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photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, November 4, 2013

Shall Not Be Infringed

Tired. So tired.

We've been traveling and running logging hundreds and hundreds of miles and we're not leaving Texas. From Houston to Denton and back and forth and back and forth we're running from homeschool co-op to MD Anderson and back again and repeat. Of course in between there's still the 4 classes I'm taking and work and home.

Then the time changed yesterday and finally in a last act of revolt my body said, "Fuck it" and succumbed to the head cold that Alec has been coughing our way for the last two weeks.

Because I hate the time change. I hate it getting dark mid-afternoon. I don't care if it's dark in the morning- I'm not awake yet and my eyeballs appreciate the lovely dimmed light of pre-dawn.

I got up today and fed the critters then crawled back under the covers till after 1pm. At that point I did get up, shower, and head to town to do what I absolutely had to do- post office, pay a bill, feed store, work for a bit and most importantly, the "MOM- there's no FOOD in the house!" run to the grocery store.

Of course that's untrue. There is plenty of food in the house. Just not what the boys want to eat.

Did I mention that it's cold and rainy? And that we still haven't quite gotten to the home improvement part that says, "pour a load of gravel and some stepping stones where the mire of goose-grease-slick red clay is now...right where the car gets parked"? No? Well, that just added to the charm of the entire day.

I came home, baked chocolate chip cookie bars for Alec and made spaghetti, italian sausage and garlic bread for dinner and came back into the bedroom to be pitiful and snurfly again.

The TV is on, as it always is. I don't watch it, but Ward does.

And I can't help but hear it. Can't help but hear that there's another gunman in another mall...again.

Over the weekend, of course, there was a gunman at LAX.

Those are just the 'big ones' that get the TV coverage. On average, 90 Americans lose their lives to gunfire.

Per Day.

Ninety.

And yet, nothing is being done. Not a damn thing.

All we hear is, "Oh- there are 300 million guns in the US- gun deaths are a tiny percentage of deaths in America! You can't take our guns...NONE of our guns! The Second Amendment SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!"

Shall not be infringed.

That phrase that the asshole at the Sandy Hook hearings screamed over the grieving father's testimony.

Shall not be infringed.

Even though the majority- by a huge amount- of Americans want stricter gun laws, these people believe that owning any fucking gun they want to is their right- they parade around in public with them loaded; a sick public relations spectacle that bullies and mocks and then whines, "Why don't you LIKE us???"

Shall not be infringed.

You know what else shouldn't be infringed upon?

A woman's right to what happens to her own body.

How about that one? "Oh, NO! We know it's her body but there is another 'person' involved! We fight for the right of the innocent to live!"

But not the innocent people who are killed by guns every single day. Ninety of them. Already-born and loved and walking around living- now dead by gunshot. Those don't matter, I guess.

You know what else shouldn't be infringed upon?

The right of children to be fed, the right of people who need help to get it- the right to food and shelter and dignity.

How about that one? "Oh, NO! There are some people who abuse The Welfare! We need to make the social safety net so snug and so tiny and so airtight that only those who are really DESERVING get our hard-earned tax dollars!"

Really. Yanno, changing up the gun laws to make it more difficult for people to get weapons that kill people every single day- universal background checks, mandatory training and registration- that would help ensure that only those who are really DESERVING have these dangerous-by-design tools.

You know what else shouldn't be infringed upon?

Every American's right to vote.

How about that one? "Oh, NO! There are some people who vote a dozen times in the same election! VOTER FRAUD!!! It's the only possible excuse for liberal Democrats to win any election anywhere!"

Except voter fraud is almost non-existent. In Texas, where we are now under the most stringent voter ID laws in the entire nation, there were exactly 18 cases of voter fraud...in the last decade. That's less than 2 a year. Or .005 per day.

So in Texas we've enacted the most stringent voter ID laws in the entire nation to stop .005 cases of voter fraud per day.

Meanwhile, 90 people in the US die every day by gunshot.

Texas has 26 million people, and a gun death rate of 3 per 100,000. That's 780 gun deaths per year.

780- almost the population of our town, every year- dead. That's 2 Texans per day, every single day. A horrifying amount of them children whose parents leave guns just lying around loaded "in case a bad guy breaks in". I got news for ya, Bubba- you're the bad guy and you just killed your child. Congratulations. Feel safer now?

But we're not worried about that. We're worried about .005 voter fraud.

Maybe it's because I'm crabby about losing an hour of daylight for the next 6 months, or because I have a head cold, or because I'm really tired of driving.

But I've got news for the Second Amendment crowd.

I'm sick and fucking tired of only your rights being sacred.

There are other people in this country, yanno. And we all have rights, too.

So unless you're willing and able to take up your goddamn precious arms to protect the rights of ALL Americans-

-to be there defending women going to Planned Parenthood for their annual physicals (fun fact- most of the protests and fires and bombings and threats at Planned Parenthood clinics are at locations that DON'T EVEN DO ABORTIONS, YOU DUMBASSES)

-to be there stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline from snaking a fetid trail across the nation for exactly zero gain to the average American and billions of dollars for overseas companies

-to demand real social change that will lessen poverty, lighten the load of the oppressed and allow for equality for ALL Americans, not just those who are white, or Christian, or straight

Unless you are willing to do all of the above without stipulation or question, you are merely a selfish asshole who wants your toys. You have absolutely no intention of EVER doing anything remotely resembling what you believe the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment for- to protect the freedoms the other Amendments allowed for.

Unless it's the right to have your guns. Then you're all over it.

And about that.

When asked why you need all those armaments, if you answer at all without getting all buggy-eyed and screaming, "Because it's my GOD GIVEN RIGHT to own 'em!!!" what you'll generally say is, "To protect my family".

From who?

From the government? If something happens and 'the government' really does 'come for the guns and the little people' we're all shit out of luck anyway. They've got more, bigger, badder.

From terrorists? Please. Shut up.

Here's the bottom line.

You think you need your guns to protect yourself from other Americans.

Think about that. Other Americans.

Is there another country on the planet that arms itself so rabidly against their fellow citizens?

What if you took all the time and money and effort you spend on amassing your arsenal and instead direct it towards, I dunno...FIXING SOCIETY? Less poverty, more education, less corporate welfare, more support for the middle class.

I know, that's just crazy talk. Must be the cold medicine kicking in.

Ya'll just go on and gear up for the Zombie Apocalypse. Because that's some real shit there.

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