Gun sight aimed at our country.

Picture courtesy of tarrif.net.

When our most irresponsible political right wing proponents speak out calling for taking back America, they are speaking to a varied contingent.  One similarity all those listeners have, though, is the ability to purchase and carry firearms never intended for public safety.   Second amendment rights is a slogan that invokes violence.

When the constitution gave citizens the right to bear arms, it was as a well-regulated militia defending this nascent country from external threats.   A Glock pistol with an added armature that makes it into a Weapon of Mass Destruction was never intended to be used in group defense of the country.

The sort of wilding appealed to by gun sellers was ever present in Tucson, home of Glock matches inthe nearby desert; see this video to experience the kind of appeal the gun lobby wants you to identify with.  This is not a thoughtful, concerned citizen brought into political consciousness that can be wielded for the good of the country.   It’s the kind of citizen that wants to mow down everyone between him and his often unlawful existence.

By agitating for increasingly weakened laws to protect citizens, the right wing has created an atmosphere of fear.   The fear of being targeted for removal from office by ‘gun nuts’  has kept candidates for office in this country, for decades, from addressing the  irrationality of lowering protections while increasing weaponry available to anyone, no matter how deranged.  . . .

In the mid 60′s Senators Joe Tydings and Al Gore, Sr., led legislative attempts to license and limit weaponry available to just anyone at all, and at the time Sen. 1 was the proposal to license guns.  It had a great number of sponsors, including Sen. Ralph Yarborough, whom I worked for.   The gun lobby targeted those sponsors, and it brought down a great number of them – at a time when it would have been a disgrace to call for getting anyone ‘in your sights’ or showing a picture of any senator with a gunsight drawn over him/her.

The gun lobby has only grown since then, and its rhetoric is that of freedom fighters and hunters although its effects are far different from what it talks about.  When irresponsible political candidates tout “second amendment remedies” as was so lately invoked in Arizona, nutcases are thrilled, and enlivened.   We have all too much proof of that.

During the campaign just past, gun advocates made up a big part of the enthusiasts for ‘taking back America’ rhetoric.  For some, the reality of actual violence was reached in their adoption of political aims.  Arizona’s governor made a big play of representing fierce American independence when she signed a law to give the right to carry concealed weapons to citizens who didn’t even have a license.

The legislation was strongly lobbied by the Arizona Citizens Defense League, and gun rights activists across the map think this is a hot idea, insisting that governments should not have the authority to regulate the carrying of firearms by requiring a permit for concealed carry. Gov. Brewer signed the bill because she trusts the citizens she serves. The law will become effective sometime this summer, 90 days after the legislature adjourns.

I believe strongly in the individual rights and responsibilities of a free society, and as governor I have pledged a solemn and important oath to protect and defend the Constitution. I believe this legislation not only protects the Second Amendment rights of Arizona citizens, but restores those rights as well.”—Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
This legislation would never have been signed by former Gov. Janet Napolitano, an anti-gun Democrat who vetoed several pro-firearms measures, and is now the  Secretary of Homeland Security. Some police chiefs, most notably El Mirage Chief Mike Frazier, complained, “I know a lot of 21-year-olds; the maturity level is gravely concerning sometimes.”
When good records of public service can be defeated by one lone lunatic – at the expense of us all – it’s time for an end to the free access to weapons of murder.   A license to carry weapons should be required to purchase them, and the restrictions against the mentally ill are needed to make this country safe for responsible, even prominent, citizens.
Fear of the violence-prone right wing has inhibited rational legislation to protect citizens for much too long.  The country is afflicted over and over again by assassination of those who contribute to our well-being by those who have a need to avoid its laws because they want to violate them, and our rights.   It’s not a freedom when everyone suffers from weapons against responsible citizens.