Jeff Smith 12:15 p.m., April 24
- Community Blog
well, i was all set to be cute and title the post "G(un)AppreciationDay" but realized it would mean that I am marking myself down as actually specifically NOT appreciating guns, which isn't true at all since my take on guns is the same as that of the overwhelming majority of americans as well as other sorts of humans around the world throughout gun-manufacturing history, which is to say that, basically, they're here, they ain't goin' nowhars, i'm okay with folks purchasing and owning and keeping and bearing and utilizing hunting rifles for hunting and handguns for self-protection as well as target practice and play and i am not looking to take away anybody's hunting rifles or handguns. i neither appreciate nor do i actually not appreciate guns any more than i do, or do not, knives. and i do speak for the overwhelming majority of americans (and other human beings around the world) when i offer the following on the celebration of our nation's Presidential Inauguration Day and Martin Luther King Jr Day two days after a self-styled Gun Appreciation Day on which apparently five people at three gun appreciation events were accidentally shot. i mean, lmfao, am i right?....
"If being a constitutionalist is extreme, so be it." - Larry Ward, Washington DC (natch) media consultant (whore?) in calling for a nationwide Gun Appreciation Day.
Okay, Larry, let’s go there, because if constitutional extremism is what you actually want, then American Constitutionalists everywhere – especially within the Republican Party, whose membership and voters are always shouting at the rest of us about “original intent” – should be calling for the immediate removal from private hands and sequestration within militia armories of all armaments owned by everybody within the United States of America and its territories and possessions, etc., because of course the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson in 1791 exactly as quoted here:
“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.”
A Constitutional Extremist (as distinct from a Constitutional Dilettante) who knows how to correctly read English sentences and insists that the original intent of the Founders is paramount, knows (and an honest one would admit) that:
The word “own” is nowhere written in the sentence that constitutes the Second Amendment to our Constitution. If you don’t believe me, read it again. Now, the Founders obviously knew what it meant to own things and to provide for their newly-established nation’s fellow citizens to own things, too. The Founders all owned property in the form of real estate as well as in the form of the interior and exterior stuff that goes along with it, such as furniture and cookware and knick-knacks and farming equipment, etc.; they owned carriages and horses and other animals such as pets and livestock; they owned clothing and jewelry and pipes and spittoons and a great many of them even owned other human beings whom they, as a group, decided to continue to own and hold as slaves rather than giving them their freedom after having declared (in the Declaration of Independence, no less) that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Those who ratified the Second Amendment to our Constitution clearly understood the difference between giving the citizens the right to own arms as distinct from giving the citizens the right to keep and bear arms, and they clearly choose not to give the citizens the right to own arms. If you don’t believe me, read it again.
Those who ratified the Second Amendment to our Constitution intended, and enshrined in our Constitution, the right of the people to keep and bear arms (again, not to own them) because a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state [not a free people; a free state (a state is a nation, such as the USA; a people is a group of persons who share one or more common traits, such as Americans)]. In other words, Americans have a right to keep and bear arms (but not to own them) because a well-regulated militia is necessary in order to keep the nation free – Americans do not have a right to own arms because a well-armed citizenry is necessary in order to keep the people “free of” or “protected from” their nation’s government.
The Second Amendment does not give anybody the right to keep and bear any and all types of arms which an individual American might desire to keep and bear. Even those who serve in our nation’s military, who keep and bear (but do not own) the weaponry of war itself, are not allowed to keep and bear any and all types of the nation’s arms/weapons just because he or she desires to keep and bear those particular types of arms/weapons. No one in America is allowed to own (or even to keep and bear) operable hand grenades. No one in America is allowed to own or keep or bear (and plant on their property) ground-based missiles. No one in America is allowed to own or keep or bear a shoulder held surface-to-air missile. No one can purchase a stealth bomber or a battleship. This is because we the people, through our government, have decided that there are certain types of arms which Americans simply cannot own, keep, or bear, period, and our decisions in that regard are entirely in keeping with constitutional law – if they weren’t, then we would be able to own hand grenades and missiles and bombers and battleships because the Supreme Court would rule that our decisions in that regard, as established in law, are unconstitutional; but they’re not. We the people can change the constitution if we want to and make it possible to own missiles and bombers and battleships, but we haven’t and, let’s face it, we aren’t going to. And as a friend has pointed out, "Original Intenters" conveniently ignore the fact that the Founders were writing about flintlock muskets. So go ahead, indulge yourself in all of the flintlocks you want. Although purchasing and owning craploads of them was not really what the Founders intended, we 21st century Americans are perfectly happy to go ahead and let ya.
Now, believe me or not but I can tell you that almost every American is in favor of gun control; even those who think they’re not. Don’t believe me? Consider this: Unless you honestly believe that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution (either as written or as “should be” interpreted) actually provides every American citizen with the right to walk out of a jail or a prison or a mental health institution upon release and walk next door to an arms factory to purchase as many of whatever types of handheld weapons and ammunition they can afford to buy or have bought for them, then you believe in gun control, because gun control is simply a matter of legally controlling who does, and doesn’t, get legal access to guns and ammo, as well as the types of guns and ammo they get legal access to. The argument is not, “Gun Control or No Gun Control.” The argument is, “What level of gun control do the majority of us agree on?”
Now, believe me or not but I can tell you that that the overwhelming majority of us Americans who favor gun control (and you’re probably one of us, aren’t you?) are perfectly comfortable with the fact that both tradition and the US Supreme Court have decided once and for all and for all time that Americans have a right to own guns (although, again, not necessarily every kind of gun that exists on the face of the earth or might exist as the 21st century progresses along with the development and production of weapons systems and arms as-yet possibly even unimagined).
We gun control “nuts” [as distinct perhaps from the few gun control ‘extremists’ on the left who seek to make illegal the ownership of all arms by all Americans (which is never going to happen) and who have their counterpart in gun ‘rights’ extremists on the right who honestly do seek to actually do away with every legal stricture on the ownership of every kind of weapon and type of ammunition that exists on the face of the earth] are not actually crazy.
We are perfectly content to continue to see our fellow Americans continue to purchase hunting rifles for hunting and handguns in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm. But after the massacre of twenty children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in the very midst of what almost everyone around the entire world celebrates each year as a beautiful, meaningful and joyous religious and cultural holiday season, we are no longer willing to see or to allow anybody in the United States of America to purchase the type of guns we’re all referring to as assault weapons, which are machine guns, plain and simple, the sale of which was banned for ten years from 1994 to 2004; a ban which did absolutely no harm whatsoever to our nation or our constitution or our fellow American citizens, and which we the people who constitute the overwhelming majority of Americans, now wish to see readmitted into law, and this time, for good.
And this time, we the people who constitute the overwhelming majority of Americans will finally do what we’ve all agreed for years we ought to do, but haven’t done; that which we have every constitutional right to do and have now found, in the blood of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, the renewed resolve to do in order to help ourselves and our fellow Americans to simply be safer and less likely to be massacred by a machine-gun-toting murderer who can today, even as I write this and you read it, legally (if he or she qualifies to do so under whatever state laws exist in the state he or she is currently shopping in) legally purchase weaponry providing him or her with the capability of gunning down hundreds of us within minutes: We will ban machine guns, by whatever name they’re called.