How did the Second Constitutional Amendment ratified in 1791 and designed to protect the newly liberated United States from falling prey to tyranny get bent 224 years later into protecting the gun rights even of people on the Terror No-Fly list, and abusive spouses against whom there are orders of protection, and psychiatry patients?
Why is it easier in most states to get a gun license than it is to get a driver’s license? Drivers at least have to demonstrate some level of competence. They can only drive when they’re sober. They have vision, road and written tests.
Cars have to be registered with an owner’s name attached. Every time a car is sold, the registration has to reflect the change of ownership. Why don’t guns and bullets have to be registered?
Why isn’t there some limit placed on the number of weapons purchased in most states? When someone is buying a dozen weapons a week, isn’t it obvious that they are buying for illegal re-sale usually to people from states with restrictive laws or to criminals? Why are private sales of guns so often legally secret?
Why do we have more guns than people in this country, 340-375 million of them with 5 or 10 million more being produced every year? Why do we need military-style assault weapons with extra capacity magazines, armor piercing rounds and so forth?
Who are we afraid of, our own elected government? Secret agents in Black Helicopters?
I got a lot of flak this week for late night tweeting from Paris in the immediate aftermath of the San Bernardino Massacre that “the NRA is full of shit.” And that the Second Amendment “is stupid.” Sorry for offending anyone, but as one of the nation’s most powerful lobby groups the NRA has lavished elected officials with cash and in the process helped make America gun crazy. And they’re not even the most radical pro-gun lobby. There is virtually no “gun control” legislation possible now to rein in the proliferation of deadly weapons. In any case, the current Congress would not pass any. Yesterday, after San Bernardino, by a vote of 50-48 the Senate voted against extending background checks to gun shows and online sales.
There were 185,345 requests for the background checks that are required for new gun purchases during the Thanksgiving “Black Friday” shopping extravaganza. Guns are the new “Tickle me Elmo.”
By playing on people’s fears that only they can defend themselves against the mass murdering psychos who kill and maim everyone from members of Congress to school children and college kids to movie goers to county working celebrating the holidays, the gun industry has reaped a bonanza. Unsaid in the hype? There has never been a mass shooter brought down by a private citizen carrying a legal weapon.
In the meantime, children get killed playing with their parents’ guns or the weapons get used in road rage incidents or sports figures accidentally shoot themselves in the balls, while in some urban centers gunplay is replacing basketball as the sport of choice.
You want to keep a gun in your home for protection against invasion? Fine. You a hunter or target shooter or sportsmen, go for it, as long as you’re trained and responsible. But this far-fetched notion that only we can protect ourselves against planetary dangers is false.
Regarding terrorism, foreign enemies like ISIS (and it appears as if ISIS at least inspired the San Bernardino attacks) or al Qaeda are but a fraction of a tiny fraction of what threatens our national security.
As in France, so here in America, our most deadly enemy is homegrown extremism. The perpetrators were American citizens, whether in San Bernardino, Umpqua, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Charleston, Tucson or Boulder. And whether the killer is an Islamist or racist or anti-Semite or Communist or anti-abortionist or sexually frustrated or anti-government or just an Apocalyptic Nihilist who wants to destroy for the sake of destruction, you can bet the citizen killer will come bearing arms, probably legally purchased, because in America the gun store never closes.