By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the NRA’s suggestion of putting an armed guard in all schools – I’ve also heard an NRA rep say teachers should be armed and trained. Finally, the NRA released an attack ad that called the President an ‘elitist hypocrite,’ which seems to refer to the Secret Service protection that he and his family receive. This seems to deliberately miss the point that President Obama is making.
I understand that the NRA is in the business of representing gun manufactures, other gun professionals, gun owners and various gun enthusiasts. They also like to talk about how they’re big champions of the Second Amendment, which is sort of true. In case you need a refresher, the second truth bomb dropped by the Bill of Rights goes a lil somethin’ like dis:
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.
‘Arms’ is a fairly general term:
1. A weapon, especially a firearm: troops bearing arms; ICBMs, bombs, and other nuclear arms.
2. A branch of a military force: infantry, armor, and other combat arms.
a. Warfare: a call to arms against the invaders.
b. Military service: several million volunteers under arms; the profession of arms.
a. Heraldry Bearings.
b. Insignia, as of a state, an official, a family, or an organization.
When you watch an old movie and some dude yells out, “To arms, fellows!” he’s just saying, “Grab your weapon and follow me – we’re going to start kicking ass!” Over time, ‘arms’ has come to mean guns, which is why ‘firearm’ is fancy talk for gun.
What I’m taking my sweet ass time trying to convey is that the constitution doesn’t necessarily guarantee every citizen the right to own a gun – it could easily be interpreted in a lot of different ways (which is the case for a lot of things in the constitution, which was done intentionally): it could mean just hand guns, just rifles, just knives, just swords… it could mean whatever the interpreting body (the three branches of government) say it means.
The NRA takes a very strict interpretation of the Second Amendment, and for them to say that their definition is correct and everyone else is wrong is ballsy to say the least. Now they’ve dropped this vid:
… Seriously, NRA? That’s what you came up with? You don’t see the difference between Secret Service protection for the First Family and keeping kids away from guns? That… wow. Just wow. It’s not even worth discussing.
What I would like to take a moment to mention is the incredibly silly argument that guns don’t kill people, people do. This is true, but the gun helps. For example, a man in China stabbed 22 children at a primary school (which means the kids are between the ages 6 of and 11) and 1 adult – so 23 victims in all. And you know how many people died?
I don’t think I need to bring up the analogous gun attacks here in the United States. We know what they are, when they happened – we know about the deaths. I think the case against ‘people kill people’ is more than shaky.
At some point, the NRA is going to have to get realistic about guns and gun violence in this country. Until they do, they don’t have a leg to stand on in a legitimate argument. The NRA is living in a vacuum, and while it’s fun to argue political theory, we can’t hide behind a text-book when the bullets start flying.