Dear Dirty America


The Second Amendment Ugly But Necessary

August 07
10:30 2012

(editor’s note: this article has three sections below: 1) Is the problem with guns? 2) How would America ban guns, anyway? and 3) Who is our father, and what does he show us?) 

I was first notified about the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin by a friend who lives down the street from where the incident happened. She’d posted a link to a local news site that had the latest updates about the frenzied situation at the temple.

By now, everybody knows about the shooting, and we’ve been given the facts in every national news publication. One thing still unsettles me about both the Sikh temple massacre, and the Aurora cinema shooting — the testimonies of those inside claiming multiple shooters.

One man, who was interviewed shortly after the Wisconsin shooting happened, said four white men, dressed in black, opened fire in the temple. The early news reports had been claiming two or more shooters. The official story now, and the one told by most of the nation’s newspapers, is that this was the work of a lone gunman — 40 year old army veteran and psychological operations specialist Wade Michael Page — who was gunned down in the parking lot by police.

The same strange, contradictory testimonies in Aurora, Colorado took place. Multiple shooters. One man propped open the exit door of the theater. More than one gas canister thrown. Two men opening fire on the crowd. I can understand the confusion in a dark movie theater better than I can at the Sikh temple.

I could understand if the women and children who huddled in the kitchen of the temple thought they heard another shooter, and therefore a rumor began that there were two of them, but to have witnesses claiming multiple shooters opening fire in the temple at once leaves me with a funny feeling.

Could it be the jolting effect of what is know as the ‘fog of war’? Eye witness testimonies rarely line up perfectly, but to go from four shooters down to a lone gunman seems suspicious. At this point, I only have questions. Other people do, also. There are plenty of conspiracy theories to go around. I’m not interested in all that bullshit, but I do have questions about these two horrific massacres that has America gripped in fear about going to movie theaters and their places of worship.

Is the Problem with Guns?

The easy answer for a lot of people is to call for tighter gun laws, more gun restrictions, and even all out gun bans in America. Is that the answer? I used to be on the ‘liberal’ side of this issue until I realized that our Second Amendment is in place as the last reality for assurance of our population’s freedoms and liberties.

Any comedian or TV news anchor can make that statement look absurd and silly. But I stand by it. An armed population with the capable firepower to make literal hell for any national or foreign military force is essential in sustaining a free society. Without the Second Amendment, our nation would be castrated and prone to any tyrant, despot, or government agency with ill intentions.

A Jon Stewart or Bill Maher could get a lot of laughs out that argument by cynically suggesting only a nut case would fear that his government would be that rogue, and that tyrannical, that an armed revolution would be necessary, or that even an armed revolution would have any devastating effect on an advanced, militarized government.

But really, it’s the idea that the American people are armed. Nobody with any sense or dignity wants a civil war. It’s the fact that the country is heavily armed that makes it formidable and puts some final physical reality into the claims we have on paper assuring us of a free society.

The Second Amendment is an ugly reality, but it is necessary.

How would America ban guns, anyway?

That’s the question I can’t find a good answer to. If someone with an authority’s voice, like Piers Morgan, asked me if I was in favor of banning guns in this country, I would say, in my heart, yes, and all weapons in general, but in reality, no. I personally wish there were no weapons on this earth. I wish we were, as humanity, as innocent as the Arawak people, who were discovered by the ‘modern world’ explorer, Christopher Columbus.

The Arawaks didn’t know what the Spaniards’ swords were. They were baffled by the sharp points, and even cut their hands on them while examining the soldiers’ weapons. The Arawaks didn’t think in terms of plunder and murder and capital. They lived communally, where everybody worked for the good of the tribe: to collect clean water, plant and harvest food, building good shelter, and healing their sick.

Columbus destroyed their civilization and turned the Arawaks into slaves. He made them mine the hills looking for gold so he could bring it back to his queen and get his cut. He was a slave to the mercantile capitalist system that had Europeans ravenous for paid work so they could eat and live.

We are enslaved in that system of needing to sustain ourselves by pimping out our lives to global corporations and banks so we can carve out a living that affords us electricity, food, and shelter. Healthcare is a luxury for those who can afford it.

