by a gun than to shoot a burglar. Worse, every once in a while a toddler gets hold of that gun meant to dissuade intruders and shoots his little brother dead. More often, the homebodies are at a concert or movie when the homeboys break in and steal those guns, sell them to their fellow homies who shoot, rob, pillage, and kill each other with them with occasional collateral damage done to innocent bystanders during drive-by shootings. Those are some of the reasons guns in the home don’t make sense to me. And I haven’t even started on the need for assault weapons. For what? Other than to clutch as a phallic symbol and give one a false sense of safety or a feeling of power, I can’t for the life of me understand the need for such weapons.

Taking a life – the consequences: I know many men and a few women who, with bravado, tell how they would shoot or threaten to shoot a criminal if they held a gun during a robbery. A current email is running rampant that tells of a “White boy in Savannah” who was with his girlfriend and threatened by a knife wielding ghetto mugger who wanted his Burberry jacket. Get real. No self respecting ghetto kid would wear a Burburry, but even that begs the point of the racist email. I have a friend who is a counselor and she has worked with people who have taken a life – people from soldiers to police officers, to folks protecting their property. She tells me that most never get over it.

Squeeze your honey, not a trigger: So all you right wing defenders of the Second Amendment, fear not. I do not want to change the constitution even though I think that amendment is now silly since its initial purpose no longer makes sense. If you want to own a handgun, a bb gun, a son-of-a-gun or a water pistol, you are setting yourself up for more harm than good, but I do not think there oughta be a law to ban them. This post will likely not have changed one person’s mind. Certainly not mine. I just don’t understand the irrational fear that drives otherwise apparently sane people to make their home a fortress.

A little blogging music Maestro: The country and western classic, “If I had Shot You When I wanted to I’d be Out by Now.”

Dr forgot

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