Friday, August 22, 2008

• GUN PROLIFERATION’S RUBICON?

This week found the gun industry crossing a threshold, which may signal a new momentum for living dangerously in America. Harrold Independent School District in Texas plans to arm its staff and teachers with guns. A Rubicon is being crossed that may signal a collapse of any likelihood that guns will come under any effective control for many years to come. From Miami to Vancouver, violence on all North American city streets is real. Two millennia have passed since Caesar uttered the famous line, “Alea iacta est,” (the die is cast) as he crossed the Rubicon River into Italy. The threshold crossing was a declaration of war. There would be no return for Caesar from that fateful decision in January of 49BC. There may now be no restitution for ascendancy of common sense over the creed of the gun.

Guns in the hands of educators sets an extreme example in the minds of children eager to learn from their supposed scholarly and erudite teachers. Now students will know there is a gun in each classroom.

The debate over James Madison’s Bill of Rights rages on without help from the current Bush/Cheney controlled Supreme Court which struck down Washington D.C.’s ban on private handgun ownership this week. The city had rightly reasoned and acted on its objective to reduce the out of control gun violence, deciding that handguns should be kept unloaded and disassembled. Not an extreme measure, but a precautionary measure nonetheless. The Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment not only grants rights to militias to have guns, but it also grants that right to individuals.

Gun manufacturers have done a masterful job of influencing Congress, and affecting perceptions through a broad swath of the population to the point where being against private gun ownership is perceived as being unpatriotic. Most cleverly, gun makers have denounced any and all responsibility for the use of guns, and have distanced themselves very cleverly from the slaughter that is occurring on the streets. They effectively advertise the overwhelming firepower of the gun and its ability to kill, but secret themselves behind the chant of millions of believers who trill in unison and confidence, “guns don’t kill, people do.” Of course, fists, baseball bats and knives were centuries go surpassed by the gun in efficiency for proficient killing, and the modern small weapon is a beautiful example of technological potency in the art of surprise. Particularly when the surprise is that in an instant, you’re dead. No chance of defense or aegis.

The reality on the streets is that North Americans no longer feel safe in any of their cities. Between the impact of illicit drugs and readily applied extreme force, citizens are less concerned with their own government attacking them, if they ever really were, and more concerned with being attacked in their own neighborhoods. A whole society lives in fear. Madison and the First United States Congress never envisaged the social, political and economic realities of this century.

While the Bill of Rights’ eminent intentions and ambitions must be retained, its dictates related to guns require fresh perspectives. It is a government’s principal and foremost responsibility to protect its citizens. All other capacities imbued in its existence and obligations are secondary.

Guns in the hands of teachers is final proof that society not only does not feel safe, it no longer is. The government is failing its citizens. The crossing of this Rubicon is momentous evidence that the government should seriously revisit the right to bear arms, which was originally intended for militia and protection of citizenry in a military context. It also provided citizens some comfort against an potentially oppressive government, as well as provided for the purpose of killing game. Given the caliber of weapons now readily available on the market today compared to a slow to load musket, that right and its present connotation, results in murder and mayhem across the whole landscape, yet would provide no comfort against a despotic government armed with a nuclear arsenal. Most of all it results in widely felt fear.

The world, its population levels and its technologies have changed. In the framework of modern society, bearing arms no longer serves a legitimate purpose of protecting society. A gun in every home, or in the hands of every citizen, is tantamount to anarchy, and is no longer a symbol of Free Men.

24 comments:

  1. The gun lobby has won for 150 years.

    It isn't about to give up now.

    McCain is against gun control, and Obama waffles without a real statement. Congress won't do anything. Never has.

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  2. "It is a government’s principal and foremost responsibility to protect its citizens."

    No, it isn't. Judicial precedent has it that the police have no duty to protect individual citizens, only the public at large.

    Here's that same statement, revised for accuracy: "It is a government’s principal and foremost responsibility to protect its citizens' rights. "

    It's in the Declaration of Independence - look it up.

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  3. Once again, America's socialists (i.e. liberals) are foaming at the mouth about guns. Which, incidentally, cause < 1% of all deaths versus > 60% of all deaths being caused by heart disease, cancer, strokes and diabetes.

    Try doing the math, liberal shitheads, and REALLY do something useful such as campaigning for better diets, and more exercise.

    You guys stupidity never fails to amaze me.

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  4. Jim Kilpatrick, PatriotAugust 23, 2008 at 7:10 PM

    The author of this article is a socialist and idiot. "An unarmed man is a subject, an armed man is a citizen". "Those who give up their guns for plows will plow for those who don't." More guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens decreases crime. Denying guns and self-defense to citizens increases crime. It's been proven time and time again. But I waste time trying to educate those who refuse to be confused with the facts. May GOD bless America and may HE save us from socialism and anarchy by the left.

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  5. The Government always seems to fail the people. Government does what Government wants, regardless of the people want. End of story.