I’ve gone around the bend with the last four paragraphs. The point is, we are not an innocent, peaceful civilization. We do not live in peace. There are many people among us who have the inclination to kill. Guns make it easier, but massive killing can still be done, gun ban or not. A teenager in China killed eight people with a knife, and wounded five more. We are Columbus and his men. We are not the Arawaks. Those who want to kill, will. Citizens should have access to weapons to defend themselves from what they perceive as dangerous.

How would we ban guns, and disarm the American people, anyway? Is there a peaceful way to do that? What would the consequences be? Would the military go from door to door of every major city and confiscate every gun? Would there be a safe and efficient way to do that?

The argument I always hear against banning guns is that all the good people, the honest, law-abiding Americans, would turn in their guns. The real criminals — the drug dealers, the gang members, and those people who use and need guns to protect their criminal lifestyles — would find ways to keep their weapons.

We would successfully disarm the American people, and place them in danger of every gang member and armed mafia member who would, undoubtedly, find ways to stockpile weapons. Is the average American family supposed to sit in their home while it’s being broken into, and wait for the police to show up? Living in Los Angeles, you see dozens of armed robberies every day pop up on the crime map. I imagine most major cities in America are that way, and even more so since it has been four years since our economy crashed and has not made any real gains.

Who is our father? And what does he show us?

Finally, the government is supposed to be the representation of the American people. The president acts as our father. Just as George Washington did. What kind of example does our father give us? This country has been carrying out mass murders, without any justification, for decades. Reagan. The Bush boys. Clinton. Obama.

Our fathers have told us to fear and hate Muslims. Be wary of turbans. Suspect any Middle Eastern male as having ties to al-Qaeda. Label any “military-age males in a strike zone as combatants“, and therefore not counted as casualties when killed in a predator drone strike.

It is within that culture we live our American lives. It is with that hatred and roiling opposition to men and women living on the other side of the world, which we truly know nothing about, but yet, we have learned to fear and hate. Our fathers don’t have to live in this ugly desperate jobless society with the terrorism-fearing masses. Our fathers don’t suffer at the hands of the TSA or radiation-blasting body scanners in our nation’s airports. Our fathers are exempt, yet it is their actions and words under which we toil and agonize.

Under our fathers, we have murdered, with our tax dollars and our weapons, millions of people. Many of them Iraqis. Obama pulled the trigger on a village in Yemen. Dozens of women and children were killed by Tomahawk missiles. The Pentagon lied about it, but was later embarrassed when the truth came out in WikiLeaks.

While our nation mourns the loss of its own, we rarely take a moment to decry the brutal termination of life overseas. And it’s a massive effort in violence. We relish our violent culture and ambition. We watch on TV bombs fall on Baghdad and very few people have the thought that maybe there are people who live in that city and are affected.

The Sikh temple in Wisconsin is not the first temple to be terrorized. Many more temples of other religious folks have been leveled by American bombs and missiles and swarms of troops and Blackwater mercenaries. Mosques and marketplaces, homes and villages torn up with an unbelievable amount of dead and wounded left behind.

That’s our legacy in this country. These are the examples we have to follow. Our government — or the people who are currently holding office in its many levels — have no regard for life in the Middle East. We have been at war with Islam for decades. We arm them to fight the Soviets. We screw them after they fight. We set them up. We invade them later on.

Domestic violence is shocking and nearly brings us to our knees as a people. Why doesn’t the violence elsewhere, carried out at the hands of our officials, do the same? When we forget about this latest shooting at the Sikh temple, we will go back to the other kinds of stories that interest this nation — not the worldwide rampage the War on Terror is unleashing — but issues like if we should, or should not, eat chicken at Chick-fil-A, because the company’s president has a shortsighted view on gay marriage.

What a funny people we are.


Michael Moore fundamentally wrong on his assessment of 2nd amendment

Chick-fil-A: why America’s gay rights debate should end up in a fast food joint

Obama’s got a kill list, kill committee, & convenient kill phraseology

Man builds modern day Noah’s ark: did you book a room?

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