Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why I Don't Love Guns



Connie Culp, recipient of face transplant before (top) and after being shot by boyfriend

Reading Meghan McCain's powerfully cute post in Daily Beast, honestly called, "Why I Love Guns" I expected better of a daughter of a Presidential hopeful. We are all brought up one way or another. Her story has elite nuances of privilege and entitlement, but she's forgotten the values of civility and equality. If we were all like her, we'd all use guns.

Here is the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights of 1789 in the U.S. Constitution:

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.

This is a document fraught with ambiguities. It has long been subject to commentary and legal attention, as detailed in Wikipedia's long entry on the "Second Amendment."

When I read that amendment, written at a time when society was vastly different than it is now, an interpretation is clearly wide open. The amendment doesn't necessarily condone or recommend their use. Possessing guns doesn't force one to use them. If you do purchase an expensive item, you usually want to use it, right? Guns are weapons not useful for anything other than killing, unlike, say, knives or chemicals.

There are more healthy sports to practice, such as golfing on a short range that offer similar physical challenges. Gentler pursuits have always been more intellectually stimulating than violent ones disguised as harmless.

In the article, Ms. McCain sounds staggeringly aggressive: "Let's get something straight: Individual responsibility and personal liberty are inherent Republican philosophies." Obviously, individual responsibility and personal liberty should be available to all and intrinsically non-partisan. Where did she get this assertion from?

"Simply removing guns from the equation does not solve the larger problem." I sharply disagree with this. The more guns there are, the more violence there is in society. It's that simple. Again obviously, without guns, no-one shoots anyone.

"Desperate people will make anything a weapon. We need to eliminate desperation, not guns." Sounds logical, but again, there's another side. Desperation is not a problem that can and should be solved with a gun. All of the social issues she mentions can't be improved with "guns" -- "poverty, inadequate health care, mental illness, joblessness, inadequate housing, and poor education." Social policies require much thought and deliberation. Government action is at the heart of changing social policy decisions.

Conflating gun ownership with improving social problems is irrational. How can brawn over brain possibly solve those issues? Look what the McCain family did in response to losing the federal election -- they picked up their guns. Nice. Good thing the McCains aren't in possession of bombs.

How can anyone say that guns in the possession of those with evil intentions aren't responsible for mass shootings? Perhaps she should remember the lady shown above, Connie Culp, whose face was transplanted after being torn up by a gun.

"to fire off a few rounds and get closer and closer to the desired target. This is one issue where I’m red through-and-through." It's kind of amusing that she politicizes target practice as if only a Republican should play a target game.

Since Miss McCain bases her gun use as a "right" approved by the Second Amendment, a comparison to Britain's Magna Carta of 1215 on which the Bill of Rights is modeled would be most useful. England has outlawed guns as an interpretation of the same document.

As can be guessed, the National Rifle Association (NRA) isn't ever going to support my site. They assert the importance of trained gun use and enjoy paying a lot for pro-gun lobbyists. Just saying. But that's okay. They're not like us.

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