News Defending Our Freedoms
posted by April 19 at 11:24 AMon
From my book Skipping Towards Gomorrah…
Whenever some lunatic pulls out a gun in a school… and starts blowing people away, the National Rifle Association helpfully suggests that the problem isn’t too many guns in the United States but too few guns. If only the murdered teachers, students, or coworkers of the deranged shooter or shooters had themselves been armed, they could’ve returned fire and saved lives. Guns aren’t the cause of gun violence, the NRA insists, but the solution to gun violence….
Gun nuts talk and talk about needing guns to protect the rights and freedoms that all Americans enjoy, but when the rights and freedoms of Americans are under siege, guns nuts are nowhere to be found. I don’t recall seeing any NRA members, for example, ever protesting an assault on the free speech rights of Americans by the feds—or the federal government’s successful efforts to undermine our constitutional protections against government surveillance and unreasonable searches, their attempts to regulate speech on the Internet, limit abortion rights…
So while gun owners are always saying that owning guns is about defending freedom, the only freedom gun owners seem interested in defending with their guns is the freedom to defend their freedom to own guns. For a freedom fan such as myself, this seems a little limited. All that firepower—200 million guns—dedicated to defending just one freedom? Charlton Heston, the actor and president of the NRA, says he “cannot stand by and watch a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States come under attack,” and yet I don’t recall seeing Charlton Heston on television complaining about John Ashcroft’s recent assaults on, say, attorney-client privilege….
If gun nuts want to convince non-gun nuts of the value of an armed citizenry, perhaps they should use their guns to defend all of our freedoms, not just their freedom to own guns.
If American gun owners saw themselves as, say, the armed wing of the ACLU then our society would all benefit in some small way from our gun culture/fetish. As things stand, however, we get nothing in exchange for the risks we all must face thanks to all those fucking guns—nothing except death, bloodshed, and pain. It’s a bad deal, gun nuts.