I am learning that I can count on one of my Facebook friends to get me riled up. You know, the one who set me off after the election with his rant about food stamps? This week's subject -- gun control. Of course, gun control.
Here is a snippet of his original post:
OK...at this point I'm seriously considering buying an assault rifle. ...I'm absolutely sick of this administration using the Constitution as toilet paper. It is for this very reason that the 2nd amendment was enacted...to prevent a tyrannical government from usurping the rights of the people. So... should I decide to pursue my right to bear arms...and our beloved President decide to visit my home to try to confiscate said weapon... the phrase "cold dead hands" comes to mind. What will have to be determined is whose hands are cold and dead.Oh, it gets better. Before I proceed, I will provide my personal opinion on the issues of gun control currently being debated.
- Clearly, this becomes a much more passionate issue when the events that we have seen in the past year occur. Making key decisions at a time when you are shocked, grieving, angered, and looking for justice is not the opportune time for a thoughtful discussion where long-term ramifications are considered. Frequently, wrong decisions are made because "we need to do something."
- I personally am not passionate about guns, but I have several responsible gun owners in my extended family. All legally owned and licensed. I have no problem with this, and I do believe that our right to bear arms should be preserved.
- I don't believe that enacting stiffer gun control laws is going to magically fix this issue. If that were the case, this country would have no drug problems, right? Drugs are illegal so how do people get them? Oh....people are willing to break the law to sell them because people are willing to spend whatever to get them. You see where I'm going with this.
- The tragic events in the past several years have one common theme beyond the use of high-powered assault rifles -- mental illness.
- And, back to those high-powered assault rifles. As a complete novice on this topic, it seems to me that these military rifles were manufactured with the sole purpose of killing or maiming a lot of people as fast as possible. I'm sorry, but I just don't see this as something normal Justin Citizen needs. (Inside family joke referenced there.) These are not used for hunting squirrel or deer. And, if you are just using them for target practice at the range...I don't get it.
The point is we can't give up freedom in the name of security irrespective of the rhetoric. The Government is not in a position to dictate what any of us can and can't do when it is Constitutionally protected. An unarmed citizenry is exactly what the Founding Fathers were protecting against. The Constitution is an amazing document and the authors had unbelievable foresight. Had they wanted to stipulate the type of weapon the People could bear they would have. Instead they saw fit to assure that the People would never find themselves in a position where they can't defend themselves.OK, hold up....I'm not a history buff, but wasn't the second amendment written in the 1790s? People were toting around muskets, bayonets, and cannons. How could they have envisioned high-caliber assault rifles capable of taking out hundreds of people in a matter of minutes? That's just a stupid argument. We've evolved. Let's move on.
I couldn't help myself, so I had to reply. I suggested that I would like to bear some arms myself for protection. I'd like some nuclear arms, please. Given how scared we all are that North Korea and Iran are stockpiling nuclear weapons, nobody wants that to happen. Here was his response, in part, to my albeit sarcastic comment:
The point of the Constitution and the Amendments it contains is to assure the rights of the People take precedent over any governing body. In 2010 twice as many people were killed by hands, fists, and feet than by any type of rifle. Why aren't they banning hands?Are you kidding me? First of all, where does he get these statistics? Second, it's not even the same comparison. The discussion is about restricting access to a manufactured piece of equipment that was designed for military use to kill people? I contend it was never anticipated to be widely available to the public.
The funny thing is, if--God forbid--someone in his family was killed at the hand of violence, this guy would be the first one standing outside the courthouse with a placard in his hand demanding justice.
At the end of the day, I also think our government is pretty hypocritical. The U.S. is the top exporter of firearms in the world. We want to limit every other country's development of nuclear arms. Yet, we think we can do whatever. It's easy to see why some other countries do not like America.