Doesn't the 2nd Amendment preclude any and all debate? Congress shall not infringe on the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.
Gun control proponents attack from two fronts. Some argue that the 2nd Amendment should be rescinded. Others argue that it should be more narrowly implemented. That is, you may keep your guns but the government should control them.
It seems that no resolution will be found for one simple reason: A lack of trust.
Those who advocate gun control do not trust law-abiding citizens to handle their weapons responsibly, without harming themselves or others within range. Many don't trust guns. Those who advocate the broadest application of the 2nd Amendment, who accept no form of gun control, simply do not trust the government to constrain itself. Gun control, they argue, will ultimately lead to gun confiscation. To them the slope really is slippery and if you scratch a gun control advocate, you most likely will find someone who advocates gun confiscation.
Is that always true?
Let me tell you a story...
To be fair, most racists probably are disturbed by immigrants and aliens living in America and speaking their native language. It is ironic that such racists also enjoy pizza and chow mien and countless other pleasures that immigrants and aliens have contributed to culture in these United States. However, does that mean that all who eat ethnic foods and espouse that they learn English are racist? Hardly. Many simply wish to avoid the curse described in the Old Testament when man built the Tower of Babel to elevate himself above God and was cast into a confusion of languages. Confusion is the enemy of discourse, reason, and understanding which is absolutely necessary if we are to govern ourselves successfully.
Tower of Babel
Before we go any further I should state that I am not in favor of making English the official language of the United States. I'm too old to learn a foreign language. I speak American. I write American. I think American. Anyone who fails to see the difference between English and American just isn't paying attention. My wife and I enjoy many broadcasts that we find on BBC America, especially British crime dramas. Sadly they aren't aired with subtitles and we are often lost in the weeds. Not only are some dialects unfathomable (as are some regional American dialects), but also there is an idiomatic abyss somewhere in the Atlantic midway between London and New York. The simple fact is that I fear that we will be denied the greatest gifts of those who adopt America if they fail to learn the common language and that they will likewise be denied the greatest gifts that it has to offer them. Freedom of Speech includes the right to speak in any language one chooses. However, they must also keep in mind that we also have the right to ignore them.
I'm a lot of things: Husband, father, grandfather, American, writer, author. Generally, I'm proud to claim all. Until recently, I didn't think much about the fact that I'm also a veteran, a Vietnam Veteran to put a fine point on it. I'm very proud of that too. Recently I came across an interesting infographic that I want to share. It seems that out of some 340 million in the United States, veterans comprise less than 10% of the population and, on average, fare better than most.
I listened with considerable fascination to a speech delivered by a thirteen year old Boy Scout on Patriot's Day 2015. He lamented that he had never known peace in his short life. He was, after all, born following the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, and the War on Terror, he reminded us, has raged continuously since then. Hadn't he heard? President Obama declared it done and won.
In any event, the Boy Scout accomplished his task. Well, at least with me, he succeeded. He got me to thinking. Have I ever known peace? Have you?
Hillary Clinton already has a campaign war chest reportedly exceeding $2.5 Billion. Her opponents in both parties are attempting to match it.
Click to read the short story "Lights Out"
Despite the obscenity of campaign spending for elected office in America, there doesn't appear to be any political will to rein it in. Why? Could it be that the prize is simply too great to scrimp on spending to achieve it?
What if instead of treating the illness - campaign spending - we focused on reducing the value of elected office?
Lights Out is a short story, a dream of mine, in which campaign contributors learn that the return on investment for campaign contributions is suddenly diminished.
Would campaign finance reform be a mute topic?
The lives of many people were ruined just because they were suspected of being a communist. Some lost their employment, their fortunes, and their sacred honor merely on the basis of suspicion. Some even lost their minds. Some suspect that such a suspicion hurried Ernest Hemingway to his grave by way of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There are records of his treatment for a nervous disorder brought about by innuendos that he was a communist.
Ernest Hemingway in Spain during its Civil War (1937) Click to enlarge
The U.S. State Department thought Ernest was a communist. The Soviets thought he was a communist. J. Edgar Hoover thought that everybody was a communist. However, it seems that the rumor began when Hemingway reported on the civil war in Spain and sided with anyone opposed to the fascists. This made him appear to be sympathetic to communism. The libel then took on a life of its own and followed him the remainder of his life.
As I read about the controversy surrounding illegal aliens, I can't help but remembering stories of immigrants, my family's ancestors who did us a remarkable favor by coming to America before we were born. They arrived legally and they often suffered travails far greater than those who steal across our borders. Maybe that's why they became far better citizens.
Click to read her story
This is the story of just one, my mother-in-law, the most courageous person I know. I delayed writing this story because I wasn't certain I could do it justice. However, if I delay any longer I may never write it before my time comes to depart this life.
It is a story of courage. Sometimes, you see, it takes more courage to risk life than to risk death...
It seems to me that those who self-identify as “liberal” are about as liberal as Rachel Dolezal is “black”. I have studied the word and cannot find any measure by which self-described liberals are “liberal”.
Classical liberalism was practiced by those who championed liberty. Today's liberals are the avowed enemies of liberty. They strive to impose their will on others. They ban words and symbols that they deem offensive while using the vile and offensive words and symbols in pursuit of their perceived devils. They use the bludgeon of government to foist ill-conceived schemes on the public despite the fact that every such attempt has ended in ruin. They do not trust the individual to manage their own lives in their own best interests nor trust the electorate to govern themselves. Ultimately, they attempt to disarm citizens, to deprive them of the means to defend themselves from assaults on their liberty.
It's fairly common to hear of public works projects such as prisons, landfills, and power plants meeting resistance from local residents who don't want them in their backyard, but a cemetery for service members and veterans? Yes, it seems that some residents of the City of Irvine don't want a national cemetery sullying their new park, the Orange County Great Park, being built on land that once was home to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Yes, this is the same city where the student body of a University of California campus voted to ban display of the American flag, thus we shouldn't be too surprised.
Click to enlarge
These citizens of Irvine purportedly are speaking out against the cemetery in their backyard because:
- The sight of it would upset their children attending a nearby high school
- The embalming fluids of the corpses would pollute the land
- Their property values would suffer
Some of these citizens in unguarded discussion
on the Internet have opined that the cemetery would adversely affect the Feng Shui
of their park and, more callously, that it should be re-sited to a garbage dump.
Some decry the Constitution as flawed because it is old and obsolete. How can a document written more than two hundred years ago address modern issues? The Framers lived in a pre-industrial, pre-technological world. They couldn't anticipate the world we live in. How could they architect institutions to govern it?
The Constitution is a blueprint for limited government designed “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”. We the People does not include machines or technology. These things, sophisticated as they may be, are just tools. No, We the People includes just people. All citizens of the United States of America. Self-governing people.