It is hard to know what to say. Were I to be standing in front of a classroom of students, what could I say to them?
“We adults apparently do not care about you or your future lives. We seem to care more about the presumed rights of adult males to own automatic weapons intended solely to kill enemy forces in wartime. Although those adult males will never in fact use those automatic weapons for that purpose, they seem to feel inadequate without their automatic weapons. And we wouldn’t want them to feel inadequate, would we? So we are exchanging your rights to full lives to accommodate the needs of these inadequate males. Poor souls. You understand, don’t you?”
And then, I might have to leave the classroom very quickly, so as to avoid being hit by blackboard erasers, or to listen to the children screaming at me. What would they be yelling about? Well, I assume they might be pissed because I was acting like a total idiot, a true enfant terrible, like most of our Congress persons, at least the ones on the payroll of the NRA.
We know the President is a true idiot, because he acts like one 75% of the time, you know, when he isn’t actually sleeping. Apparently, we can now also conclude that the Congress persons on the payroll of the NRA are also idiots – From Wiki,
“Idiot is a word derived from the Greek ἰδιώτης, idiōtēs ("person lacking professional skill", "a private citizen", "individual"), from ἴδιος, idios ("private", "one's own"). In ancient Greece, people who were not capable of engaging in the public sphere were considered "idiotes. An idiot in Athenian democracy was someone who was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs. Idiocy was the natural state of ignorance into which all persons were born and its opposite, citizenship, was effected through formalized education. In Athenian democracy, idiots were born and citizens were made through education”
Many of the postings on Facebook and other social media expressing the need for “gun control”, seem to evoke from the gunners in the land, the notion that we do not have a gun problem, because,
“Guns do not kill people. People kill people.”
One man even went on to describe how his gun could be placed on a table, and it would never operate on its own. Therefore, he asserted, gun control is not the issue, but rather, people control.
Yet, it we examine the globe, we can observe that, the United States is alone in the number and extent of mass shootings. In fact, all countries that have enacted serious gun control no longer have mass shootings. Only in the US, are these shootings continuing and even increasing. And it is not the case that Britain, or Australia, or Canada, et al, do not have at least some mentally unbalanced citizens. Folks with serious mental diseases seem to exist almost everywhere, but only in the US does that manifest itself in the form of multiple murders. Often these atrocities take form within a school destroying our more vulnerable citizens, young students engaged in trying to learn to become citizens. The mass shootings do not seem to occur with a crazed person armed with a single shot rifle, or pistol. No, that would be too difficult for the crazy person. Instead, the weapon of choice seems to be that old standby, the AR-15. The original AR-15 was manufactured by Colt and had a five round magazine. But Colt’s patent expired and other gun manufacturers began making AR-15 type semi-automatic rifles with some up to 30-round magazines. The Orlando club shooting massacre was described as an AR-15 gun, but it was one of the many variants, the SIG Sauer MCX.
These weapons are often referred to as “assault” weapons. Why? Because that is their stated military purpose. See, they have no civilian purpose, certainly not hunting. So, why the outcry against banning such obviously military style weapons? All we can conclude is that their owners know no bounds to their view of the so-called Second Amendment rights to own guns. That amendment asserts:
“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 arguments about this amendment have continued off and on for several centuries, and include arguments about the right of kings to disarm the citizens, especially citizens of a certain religious persuasion, in the days when Catholics and Protestants battled for control of the English land. It seems clear that a state militia was an important element in the early arguments about this right to bear arms, as was the right to hunt on their own lands. Our Supreme Court decided that the individual right to bear arms was paramount and that the Second Amendment protected that right.
Still, arguments can and will continue over whether assault rifles can and should fall within this right, the Supreme Court notwithstanding. But it will take a serious Congressional debate, perhaps up to and including a debate about the need for a replacement Second Amendment. And that may not happen within my lifetime, mainly because we no longer have serious-minded persons within our Congress.
The need for a Second Amendment debate seems clear, but it is and will continue to be impeded because our legislators are elected partly/perhaps mainly by virtue of private money from interests bent on protecting their own commercial interests. In this case, the NRA, representing armaments manufacturers, has been able to convince (stress on “con”) its members to support their arguments that the government wants to take away their right to bear arms, any arms. So, the NRA has multiple millions of dollars to essentially bribe Congress persons to avoid any and all serious debates on the issue of armaments control. So, until such money is removed from the political system, this form of political bribery will continue and Congress persons will continue to be bought by private monied interests. So long as that exists, no serious gun control can occur. And as long as no serious gun control exists, continued mass shootings will continue in this country.
We are and will be the laughing stock of the world in this respect. We are, simply, not serious people. And we will continue to value private commercial interests, over the lives of our children. Try explaining that to a classroom of students.