photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, January 12, 2013

...In Which I Attempt to Be Calm

*In the interest of productive discussion, I have promised to type this calmly, and without sarcasm or frustration. We'll see how that turns out*

Some points I'd like the anti-regulation folks to ponder, please- no "you don't need that kind of gun!" rhetoric from me- and I've NEVER said that, by the way. Ever.

I understand your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. But I'd also like you to understand that that's all it is- an interpretation. No one alive today was in the room when they wrote and signed it. Not even today's supreme court justices (no matter how old they look).

You cannot look for intent in the founders' private writings, because that's what they were- private opinion and even if that's personally how they thought, it was NOT what they wrote to be the guidelines for the new country. They looked at the bigger picture of an entire society, and they compromised.

So all we've got is a sentence. The founders knew grammar, they were very well-educated. In sentence structure, you have the most important part first, followed by an explanation or further description.

"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."

OK. First part- even the most adamant anti-regulation folks will admit that the people back in the day DID have their own guns, and were supplied BY THE GOVERNMENT with powder and such and trained together in order to not, yanno- shoot each other in the ass if a crisis arose requiring them to muster. (Oops- first sarcasm. Perhaps a cookie will help. Back in a sec...)

Now, in light of that- that we're talking about a trained militia, the second part where it says "people" is important. Because it does NOT say "the individual" and that IS important- so important that the 2008 Supreme Court interpretation CHANGES it to acknowledge that it does in fact, mean 'individual'.

But that's not what it says. And any strict constitutionalists will agree with that. Again, the founders were not stupid and were not scribbling this shit on the back of a cocktail napkin. (Shit. Maybe some cocoa...)

Now- "bear arms". Bearing arms means specifically one thing- to take up weapons against other humans with intent to kill. You don't bear arms against a bunny rabbit destined for dinner. You don't even bear arms against a coyote after the chickens. And you sure as hell don't bear arms at skeet or traps or targets.

So there's my interpretation of it- as a sentence written in English by men who were educated and knew exactly how to build a sentence and what different words meant. They knew the difference between "people" and "individual" and "well-trained militia" and "buncha guys stockpiling shit rabidly and furtively". (Goddamn it. Time to break out the wine...)

Now, does this mean that anyone using the above interpretation thinks that ALL guns need to be confiscated, melted down and turned into bird baths? Of course not. Metal bird baths rust. Everyone is aware that guns are part and parcel of the American culture. Stop. Listen.

Look at me and listen to my words because I'm telling you what I believe and what everyone on 'my side' believes- no one wants to confiscate your guns. HEY! Stop. Deep breath. Do not utter the words "Pelosi, Feinstein or Shumer". Don't. Because yanno what? Those people are nowhere in 'my side's' news.

The 3 horsemen of the disarmament apocalypse are part and parcel of what 'your side' is telling you 'my side' is up to. But we're not.

Here's what we'd like to see happen-

-Close the damn gun show loophole. Seriously. It's ridiculous.

-Show us proof of proficiency if you want to own a gun. That doesn't mean you have to list your stash- you can have a driver's license without owning a car. Make the concealed-carry course mandatory for any gun purchase. One day. One day to show us you give a damn about actually being safe with your weapon of death. And a little renewal refresher every 5 years or so.

-Everything else? Would be impossible, and we know it no matter how much we may hate it. If we ban specific models- the manufacturers will change the model numbers. If we ban certain clips, certain other ones will appear and/or ways around the law will be figured out.

See that last one? Read it again. OF COURSE your terrifying 3 horsemen will ride into DC and demand the moon. OF COURSE 'your side' will dig its heels in and say "NO COMPROMISE!" and both sides will envision themselves with faces painted and charging at each other Braveheart-style, when in actuality what's supposed to happen is...compromise. Compromise. Compromise. It won't hurt you, really. Say it with me-

Here's the most important thing, at least to people like me- and we are legion, trust me. Way WAY more legion than ya'll are. Not a threat; just the truth. I know numbers and statistics are important to you, because we keep hearing about how the pleasure and rights of 80 million gun-owning Americans are at stake here. That means there are 230 million NON-gun-owning Americans. Americans. Just as American as the gun owners.

