Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Guns Without Roses
There are many examples of the rapacious nature of capitalism — its democratic trappings notwithstanding — but none so blatant as the so-called gun debate. I use the term “so-called” because it isn't really a debate; it's inhumanity vs. humanity.
To begin with, no one advocating greater control over the manufacture and distribution of firearms is calling for repeal — or even modification — of the Second Amendment. I'd like to note, however, the historical context in which that amendment was written. It was post-revolution, a still fragile time for our new nation. That's why the amendment begins, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” and then follows with, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
So let's leave the Second Amendment out of this “debate,” and consider why the National Rifle Association, gun manufacturers and their mouthpieces in Congress want to keep the doors to gun sales wide open. It has nothing to do with self-defense, or the right “to bear arms.” It has everything to do with sales. With profits. In the case of members of Congress — mostly Republicans — it's called “reelection.”
Weapons that fire many bullets in a matter of seconds were intended for military and police use, not for bringing down a burglar in the middle of the night. If those weapons were outlawed for civilian purchase, and if background checks were more strict before anyone could buy a gun, no one could argue that it wouldn't have made a difference in the number of mass slaughters which have plagued this country over the last few years.
As long as there are lethal weapons — whether they be guns or knives — there will be killings. No one disputes that. But neither could anyone dispute the obvious truth that greater control over manufacture, sales and background checks would minimize such horrific events as the slaughter of 20 school children and six teachers in Newtown or 49 people in Orlando.
Yes, Mr. La Pierre, people kill people. But need they be so efficient at it?