Thoughts dancing and colliding inside my head about American gun culture…..
Enough is enough? Really? Since when?
Thoughts and prayers all around, right? Everyone who is against thoughts and prayers, raise your hand. Thoughts and prayers must be enough because they still preempt any meaningful legislation or action.
Is it logical, reasonable, even rational, to depend on the U.S. congress, or any of our political office holders to initiate right action and create effective policy and laws to lessen the lethal firearms culture in American society? I think by now we know the disquieting answer to that question, don’t we?
Calls for broader background checks, longer prison terms, “red flag” laws, and a minimum age of 21, are weak attempts to pacify the public and create a false impression that something meaningful is being done. Will this change? Who will change it?
Are we thinking about the future emotional and psychological damage to American children? What kind of adult will a child become who grows up knowing that the school he or she goes to might be the next one to experience a senseless murderous event?
Speaking of emotional and psychological impact, has there been a study conducted of the collective state of mind of occupants of a community that has experienced a mass shooting? We know that teams of social workers, psychotherapists, and other mental health professionals swarm to a community after the shootings have happened. Using the metaphor of dropping a pebble in a pool of still water, how far out does the formation of rings go before they reach beyond the influence of that event?
What action might a congressperson take if it were suddenly decided that AK47s and cocaine represented the same risk to society? Probably nothing. On January 6th of 2021 the halls of congress were packed by gun-toting rioters, and that did not motivate them to address the uniquely American gun travesty despite the reported fact that many of them thought they might die that day. Does that convince us that no action should be expected from elected office holders?
Given that American society is clearly tone deaf to our global reputation regarding our nonsensical gun culture, is there any semblance of public will to move toward rational change?
Does the U.S. constitution second amendment apply contemporarily to legislation that continues to protect the present status of American gun culture? Let’s look closer. The literal wording is:
“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.”
I am certain that if I presented wording anything like this in a writing assignment in my school days, I would receive a poor grade. The syntax is unquestionably poor. In parsing the wording of the second amendment, the following questions come to mind:
a. Did they mean the militia shall not be infringed?
b. Were they saying the free state shall not be infringed?
c. Did they intend the right to bear arms shall not be infringed?
d. Did they think bearing arms and owning arms are the same thing?
e. What are the parameters for determining whether a state’s freedom is at risk?
f. Can a single individual be considered a Militia?
g. Why did the authors of the constitution believe this amendment was necessary?
h. What did the authors regard the state of the state and nation to be when they created this amendment?
i. Whatever their perceptions may have been, are they applicable and relevant today?
Perhaps questions of this nature are addressed and debated in constitutional law courses in university law schools. If that is the case, it clearly has not led to any discernable enlightenment.
The Firearms Industrial Complex is a real entity. It is very powerful and has been successful at intimidating and controlling the very people we elect to protect us. The wealth of this industry has been effectively deployed to acquire the ownership and loyalty of our elected office holders. Those office holders realize that the general voting populace will not and cannot concentrate enough power and influence to overcome the control of the gun industry.
If a deranged shooter wielding a military grade firearm were to breach the security of a legislative chamber and murder a large group of congresspersons, would that possible lead to a change of perspective about this indefensible social calamity in our country?
Sadly, I do not think it would. But I am certain thoughts and prayers would be massively invoked.