Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Warning: rant ahead....

There aren't many things in this world that make my stomach turn in disgust, but here's one: people who scream "PRO-LIFE" from the highest mountaintop, but in the next breath defend both the current pointless war we find ourselves in as well as the "right" to possess guns. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the purpose of war and the purpose of guns is one in the same: to kill people. This would seem to me to be ANTI-LIFE. Anyway, I have been trying to figure out why the latest bloodbath that has taken place because some psychopath has easy access to guns hasn't bothered me all that much. Allison suggested that it was because we've simply become de-sensitized to all the violence in the world, but I believe it's not that simple. I think I'm starting to just not care - that this country that I love so much has made its choice about guns. Our society now lives every day with a simple truth - that at any moment, some asshole with a gun can come into our homes/offices/schools and kill us. And we seem to be ok with that. Timothy Noah wrote an article which pretty much sums it up:

Are we sorry that 32 people, most of them no older than 22, were killed? Of course. But we aren't so sorry that we intend to do anything to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. We value the lives of Mary Read, Ryan Clark, Leslie Sherman, and all the rest, but we value more their killer Cho Seung Hui's untrammeled right to purchase not only a Glock 19 and a Walther P22, but also the ammunition clips that, according to the April 18 Washington Post, would have been impossible to obtain legally had Congress not allowed President Clinton's assault-weapon ban to expire three years ago. "If Democratic leaders cannot muster the votes to reinstate the full assault weapons ban," report Jonathan Weisman and Jeffrey Birnbaum in the April 18 Washington Post, "some suggested that at least the clip-capacity portion could be passed." That would do roughly as much good as banning all gun sales to guys named "Cho." Washington's lack of interest in gun control is so pronounced that the city scarcely took notice when a United States senator (coincidentally, from Virginia) hinted publicly that he does not obey the District's handgun ban when he drives in from Virginia.

There are people in this country today who, one day in the future, will be gunned down by psychopaths like Cho Seung Hui. Future presidents will be assassinated, if the past is any guide, and probably the odd pop star, too. We could spare these lives—some of them, at least—by making it difficult or impossible to acquire a handgun in the United States. But we choose not to. Tough luck, whoever you are.

I have to believe that at some point we as a society will grow tired of the death and destruction, at which point we will be left with two possibilities; either we ban guns entirely for everyone besides the "well-regulated militia" such as the Military, National Guard and Police, or we do what the NRA would have us do: every man and woman carries a gun on their person at all times. I see problems with both approaches, but I wish we'd just hurry up and pick one so we could at least try something. Our current situation is, quite literally, killing us.

1 comment:

Chris said...

The constitution doesn't say that you have to be a member of a militia to own a firearm - it's the opposite, actually. Because we may need to form militias to fight an out-of-control government, we must have the right to private ownership of weapons:

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.

That being said, the gubmint has more and bigger guns than the private citizens at this point, so the whole militia thing probably wouldn't work out so well.

The problem I see is that it's too easy to get access to devices that can kill lots of people in short order. I include guns in this, but I also include automobiles. Yes, you have the right to bear arms, and the right to drive, but those rights shouldn't be without some basic conditions.