Monday, June 13, 2016

Tyranny of the gun


There has been YET ANOTHER mass shooting in the United States of America. This time, the target was a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the shooter was, apparently, a Muslim-flavored homophobic religious fanatic.

For the FOURTEENTH TIME SINCE HIS INAUGURATION the President of the United States has made a public address in the wake of a mass shooting.

Every year, at least eleven thousand Americans kill each other with guns. If America were being occupied by a foreign country whose soldiers killed eleven thousand Americans at random every year, we would rise up and drive them out of our land to put a stop to such a senseless slaughter. But we can't drive out the brutal occupying army that is shooting us down in the streets every day, because the brutal occupying army is us.

The gun nuts tell us that these deaths are the price of freedom. If a foreign army was shooting eleven thousand of us every year, and we couldn't do anything to stop them, would we call ourselves free? Of course not. Yet, as long as it's our fellow Americans who are shooting eleven thousand people every year, that means we are free. Right?

Of course not. Just because the occupying army is domestic rather than foreign does not mean it is not an occupying army. We are being tyrannized, and just because we're tyrannizing ourselves doesn't make it any less of a tyranny. If some homophobic asshole decides he wants to slaughter a bunch of LGBT people, and he can walk into a gun shop and buy the means to do so, that is tyranny. If some lunatic hears Carly Fiorina spewing bullshit about black market baby parts and decides to slaughter a bunch of Planned Parenthood employees, and he can walk into a gun shop and buy the means to do so, that is tyranny. If some white supremacist decides to slaughter a bunch of black people in a church, and he can walk into a gun shop and buy the means to do so, THAT IS TYRANNY.

But, the gun nuts say, we need guns to protect ourselves from the government. Yeah, guess what? If the government wants you dead, all it has to do is target you with a drone strike, and YOU WILL BE DEAD, and all the guns in your arsenal won't be able to stop them. If President Obama had decided to take out the Bundy militia in Nevada a couple years back, all their guns wouldn't have been able to stop him. THEY WOULD BE DEAD. You know why Obama didn't just launch a drone strike on the Bundy ranch? Because he believes in the rule of law. That's what kept Cliven Bundy and all of his fellow wackaloon guns nuts alive: not their guns, but an idea.

And do you know what would happen if the President of the United States was not constrained by a belief in the rule of law? Consider, for example, Donald Trump, who has openly boasted about his plans to use the government to revenge himself on his enemies. He won't be constrained by any silly ideas about the rule of law. If he wants to carry out a drone strike on someone, he'll just fucking well do it, and anyone who objects can expect a drone strike of their own. YOUR GUNS WILL NOT PROTECT YOU from any government ruthless enough to ignore the rule of law.

But, the guns nuts tell themselves in the secrecy of their hearts, we need guns to protect ourselves from the scary black people. Well, too bad! Your racial paranoia is not sufficient reason for the rest of us to go in fear of our lives. If you don't like living in a country with scary black people, I suggest you move to someplace that doesn't have any. I hear the Kerguelen Islands are available.

Remember, folks, the Second Amendment was not designed to let anyone who wants a gun have one. It was designed to create a well-regulated militia (ie the locally-based Army Reserve units that we now call the National Guard), as the amendment itself states in the part that the gun nuts always leave out. The "personal right to bear arms" is a modern perversion of the amendment promoted by the gun industry and created by corporate-friendly right-wing Supreme Court justices. And what the Supremes giveth, the Supremes can taketh away. The tyranny of the gun is not a permanent part of the United States of America. We can change it ... if we want to.


Anonymous said...

Especially love your last paragraph...what I've been saying on the subject for decades. However, the people I point this out for only get beet-red in the face and scream in my general direction, or do the equivalent of fingers-in-their-ears and "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!" :/

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