well, you know, we all want to change your head @NRA
Though you are a man of many surprises, there wasn’t one in there for me, though that was the most I’ve heard from you on the subject in one breath for a very long time. My positions have evolved over time as well; when I was a very young man, before I even met you I thought much the same. I’m sure you know the story of how the Communists at DePaul gave me the hard sell, and how it was seeing that the leader of the organization lived on an upper floor of Lake Point Tower (I met Alice Cooper on the elevator) with his mom that nipped that in the bud, but I distinctly remember that the first red flag (pun intended) came for me one fine Fall day when we were sitting on the quad talking. Chris was very charismatic, convincing and cunning; his worldview was making a lot of sense to the seventeen-year old me and the girls in the club were smart and hot. Then we came to the subject of guns and I said they should all be banned, and he laughed at me; and he said that , no, the people should to have guns to overthrow the government. That I didn’t walk away in that moment is a testament to how much I liked the girls.
It’s not that I think governments should never be overthrown; quite the contrary, I will be right there for the revolution, should it ever be called for, it’s just that at this point in history a violent civil war is totally uncalled for, and also insanely self-destructive with no good to come from it. It would be like burning your house down because you need a new shower curtain but think it would be best to just raze everything to the ground and rebuild. This is not Libya or Iraq, regardless of how you may personally feel about the politicians in office. These are the United States of America, and should we tear them apart now the effect on human progress would be worse than the Dark Ages after the fall of Rome. I couldn’t articulate this back then, but I felt in my gut as I now understand it with my brain.
So, while I have never accepted the idea of citizens arming themselves with the express purpose of fighting the government (for merely the sake of fighting the government) to be legitimate, I have accepted that guns exist and are not going away. In fact, I accept that with teh Internets to distribute designs and 3-D printers that are hitting the market it is only a matter of time before people will be able to manufacture firearms and modifications that are completely illegal in their own homes and there will be nothing to stop them from doing it. But we can’t even talk about that until we deal with now.
My ideal would be to make gun ownership the highest level of citizenship; that the idea of a militia of citizens that can be called upon in times of community need is a good idea, and the that making the hurdles to gun ownership more difficult is a good thing. There’s a reason that it is difficult to become, for example, a doctor or a lawyer or a police officer; these professions can literally hold a persons life or liberty in their hands and as individuals are entrusted with enormous amounts of power by our society; the power of a gun is little different and gun licenses, especially concealed carry ones, should be more like law or medical licenses to obtain than, say, a fishing license. There is no sane reason to destroy records of weapons purchases or to not have ammunition with serial numbers.
I absolutely agree, however, that one-size-fits all doesn’t work either. States and localities should have a say in how things work. Everyone should have a say, really. This is something that concerns everyone. Thanks so much for your words, as always.
That’s an interesting link. The way slavery is tied into American history it’s impossible to not recognize the reality of it’s impact on how everything played out (although some people do try). It’s one of the reasons that the concept of Original Intent is so disingenuous; if we are to only consider what the general consensus of 1787 would accept, we should remember that they accepted slavery. The Founders were by no means perfect and there was much argument and dissension between them; what they produced was greater than the sum of its parts.