posted on January 17, 2013 22:26
The Sandy Hook shooting hit me hard. The least of our parental concerns should be sending our children off to school. Ask my little girl, “What’s daddy’s number one job?” and she will reply without hesitation, “To keep me safe.”
I have reminded her of this since she was a toddler. I want her to feel as secure in this world as possible. It also helps reinforce my credibility when explaining or instructing her in other precarious subjects that she does not understand. This goes beyond crossing the street and speaking to strangers; the strategy helps me explain confusing nutritional practices and an adherence to age-appropriate music, movies, etc.
She also knows that if an individual were to pose any kind of physical threat to either of us, Daddy is going to handle it. I’m not necessarily proud of it, but she has witnessed my paternal rage on a few occasions.
This is the cross a father bears. That she feels safe is enough for me to carry cynicism and distrust in my heart. The luxury of ignorance enjoyed by those who smile gregariously at passersby and assume the best of everyone is not an option for me. If my daughter is by my side at the grocery store or gas station and you are in close proximity I am probably sizing you up.
The fact that our eyes are centered upon our faces in a frontward manner is proof of our inherently violent nature. We are born hunters. Men embody these physiological and psychological attributes to a greater degree than women, but even my sweet little vegetarian sister would protect her three small children with her life and at the expense of yours without hesitation. Survive her and you get her husband...a Special Forces soldier.
We come full circle to the Second Amendment:
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.
Let’s take a look at the etymology behind this provision:
Bookended between “well regulated” and “shall not be infringed” resides that which most hold to be the meat of the amendment, “the right of the people to keep and bear” that which is identified simply as “Arms”.
Okay, let’s not. That may be the most ambiguous piece of legislation in our nation’s history. It is also worth noting for the fine conservative patriots who view all things related to the Constitution sacrosanct and impervious to debate that the Bill of Rights originally excluded anyone not white, wielding a penis and owning property. This means that as a renter, my pasty ass would not have been protected. Furthermore, it was implemented in the late 1700’s, a time when an infant democracy was being born via a tyrannical Great Britain.
The premise that a society must guard itself against the threat of its government using its own arms against them is viable. It has happened. In other parts of the world it continues to happen. Is it likely to happen in modern-day America? No. But I understand and agree with the premise.
The notion that gun restrictions, and/or removing full-blown assault weapons from the hands of criminals and psychopaths would solve many acts of violence in this country is honorable and rooted in good intention. Not only is this premise viable, but the reason for doing so gets no more real than dead 1st graders in a normally peaceful Connecticut community. Is it likely to happen again? Yes. Gun violence is so prevalent in America that we barely even acknowledge it unless it occurs in an extraordinarily extreme manner. This is the case in few if any other “civilized” parts of the world. Therefore, I wholeheartedly agree with this premise.
And so I write this from the rational middle. I am an advocate of the good guys exercising their right to keep and bear arms, to protect themselves and others from the bad guys (and the so-called good guys) and the right to protect our children. I am generally untrusting of government and the idea of some kind of uprising or revolt does not seem so farfetched to me either, so I even hold a certain level of respect for arguments made by conservative alarmists like this fucking cracker
And even this one
But as batshit as these guys may seem, I do not fear them. Partly because I am certain I would hear them coming, but also because, politics aside, we would both merrily throw copper at movie theatre gunman James Holmes.
Which brings us to the heart of the matter:
There is no solution to a sociopath whom while in the midst of functioning in society becomes bent on killing innocent, defenseless people without rational purpose or regard. But restricting the availability of guns to them is a good start. If you find yourself unable to acknowledge this simple truth your priorities are completely fucked.
Since many of you that I just offended are card-carrying members of the National Rifle Association, let me go all-in and add that we should not be letting an organization considered to be the most powerful (see financially-backed) lobbyist group fluffing the Congress to hold such sway over lawmakers. They are interested in the profitability of the industry, not public safety.
And let’s push government conspiracy aside for a moment and focus on exactly that for now. If Obama suddenly decides to push tanks down Market Street, your AR-15 with the laser scope was not likely to save you anyway.
Still concerned you won’t be able to purchase a gun if and when you need to? Please. Relax. In fact, here’s a hooker and some controlled substances to help calm your nerves, compliments of Craigslist.
Let me be clear: if the government has guns, we should have them as well. I don’t care if we are talking about a .22 caliber more likely to do damage via pistol whipping or a rocket launcher. Civilians have the right to own them or Uncle Sam should go weaponless as well. Everybody can learn karate or some shit. But if our elected officials cannot render a peaceful determination as to the criteria that must be met in order to obtain firearms, especially those capable of mass murder within seconds, then our nation, its precious constitution and those elected to political office, all of it…a joke. Similarly to operating a vehicle, there are people who have lost the privilege and others who just shouldn’t be able to drive to begin with. No gun measure taken could be much worse than the DMV.
Maybe our collective mental condition is a much bigger problem that we allow ourselves to believe. You cannot deny the inordinate amount of violence in this country. We practically celebrate it. Coupled with the ever-increasing disparity between the rich and the poor and the withering of religion as a means of ethical guideposts (which even as an agnostic I feel is unfortunate in many ways), access to weapons is a ticking time bomb. Even without them...an inmate will sharpen bread crust into a prison shank if need be.
The real enemy is mental illness. Does anyone really see that getting solved with more assault rifles?
When my daughter tells me what she doesn’t want for dinner I reply that she needs to give me solutions, not problems. Those whose only concern is their “right to bear arms” with no “regulation” and having nothing to do with any kind of organized “militia”, they sound like bratty children, selfish, spoiled and shortsighted. Many of them have not read the amendment in its entirety – hell, neither had I – and more still have not taken the time to thoughtfully consider it.
Contrary to the NRA’s sensationalism and perversion of real issues into, not a threat against the well-being of our children, schools and freedom from fear, but a threat against gun sales, the President took steps in a positive direction. The “If someone tries to take my guns I’ll kill ‘em!” response is not applicable, as nobody has attempted to do so. The Barack bashing and extremist paranoia, other forms of mental illness…it all needs to stop.
So long as our real governing bodies are fear, greed and ego, it will not.
Another J. Adams, founding father and our second President said it best, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
Maybe there is no solution. Maybe we're fucked. Maybe a revolution is inevitable.
Guess you’d better pass me a bread crust.
J. Adams is the revolutionary responsible for the Man Hole section. Follow him on the Twitter via @Intangiball and/or practice the other abused amendment in the comments below.