Please stop making any show about how you're clutching your weapons and stockpiling and 'no compromising' because you need them to protect and take back America.

Because you're not.

How and when do you plan on this big "taking back of America"?

Ya'll aren't organized, no matter how many there are of you. Sure you may know others like you- you may even all meet up to do some shootin' together. But en masse? To face off with the US government forces? How will you know when to go? Is there a big bat signal somewhere?

I'm not being facetious- I really want to know. I don't know if you've even thought about it, or is it part and parcel of the whole "cold dead hands" marketing? Have you?

(Note to self- the wine seems to be doing the trick. Mellow City, that's me.)

Here's what my side sees your side doing, over and over and over again-

-Wall St. tanks the economy- putting our country into economic peril and a whole bunch of Americans on the streets.

Our side gives birth to Occupy- hundreds of thousands of people marching, protesting, old people, young people, employed and poor people. They get arrested and roughed up and hauled off.

Your side calls them dirty hippies and tells them to take a shower and get a job.

-After the election, when not only our President won re-election but a greater number of diverse people were elected into office than ever before

Our side celebrates with relief, and then sets our sights on the '14 elections, because we LIKE the House of Representatives (along with all the other elected officials) to actually, physically represent us- all races, all genders, all religious affiliations or not- we're a melting pot, remember?

Your side wails and gnashes its teeth at the 'end of traditional America' and buys up MORE AMMO because very soon white people will be outnumbered.

-When the Keystone XL trenches its way through private property that's been taken through eminent domain- taken by OUR government and given to a foreign company to transport toxic shit to Houston where it will require billions of gallons of fresh water (and TEXAS has so much of that to spare) to make it usable for crude applications (the finished product will NOT be able to say...gas up your car) and then sold overseas

Our side protests, calls, writes letters, chains ourselves to bulldozers and up in trees, gets arrested and roughed up trying to stop a very hostile takeover of AMERICAN SOIL by a FOREIGN ENTITY

Your side has no idea. Because you're so worried about your guns being taken.

Here's what I hear- "Protecting the 2nd Amendment makes all the others safe".

Even IF that's true, when are you going to start?

Even though the anti-regulation 'saving America from tyranny' crowd talks a big game, and even though I really don't want to see them marching ARMED at any of the above protests, I need to know

where the hell are you?

Wearing your pro-gun t-shirts and caps, why are you NOT HERE and as outraged as we are about all the above transgressions?

Is it the conservative/liberal moat? Can that not be crossed? Because that's music to the ears of those doing the transgressing.

Can your side not even acknowledge that Wall St. hamstringed the economy and that foreign companies on American soil taking land without the owners' consent is FUCKING WRONG because our side tends to be liberal and want things like help for poor, sick, old and female people and tends to be not fanatical about knowing the joys and fun of shooting an AR?

(Damn. Wine's wearing off...too bad we don't have any weed...)

Can you not understand how it's brain-exploding frustrating to listen to you beat your chests and parade around in your soldier suits and scream "COLD DEAD HANDS/AMERICA/NO COMPROMISE" and know damn well that the only tyranny you care one good goddamn about is if someone knocks on your door and demands all your guns?

(Quick...wrap it up...MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY!)

So please- unless you are ALSO going to be concerned about anyone else and any other issue, do not tell us you are patriotic Americans who are protecting America.

Please- do not tell us that you NEED your guns to protect America because you don't trust the government, specifically THIS administration, because in a civil society, that shit gets fixed in the voting booth and by the citizens. You want to be sure we don't turn into a fascist theocratic country? Stop voting for the bastards.

And finally- please- listen to yourself when you are spewing such venom, such hatred both for your fellow Americans and the government, really listen and counsel your hearts and then possibly consider taking the advice you give us when we say things like, "Yanno, every other country provides health care for its citizens- maybe we should try it".


At the end of the day, if the majority of citizens feels one way and you feel another, if the English interpretation of the constitution really IS what it means and not what you WANT it to mean...see above.

At the end of the day, we don't hate you because you own guns. We dislike you because you're selfish.

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