Sunday, May 19, 2013
I feel sorry for my fellow Americans who are so consumed with conservative sentiment that they vehemently oppose any form of gun control – in spite of a social situation that increasingly calls for it. I recently got the chance to browse a current copy of *American Rifleman*, journal of the unbalanced National Rifle Association – which cheap and pugnacious propaganda confirms our every apprehension about an organization that is in its way no less violence-prone than the KKK, Nazis types, etc., but dismayingly large and wealthy.
Had the Nation’s founders seen fit to mention a right of the people to keep and drive coaches and carriages, would a vocal segment of modern society have stood in impassioned and asinine opposition to driver licensing, vehicle registration and compulsory auto insurance?
I am, to put it mildly, skeptical of the far-right’s notion that we are a society careening toward ruin. Essentially they are promulgating the “wedge” or “slippery slope” argument (since they lack reasoned, good-faith arguments) that reasonable gun control today would soon result in government confiscating all guns and shooting us with them.
I love freedom as much as the next guy, but what good is the freedom to attend a movie if some loon is free to open fire on the theater? Of what use the freedom to choose living in a given school district if congress has jealously guarded some ghoul’s “right” to amass an arsenal for use on classrooms full of small children? If public safety is not the province of government, I need someone with a sound education to explain why the hell not
Imagine, if you will, a U.S. government that not only does not degrade into a sinister dictatorship that needs overthrowing but comes to contribute meaningfully to our general welfare – as proposed by its constitution. What if there were a new morning in America wherein our police and government officials were almost always good people doing a good job – oh wait, slap my pate – such is the case already. What if we had sound and essentially trustworthy government, government in good faith? Oh wait, we do.
Not that we are going to realize some utopian dream overnight, but gun laws based on enlightenment and imagination could make public places safer for defenseless civilians while satisfactorily indulging a right of citizens to own and use firearms.
At the cost of a tiny fraction of our right to privacy, we could make life safer for us all. What would the law-abiding have to fear from annually scheduled cursory inspections of basements, attics, etc? Negligible inconvenience to our liberties, in exchange for great strides in protecting women and children from imprisonment and heinous abuse?
If we hear a rowdy murmur at such ideas, it is the sound of conservatives who used to pretend to care for law and order but now disdain same, like drunk and cranky cowboys. Damn the demagoguery, the pandering, the filibuster and the gerrymander that defeat the people’s sound wisdom and warp outcomes for us all.
at 5:55 PM