    That's the one thing I learned about the past 8 years.

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  6. That's funny, I don't walk around in fear in NYC, and if I do feel weird, it's cause of the heavily armed NYPD. Not because of the possibility of some private individual having a gun.

    Where do people get this info about people living in fear in U.S. cities? What, is this 1975-78 NYC?

    Geez.

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  7. ANONYMOUS #2

    If you're going to quote the Declaration of Independence, do it corrrectly:

    "...to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    "Safety" being the operative term.

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  8. Thanks, but I was not so much quoting the Declaration of Independence in the article, as making a statement on the reason to form an independent Dominion or body politic, and a structure for governance.

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  9. Over these past eight years I have watched our government discard the Rule of Law and trample the rights of it's citizens. It's becoming more apparent with each passing year there is a war being waged against the middle class of this nation and the last thing we need is to allow the government to disarm the citizenry. I fear our government more than any armed individual in my community. Open your eyes and you will see that an armed citizenry suffers less abuse from their government and their fellow citizens. It appears our need for safety feeds irrational fears and drives us to embrace decisions that are not in our best interest. I, like many others, own several handguns and have never commited a crime.

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  10. Wow, what a piece of left wing trash.

    Do you really expect us to beleive that the "Bill of Rights" was to give the government "rights" to form a national guard? How silly. I suggest you read Jefferson and Franklin's opinions on firarms, safety and security.

    What a line of Marxist crap you write. Hurry up and move to China will you? Then you can see what disarming the PEOPLE results in. Don't let your fear get carried away eh?

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  11. Christian Slader's character in Tarantino's "True Romance" had it right.

    "It's better to have a gun and not need need it, than to need a gun and not have one."

    One thing all slaves have in common ... they don't own guns.

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  12. I was going to destroy your pitiful assertions on a point-by-point basis, but then I realized that it wouldn't penetrate your closed mind.

    The Harrold IDS isn't arming staff and teachers. It is allowing those who have already gone to the trouble of obtaining a Texas Concealed Handgun License to get permission from the school administration to carry their concealed handguns on campus. The guns, by Texas law, must be concealed, which means that no student will know who is carrying. It also means that no intruder bent on harming students, teachers, or staff, will know who is carrying.

    In Israel, the response to terrorist attacks on schools was to arm teachers, and attacks on schools stopped. In the United States, the response to someone shooting up a school has been to make schools victim disarmament zones.

    Vice Principal Joel Myrick stopped Luke Woodham's rampage in Pearl, Mississippi, by retrieving his .45 from his truck which was parked off-campus in accordance with the "gun-free school zone" rules. Who knows how many lives he could have saved, how many injuries he could have prevented if he had only been allowed to carry his .45 that day?

    Of course, you can't answer because you don't care. All you know is that you hate guns, you hate gun owners, and you want someone to take care of you. You ignore the fact that the police have no duty to protect you, or anyone else, who has no prior relationship with the police, i.e. a snitch (excuse me...confidential informant).

    I congratulate the Harrold IDS on it's decision and encourage other school districts to follow suit.

    ECS

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  13. I really can't understand your thinking. You seem to hate and fear your government, but you want only the agents of that government to be armed?

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  14. damm, hit wrong key and comment was deleted

    We have nothing to fear but fear it’s self. And that about sums up America today, a nation consumed by fear, a fear fed to it by a steady diet of “if it bleeds it leads” and politicians afraid of making courageous decisions out of a fear of being labeled soft or socialist.

    Although I tend to be liberal in my leanings I personally have no issue with someone carrying a concealed weapon.

    Kudos to Jim Kilpatrick, Patriot for using the term Socialist rather than liberal. Nothing annoys me more than people using the term liberal when they mean socialist. But using the term liberal is effective because unlike socialist or socialism it’s an effective smear that difficult to argue with.

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  15. fodder for a future column

    href=" http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080823.RDECLOET23/TPStory/TPBusiness/?page=rss&id=..RDECLOET23">US Fiscal gap paving road to melt down<

    Don't quite think things will get this bad but it will be very nasty.

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  16. I must entirely disagree.

    A gun in every home, or in the hands of every citizen, is tantamount to anarchy, and is no longer a symbol of Free Men.

    No, it is the ultimate symbol of a free man. Every man with a gun is free from any government. He is free from a criminal's terror, he can defend himself.

    The government is failing its citizens.

    It certainly is. It is doing it's best to deny us our rights to protect ourselves from it and others, in the form of gun control.

    its dictates related to guns require fresh perspectives

    Excuse me? It was written the way it was for a reason. They just got finished fighting a tyrant and understood the need for arms. Should we no longer have free speech, the right to live, etc.?

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  17. Always interesting to read the comment strings on these kind of posts. Nothing, it seems, brings out the ignorance and irrationality in Americans like the prospect of facing their fellow citizens unarmed.

