The Second Amendment: A Distraction, And An Illusory Last Resort

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.” – The Second Amendment

 To a degree I’m a pragmatist, and when grappling with the second amendment I do my best to see the issue on a large scale.  There’s over three hundred million fire arms in circulation, roughly the US population, and some odd three and a half million termed ‘assault weapons’.  If there were a ban on the sale of ALL guns tomorrow, there’d still be a whole lot of guns and the potential for gun violence.  But no one’s saying we should get rid of all guns, not even close.  There would remain an arsenal of deadly weapons available for sale legally, even if the strictest of proposed gun law reform gets through a gridlocked and corrupt Washington.

The NRA maintains there should be no background checks at gun shows and for private sales.  Be forewarned, I may write some things that second amendment enthusiasts might find offensive, but it’s not my intention to make that the focus of the article.  Most of you are good people, perhaps the best of people, but sometimes, in my humble opinion, you grasp onto bad ideas with a limited perspective of the consequences.

 “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 Second Amendment 

I think it would be fair if everyone could own a musket and a rifle, like they used back in the days of our founding fathers.  I know that’s not a possibility and I’m not advocating it, but in the comparison is seen a core issue concerning a discord with the foresight of our founding fathers and our current commitment to the second amendment in many extreme manifestations.

I know the counter argument is that Arms is an evolving concept, and that we the people must be able to keep pace with the power of our military to ensure States rights are protected, and just in case society falls apart at the seams.  I believe in the US, as things stand now, people should be able to purchase, with a background check and waiting period, certain firearms.  I won’t even begin to draw distinctions in this article, as that should not be the main focus. I’m merely giving a brief idea of my understanding of the second amendment.  That word, right there.. ‘Militia’, a well regulated one, in fact.. that seems to be missing from most of our public discourse.

The Second Amendment: There’s Got To Be Obvious Common Ground Somewhere

40% of gun sales are done without necessitating a background check, and while my second amendment loving friends tell me it’s less, and the loop holes with private gun sales and gun shows are relatively insignificant, there’s still no logic not closing them anyway.  If they make no sense and have even any potential for harm reduction, it does not seem like a tough call.  To drive a car you need a license, to buy a car you get it registered.  Why allow for specific loop holes for guns?  Even so, while believing not taking the measure to be absurd, I understand the reality is that there will be a black market for criminals to obtain weapons, and many would be criminals have no background that would forbid them from a legal gun purchase.

Our Rights Are Eroding, But Owing A Gun, ‘In Case It Comes To That’, Is Not The Best Or Most Virtuous Strategy

Though tough gun reform worked in Australia and other parts of the world, Americans would not so easily be departed from their weapons.  If the Government tried to take away everyone’s weapons, there would be a lot of discontent, discord, and bloodshed.  The Government doe snot need to go to these lengths to subdue the American people.  Thus far a balanced Huxley and Orwellian approach has worked just fine.  The gun debate just becomes another distraction, a divisive piece of politics to keep people from paying more attention to matters such as the freedoms already stripped from us by the NDAA Act, the Patriot Act, the Prison Industrial Complex, to serve as a good beginning set of examples.  Politicians have become overwhelmingly corrupt in our current system, beyond the standard of the old adage about how crooked a politician’s spine was.  They rely on campaign contributions and get the vast majority of them from mega corporations, banks,  and the 400 wealthiest families in the US.   After Citizen’s United was passed Corporations not only were counted as people, but coupled with the fact money equaled free speech, they can now virtually bribe politicians in open day with impunity.

What If The Worst Comes True?

It’s a concerning conspiracy that the Government plans to take all of our weapons away from us by force, and the only recourse we’ll have is to fight them.  I’ve had friends go to great lengths to argue  the notion that people could fight back effectively if this came to pass.  They cite Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, where the people could not be completely defeated, and that always there remained strong resistance to an unwanted occupation.  There’s a few problems with this argument.

Fighting Abroad Requires Far more Resources

The heading says it all.  It’s not hard to envision how many resources could be spared by having to travel a military, armor and an arsenal across the world.  We have drone technology now, satellite imagery, the military owns the skies and the sea, and if they were so insidious as to want to disarm us and put us down like dogs, then all is already lost.

Lack Of Necessity Or Motive

I don’t believe this is the US Government’s intent.  They are clustered with cancerous faults, and their intentions around the world are often dubious at best, and sinister and deadly at worst.   It’s a better strategy for them to maintain an ever growing income inequality gap and prey on the men and woman in lower socioeconomical areas to ensure a steady stream of soldiers without having to enact a draft, which would put the people at great unrest.  Just like trying to take away their guns.  Right now we have a plutocracy, the corporations and the wealthy are in charge, and so they are motivated primarily by money.  Our system is visibly corrupt and what that emits is reliably not going to benefit the vast majority of US citizens.   It will benefit their benefactors, those that they are beholden to.  Their paymasters.

The Toll Of Human Suffering Is Underestimated

I don’t feel this heading requires a strong argument.  It should be self evident to anyone capable of compassion or empathy.  If the American people had to take up their arms against the US Military the suffering would be unimaginable.  Family, friends, neighbors, everyone would lose somebody, and no one would be left unscared, be it emotionally, psychology, or physically.  We don’t want to live in a country like Iraq or Afghanistan, where the struggle in daily life is difficult for most of us to imagine.  For the sake of humanity, or at least for your fellow Americans, find another way.   This path will lead to nothing but suffering and misery.

Seeking The Light At The End Of A Really, Really Long Tunnel

There are ways of changing the state of affairs in the US without violence or fear.  We need to focus on campaign finance reform and repealing Citizen’s United.  Forcing a Constitutional Convention, though not a simple feat, it is one possible strategy.  Once the politicians are answerable to us – I would argue publicly funded campaigns would save us billions as a result of the shift in a politician’s priorities -, their proclaimed political views will actually matter.  Right now it’s nothing but lip service to an illusion.  Double NASA’s budget, fund projects and companies working on clean renewable resources of energy, and put money into education and rebuilding our infrastructure.  Without the cost of endless foreign wars and with reasonable taxation, which I suppose I’ll have touch on in another article, this country could accomplish great things.  But right now, as I sit here reading over those words I just typed, it feels like a pipe dream.

The below video is Patrick Leahy questioning the NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre.  Good fun for all.  ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions can be tricky when the answer is uncomfortable.

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