The Humanity Priest Pits the Second Amendment Against Common Sense

13Jun09

 

Society used to have rules for “polite conversation”.

EMILY POST FANGIRL: Do NOT mention the following subjects in a gathering of gentle people. Money. Politics. Religion.

THE LATE GEORGE CARLIN: Show me where these gentle people are so I can harden them beyond all recognition.

If modern Americans couldn’t discuss money, politics, or religion, they would have to resort to discussing the Kardashians all day long. You see why modern Americans chucked polite conversation scads of eons ago.

But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our own list of “Subjects to Never Bring Up at a Party Unless You are Bored and Wish to Start Trouble for Entertainment Purposes Only.” Abortion. Adolf Hitler. The Michael Moore/Ann Coulter dynamic*. Gun control.

…Somewhere in the United States a party has been disrupted, all its guests suddenly edgy and irritable. They have no idea whose fault it is.

I may as well go all the way. I’m bored, I wish to start trouble. The recent murder of abortion doctor George Tiller- with a gun- and the June 10th attack at the US Holocaust Museum- with a gun- are stirring up murmurs against the constitutionally guaranteed freedom to keep and bear arms.

The National Council for Jewish Women offers this statement:

“The shooting today at the US Holocaust Museum is a dreadful reminder of the poisonous connection between hate and gun violence. …Following so soon after the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in his church during Sunday services, this latest attack cries out not only for condemnation by public officials, but a commitment to do everything in their power to prevent such incidents from multiplying including common-sense gun regulations.”

Gun regulations = common sense?

The 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution offers its own statement:

“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.”

We could discuss till the cows come home that stuff about the “well-regulated Militia”. The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia vs. Heller, decided that the individual’s right to bear arms shall not be infringed. The constitutionalist in me threw a ticker-tape parade when the decision was announced.

Not because I hanker to see people packing heat on every street corner. No. Because I love and respect the constitution, and I had a suspicion that Amendment #2 did indeed assure the individual’s right to pack that heat.

…Even as my common sense tells me that more guns in the country equal more guns being fired. Bang bang. Bang bang bang bang.

When do we defend traditional freedoms and when do we follow our conscience? It’s the dillema met by conservative Christians who hope that the 1st Amendment doesn’t protect pornography. By secularists who don’t know where the directive to establish no state religion ends and “freedom of religion” begins. We all live under the same law of the land- and cherish our personal convictions regardless.

My problem: I hold both the personal conviction that more guns equal more bang-bang (it’s simple math) and the belief that the true intents behind constitutional amendments must be honored. If I make an exception in this case and endorse a modification of the 2nd Amendment, then how can I defend the other nine? Due process, speedy and public trials, the ban on cruel and unusual punishments? If anything taught us the value of these guaranteed rights, it was Guantanamo Bay.

For the sake of America’s foundation I support the 2nd Amendment.

But I could not easily look in the eye anybody who fled the Holocaust Museum on the day of that attack, or someone who loved Dr. George Tiller, and repeat that statement.

With them I could only make polite conversation.

 

*Please God, tell me there is a Michael Moore/Ann Coulter dynamic. I really want there to be one.

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One Response to “The Humanity Priest Pits the Second Amendment Against Common Sense”

  1. 1 Michael D. Barnett

    While I’m not bored, I like to stir it up once in a while too. So here goes.

    “Not because I hanker to see people packing heat on every street corner. No. Because I love and respect the constitution, and I had a suspicion that Amendment #2 did indeed assure the individual’s right to pack that heat.”

    “Even as my common sense tells me that more guns in the country equal more guns being fired. Bang bang. Bang bang bang bang”

    Quite true!

    Common sense also tells us that legalized drugs (i.e. alcohol), combined with more cars in the country, equals more mangled bodies on the roads. Crash Crash. Crash crash crash crash.

    “it’s simple math”

    Actually common sense might also tell us, as it probably did the founders, that it’s not the inanimate object that causes the problem but rather the human being, that uses the inanimate object, that causes the problem.

    Would it have been more acceptable if the fanatics that killed Dr. Tiller, and Officer Johns, had used a bomb, or kitchen knife, or scalpel, or syringe full of saline solution perhaps, (the last two of which I believe were Dr. Tiller’s weapons of choice, against his victims of choice)? All those things being just as easy to obtain as a gun. Would anyone be calling for common sense kitchen knife regulation? Probably not, they (the anti-gun fanatics) would find a way to twist it around so they could call for common sense gun regulation anyway.

    And (to head off the obvious response), yes, what Dr. Tiller did was legal, in Kansas, at the time he did it. But so was murdering Jews, in Nazi Germany, at the time that was occurring, although I would hold that both actions were just as morally wrong as the murder of Dr. Tiller, and Officer Johns.

    I wonder if The National Council for Jewish Women find it less disagreeable that human beings used automobile exhaust to murder thousands of Jews by asphyxiation (oh those dang cars again. Cough cough, gag gag)? At least they weren’t using those nasty guns (though those same human beings murdered millions using guns, and poison gas, and clubs, and … well, you get the idea). Where is their call for common sense automobile regulation? Wait just a minute, that’s right, we have common sense automobile regulation. Licensing of drivers, mandatory registration/inspection of automobiles, etc. (even confiscation in some cases). Those common sense regulations have prevented thousands of deaths on the highway. Maybe, maybe not. Then again, the Constitution doesn’t specifically guarantee the right to keep and drive an automobile.

    I wish everyone loved and respected the constitution and believed that “the true intents behind constitutional amendments must be honored”. People who use tragic events to call for “common sense” regulations on liberty, like The National Council for Jewish Women, DON’T. They scare me more than a fanatic with a gun, or a car, or a bomb, or a … well, you get the idea.

    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. — Benjamin Franklin

    I have a tremendous amount sympathy for those who have lost loved ones, and those who have suffered traumatic experiences. I’m a Police Officer and it’s a part of my job to deal with victims every day.

    Even so, I would have no problem looking anyone in the eye, at any time, and saying what I have written here.


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