    Particularly hilarious are the claims that strict gun control will somehow bring about the fall of democracy. While it's true that totalitarian states have strong restrictions on the private ownership of firearms, so do all other western democracies. And those same democracies have minimal levels of gun violence. I lived in Vancouver, Canada, a city of 2.2 million people, for over twenty years. It is almost impossible for a private citizen to own a handgun there, yet the average annual homicide rate was between 25 and 30, with perhaps 2 or 3 committed by handgun. I currently live in New Orleans, which has a post-Katrina population of about 300,000, and last year we had over 380 homicides, almost all of them gun related. And this despite the fact that virtually everyone I know in this town owns a gun. The argument that a heavily armed citizenry is a deterrant to crime is ridiculous, since Americans are the most heavily armed people in the world, yet our crime rate dwarfs all other western nations.

    Of course other western nations have not, as a matter of policy, created a massive underclass of (largely black) citizens who in many cases feel completely shut out of the economic process. That's what this is really about. The "more guns equals safer" crowd know in their hearts that minorities in this country have ample reason to be pissed, and they're terrified these folks are going to storm the Bastille. Remember, your dream of a fully armed citizenry would (to be fair) have to include ghetto dwellers as well.

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  18. rod in madrid,

    Thanks for the link (fodder).

    Some articles on the subject:

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/07/obama-gives-bernanke-vote-of-confidence.html

    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/06/election-2008-and-financial-crisis.html

    The situation can be turned around but any serious action will require Will as well as Leadership. None of it will be very palatable.

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  19. "The debate over James Madison’s Bill of Rights rages on without help from the current Bush/Cheney controlled Supreme Court"

    That explains why the Court never rules against Bush/Cheney. Oh, wait -- it does. Oops!

    "The city had rightly reasoned and acted on its objective to reduce the out of control gun violence"

    Which reasoning and action has proven to be a spectacular failure.

    "While the Bill of Rights’ eminent intentions and ambitions must be retained, its dictates related to guns require fresh perspectives."

    An acknowledgement that the BOR does protect individual rights related to guns? Excellent! But there are those who believe that other rights in the BOR also require fresh perspectives in view of the threat of terrorism. Do you really wish to open that door further?

    "...the right to bear arms, which was originally intended for militia and protection of citizenry in a military context.

    This claim of intent was thoroughly refuted by a historian's brief to the Supreme Court which the Court has accepted and quoted.

    "Given the caliber of weapons now readily available on the market today compared to a slow to load musket"

    Such reasoning as an attack upon the RKBA was examined and decisively refuted by the Court. It is also a red herring, since the availability of only slow to load muskets would not decrease murders with guns by enough to stop those like this blogger from trying to ban them.

    "A gun in every home, or in the hands of every citizen, is tantamount to anarchy..."

    This sounds like a call for a rather widespread prohibition of gun ownership. Is it? That's just what the NRA would love to fight against.

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  20. "The city had rightly reasoned and acted on its objective to reduce the out of control gun violence, deciding that handguns should be kept unloaded and disassembled."

    Oops -- I missed that error on the first read. The city had banned handgun ownership completely -- it's rifles and shotguns that had to be be kept unloaded and disassembled.

    "Not an extreme measure..."

    Total handgun ban, and no other guns may be kept usable for self defense -- not extreme? What is extreme?

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  21. 1.NO Free civilized nation in the world has gun laws as we have here...makes us looks uncivilized.
    2. The oft quoted Declaration of Independence and bill of rights is 200yrs old and was written in an era which needed guns with citizenry. We dont need that now.
    3. having said that, on the flip side, we the gun yielding red-neck would certainly pounce on any terror or other attack on our shores with vengence - so there is a good side to it. If we could just make getting guns very, very difficult and we dont need assult weapons in everyone's hands
    4. we need to embark more on a culture of non-violence. Guns are violent - even when used to kill animals for hunting for pleasure. Imagine if you were an animal and if some one with a gun killed your child- if that is violence so is killing of any sort.

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  22. One writer said look at China as see what happens if citizenery doesnt bear arms - wonder if he has travelled the world and refected upon it. See what happens when you arm people in Palestine,US, Pakistan, Iraq and other parts of the world where there is anarchy on the streets or in the society. And look at where in modern civilized societies there are strict gun controls - Europe, and yes India, the second most populus country. The violence would be much worse than if there were guns and the violence there is imported from countries which allow violence as a culture to florish.
    The solution doesnt lie in guns my friend to save you, it lies in having a true democracy, rule of the law where human rights are upheld (that is the core reason in China) and having the right culture....NOT A CULTURE OF VIOLENCE.

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  23. Maybe the solution is to ban NRA

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  24. what a bunch of crazies... I don't feel the need to own a gun right now but I should have the option to own a gun. Guns may take lives but they also save them. Who gets to decide which is more important?

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