Truly. I am sincerely trying to restrain my reaction to the shootings in Tucson. I surely do not mean to fuel the fires of inflammatory public discourse. However, it is one thing to act responsibly but entirely another thing to sit back and let the lunatics twist the story so that their tirades are defensible.
When critics of current legislation cite issues, such as the right to bear arms without any specific controls on the type of guns, and are then lambasted for "inciting" the debate even further, thereby creating more inflammation, I say "Hogwash." How convenient for the Limbaughs, Becks and Palins of this world to deflect the dialogue away from their own destructive ideas on to the horrified witnesses to these crimes. To accuse the critics of using the same sort of incendiary speech as the initial instigators is a total cop-out. Tres cowardly for our gun-toting, rifle-loving, highly paid media and vote-seeking public leaders. Do not fall for this deliberate attempt to justify cowardly and destructive reactions. When horrendous behavior and acts are perpetrated on (innocent) people, an outcry is demanded. Always remember what Edmund Burke wrote: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing."
Tell me , America: at what point do we, while embracing our Constitutional right to bear arms, view that amendment within the social milieu of modern times? When we have a nation of over 300 million people, most of whom are grounded in sanity but some who are not, what will be the tipping point of reining in some of those outrageous stipulations of existing gun laws?
Forget about repealing the second amendment; that will never fly in the good old U. S. of A. So how about banning automatic, semi-automatic and concealed weapons? America, with all of its gung-ho behavior typified by their love of guns, is in actuality, a nation of cowards. Many people on the edge of sanity, like Jared Loughner, mistakenly interpret the "call to arms" against social and political policy as their mantra, a literal request against which they are required to rise up and retaliate. Senator Susan Collins, last year, supported this type of argument:
When faced with the option of denying people on the no-fly list the right to own and carry guns, she adamantly shot that idea down. EVERYONE has the right to carry heat. It never occurred to her that perhaps the often-inaccurate no- fly list should be corrected rather than automatically extending gun rights to every person on that list.
As for hunters, I will give the majority of them the benefit of the doubt. I will assume most of them are humane in their practices and shoot-to-kill for food supply purposes. Sarah Palin is not among that group. Of yeah, in words she will tout the idea of replenishing her freezer to feed her family. She will propagate the vision of herself as an experienced hunter and shooter. In reality, Palin’s recent actions turned those philosophies on their heads:
It took her seven shots to bring down a scraggly moose, neither humane nor exemplary of marksmanship nor very filling for her homestead freezer.
So go ahead and call me irresponsible in my criticism of recent events. I answer to a higher standard —- that of serving the needs and protecting our children. For little Christina Taylor Green, who lost her life in Tucson, we all need to stand up,voice our horror at current gun laws and not be cowed by those who believe in public provocation of vigilantism, violence and indiscriminate gun ownership as the answer. If the kid of a die-hard gun advocate had been killed instead of Christina, the debate would have gone in an entirely opposite direction. Trust me. Rhetoric and ideology can get very personal very quickly. Americans are great at doling out sympathy at such a horrendous event as Tucson, but also are apt to dispense with that compassion as soon as possible. Call it "getting on with life". Call it a desensitization to the too many assassinations and mass murders of the last five decades. Call it whatever you like. The fact remains that until a tragedy happens close to home, effecting one’s own psychological and emotional stasis, it does not really produce a personal response or a determined call to action.
It is time to rock the boat of public policy to ensure the safety of us ALL. It is no longer acceptable to cater to the rights of gun aficionados, hunters and proponents of specific individual rights that endanger the well-being of the society-at-large. Innocent bystanders and children will continue to be the victims of such selfish legislation. The irony of our democratic republic is astounding, i.e. that individual rights should have precedence over the greater good, thereby jeopardizing our nation as a whole.
I know that I cannot stand by and bear witness to this insanity any longer. Let America keep its guns, but let America taper their appetite for arms so that we minimize the destruction and death. Of course, this is assuming that America values its children more than their right to shoot. Silly, irresponsible me.
PROTECTION: WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF US?
Representative Peter King (R-NY) plans to enter new legislation that would make it illegal for anyone to carry a gun within 1000 feet of a government official. Wait, wait. What about the rest of us?
King is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Homeland security for whom? Not the people, but surely for our elected officials. Is this another perk of office or is it a denial of protection for all the rest of us poor slobs? This is yet another act of American cowardice. To legislate the protection of America’s office holders, at the taxpayer’s expense and exclusion from that protection, is unbelievable. We shall have gun control only to protect our policy makers; the rest of us are on our own, falling prey to no gun control at all. Double standard? Narcissism? Special treatment for the powers that be? A fear for the safety of the legislators yet a proposed policy to ensure gun rights are still intact and thus, the vote for re-election is also?
Let me see if I am comprehending King's proposal: America should use their citizens' tax dollars to provide protection for their government officials, but not for the protection of all Americans? How do you think this double standard will fly in the eyes of the proletariat? This "solution" is so lacking in thought and consideration that it makes one wonder if it wasn't put forward merely to make King seem like he really cares. Nothing "renaissancey" about this doozy of an idea; more like a return to the Dark Ages. It is already illegal for a person to carry a gun within 1000 feet of a school, and we have seen just how effective that law has been, i.e. Virginia Tech and the numerous high school sieges.
What is good for one is good for all. Therefore, should this farce of legislation pass, there is not enough surface area on the face of this earth to ensure the proposed 1000 foot distance between a gun carrier and the rest of us. We would have to use the air space all the way to the moon to ensure the enforcement of such a law. Is it as obvious to you as it is to me that sensible gun control might be a better alternative to this phony attempt at assuaging the people?
Besides, tell me this: if the general public is not likewise protected against our violent practices, who is going to be left to vote anyway?