Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You can have my gun when you can pry it from my psychotic lunatic hand and cold dead heart...or something like that

Ever wonder what kind of person would make a statement like the one used to show the fervor which gun advocates mimic when they are faced with legitimate regulations that would make public gun ownership safer?  "You can have my gun when you can pry it from my cold dead hand."  The visual you get from the statement obviously explains that the spokesperson is willing to die without ever giving up his or her gun.

Of course it was an important member of the advertising committee of the National Rifle Association who got the phrase started.  From there, Charlton Heston, that great patriot and holy man of the movies, serving as the President of the National Rifle Association, uttered these words in rebellion to that terrible American government who obviously wanted to take away guns from ordinary citizens so that they (the government) could become a militaristic dictatorial monarchy.  A little deluded, don't you think?

Have you seen the lunatics like Alex Jones who have come out as a leader for gun advocacy on the Piers Morgan show?  How about James Yeager, the CEO of Tactical Response?  He is not just a gun advocate, he is also a civil war advocate and is willing and ready to start killing people as soon as the government does anything to reduce his access to guns. (Of course just yesterday he pulled a Mitt Romney and reversed his position by saying it was not the right time yet for such actions.)

In an effort to sell more guns, the NRA found a way to raise gun ownership to a level equal to patriotism.   In so doing, it gave a lot of people who could not, to that point in time explain their fascination with guns, a worthy reason for having them.  They are patriots.  Just like the founding fathers who created the second amendment.

Now don't get me wrong.  I don't think that all gun owners are psychotic lunatics.  Only those who think the United States Government, with all its checks and balances, it's constitution, being a government of, for and by the people, would ever consider of its own volition, turning into a militaristic dictatorial monarchy.

Reasonable gun owners exist everywhere and recent polling shows that a large majority of American citizens want some sort of gun controls legislated by the United States government.  So why does the Republican Party leadership appear to be as adamant as the lunatic gun owners in their statements against gun regulation?  Why does the Republican leadership do anything anymore?  Who knows?  I warned you about them in earlier blogs.  Rand Paul has recently come out against gun control, calling the administration a monarchy if they think they can control guns.  Another Republican accuses President Obama of exceeding his constitutional rights making him impeachable if he uses his Presidential power of Executive Order to initiate gun control.

Is the concern over the so-called entitlements of the second amendment so important that we should allow psychotic idiots guns?  Should we not require background checks on individuals who want to buy guns and ammo?  Do gun owners require automatic weapons used in the military for maximum kills?  Should we allow all guns to be sold to anyone?  It would seem to me that if the purpose of arming citizens is to protect them from their own government, then we should allow anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns to be sold.  Why not a nuclear bomb for every family so they can retaliate in case the government goes nuclear on its own citizens?  Perhaps the Republicans can legislate government subsidies to allow private wealthy persons to purchase their own air force.

And I say "so-called" entitlements because there is still confusion about the true meaning of the second amendment.   I believe an interpretation of the second amendment that does not extend individuals rights to guns.  The amendment as adopted by Congress states:

"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."

Supreme Court Building
From the moment the 2nd Amendment was enacted until 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in a number of cases, that the 2nd Amendment did not protect individual gun ownership.  With the arrival of the NRA and conservative Supreme Court judges influenced by them, in 2008 the Supreme Court completely reversed their prior rulings in a case called District of Columbia v Heller.  So the current law of the land is that the 2nd Amendment does protect an individual's gun rights.  I believe the modern Supreme Court of Antonin Scalia was wrong and I believe they were influenced by the campaigning of the NRA.

The first words of the Amendment's text "a well regulated militia" show the focus of the amendment's creators.  A militia is an organized group of armed individuals with a paramilitary purpose, intended to physically defend the people under their jurisdiction.  When our early fragile government was first created, there was concern that the Loyalists or some other group loyal to the King of England might rise up to take the country back for the British.  The second amendment creates the establishment of a militia to help prevent that from happening.  Since the subject of the second amendment is the militia, we can assume that the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" stated in the latter part of the amendment is meant to define the right to such a militia and not individual gun ownership rights.  I believe that this was how the founding fathers intended it to be.  Only if every member of the citizenry was a member of the militia, could the second amendment imply that they would all have the right to guns.  I don't believe the creators thought that all members of the citizenry would be members of a militia.

Even if I am wrong or if the creators intended for the second amendment to grant individuals rights to guns, it leaves open how the states should regulate the whole process.  We still need to define who should be allowed to possess guns and which guns they should be allowed to possess.  So regulations of this type at least, should not be considered infringement.

The NRA represents weapons manufacturers.  Weapons manufacturers are large corporations that operate wholly on the profit motive.  As a general rule, corporate America strongly fights against anything that might affect their profits.  The deaths of innocent children might have been avoided if gun regulations had already been in place that prevented a lunatic from getting hold of a military type weapon.  Gun regulation will help.  Let's not make it necessary for others to die so that the weapons manufacturers can prosper.