Saturday, December 15, 2012

I don't want to talk about the tragedy yesterday, but I will say that I am sick and tired of hearing about people's right to bear arms.

Let me tell you right now that I do not care about your rights.  At all.  Your rights mean nothing to me, they really don't.  This idea that somehow the second amendment enshrines the right of every American to build his own personal arsenal is not only incorrect, it's morally bankrupt.  The second amendment is obviously meant to enshrine the right of communities to build National Guard-style militias, a thing that in modern America is handled at the state level.  Read it and see for yourself:

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.

Note that first part.  That piece about a "well regulated militia"?  That's actually the key to the sentence, the emphasis, if you will.  That was the part that was important, that's why it's the first part of the sentence.  Clearly what is meant here is that if you are part of a "well regulated militia" then you may keep a gun in your house in case you're called up to defend your community from an invasion by Redcoats or Native American tribesmen.  I don't see that happening, frankly, and in the modern world I'd argue that a better solution would be to keep the community's weapons down at the local armory, but in the late 18th Century, I have no doubt that this idea made sense.

Now.  You may say, "But the criminals have guns, why shouldn't I?"  Or, "I only want my gun to defend myself."  Or, "I like to hunt."  You may think that these objections trump all, that they present an utterly intractable situation.  

They do not.  In fact, my solutions are as follows:

1.  Because current laws allow lunatics easy access to guns, and that's a serious problem.  We've had so many shootings lately, that at this point the need for the safety of the greater portion of society trumps your need to feel special.  

Moreover, while criminals may have guns, fact is, they do not have a limitless supply of ammunition.  We could very easily ban the sale of ammunition, and the scope of this problem would quickly decline.  Ammunition is neither a natural nor immediately renewable resource.  Yes, it is possible to make your own ammunition, but it requires a machine shop and gun cotton, which are the kinds of things that, frankly, if you have them, you probably don't need to bother with either crime or mass-murder.  In short, a prohibition on ammunition might be a pain in the ass for law enforcement--one that is somewhat akin to the War on Drugs, even--but it would still be a better, safer situation than is the current state of affairs.  And in any event, at least ammo isn't addictive.

2.  Then get a baseball bat.  If the criminals don't have ammo--because ammo is no longer sold in stores in the US--then you're good to go.  And anyway, if you keep your gun in a gun-safe, then how ready were you, really, for a burglar?

3.  Take up archery.  

It's fine to hunt.  I'm asking you to do it with a bow.  No, I do not feel like it's too much to ask.


I have some conservative friends, and while I don't know whether or not they're reading, if they are, I'm sure some of them are apoplectic right now.  

Take away their sacred rights?  They can pry my gun from my cold, dead fingers.

What is there to say to that?  Some people's need to feel special is more important to them than their need to  stop school shootings.  Or theater shootings.  Or workplace shootings.  Or shootings at the mall.  Bottom line, some people just don't care.  There's no convincing people like that.  Of anything.

In the words of the immortal Vince Young: "Cain't nobody tell me nothin'."


  1. Dan- I wish I was as smart as you. Ban the Ammo. Brilliant.

  2. Thanks. I'm sure I'm not the only person who's thought of that, but people act like guns are this intractable, impossible problem, and it's just not true. We have very unique gun laws in the States, and as a result, we're exporting heavy weaponry to the world's drug cartels. Our gun laws have done more to destabilize Mexico than most people can appreciate. The rest of the world would LOVE if we'd treat this issue a little more responsibly and stop wholesale manufacture of weapons and ammo, but of course, we've got to worry about the rights of all these assholes. *sigh*