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writing for godot

Surefire Way to Major Gun Control

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Written by Bob Maschi   
Friday, 26 April 2013 10:01
Since the tragic Sandy Hook massacre, the gun control debate has swept across the media and through the congress. People on all sides are adamant in their positions. As a parent, I feel the pain of those who seek sane gun control measures. As a progressive, the threatening screams of the far right in opposing the simplest measures, alarm me.

I don’t want to trivialize this, or any other horrible shooting. But, as this debate plunges further into limbo, we need to ask ourselves what the purpose actually is of the current gun control efforts.

Are they to protect children? We seem to be ignoring many other ways that we can save children. It’s been reported that, because of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear meltdown (which continues, in case you haven’t heard) newborns on America’s west coast are experiencing thyroid problems at an alarming rate. If we want to protect children, shouldn’t we be closing down dangerous nuclear power plants and encouraging alternates world-wide?

Is gun control to prevent children from being murdered? Back in 2011 The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that 168 Pakistani children had been killed by Obama’s drone strikes – and surely, many more since then. How about we end this imprecise manner of war rather than accept these children as ‘collateral damage’?

Are gun control measures designed to prevent children from dying? According to UNICEF, about 20,000 children die daily from preventable causes. Climate change will surely increase that number by many times. Our governments are doing very little to ease this current crisis or to address the oncoming one.

No, the push for new gun laws aren’t really meant to correct any of those things. In fact, lofty goals are no longer a part of the American dialogue. Now, we spend our times arguing with lunatics over comparatively trivial matters like firearm purchase background checks and whether a rifle should be capable of killing 10 people or 20 people in a less than a minute. And guess what? Even these trivial arguments were doomed to fail from the beginning – and anyone paying attention to the power of the gun lobby and the cowardice and corruption of our elected officials, knew it.

Both major political parties have used this issue for their own purposes. The Republican right used it to shore up their base of whackos who were threatening to bolt from the party over its softened stance on racism (in general, immigration in particular).

The centrist Democrats used the go-nowhere-fast issue to draw a thick line between them and their conservative foes. That line had become blurred by the Democrat’s pro-war and conservative-economic policies (including Obama’s hopes to cut Social Security). What better issue than gun control to rile up the liberal/progressive base? As an added bonus for the Democrats, the issue would go nowhere anyway while deflecting attention away from the multitude of other problems facing our nation and planet. Perfect!

I can definitely understand people who expect common sense for the common good to have won this debate. So I offer a counterintuitive solution. One that each of us, as individuals, can begin working on almost immediately, without waiting for a Facebook group to pop up or for Moveon to send out a mass email.

Here it is… if you are to the left of center on political issues, you should get your ass right out there and buy some guns! Buy a shitload of guns! Buy big gaudy guns and little concealable guns. Buy guns with maximum firepower at minimal cost. Buy assault rifles and high capacity magazines and armor piercing rounds. While following all federal and state laws, buy as many guns as you can afford and safely store them away, locked and out of the reach of children (and your neighborhood right-wing whackos).

If progressives, especially people of color, feminists and members of the GLBT community, began buying guns in large numbers, all kinds of odd things would happen. Fox News would start reporting on this new threat from the left. Congress would hold hearings. Rush Limbaugh would whine that the ‘feminazis’ are coming after his testicles. Glenn Beck would claim that being politically progressive was a sign of mental illness and reason enough to be denied firearm ownership. The Westboro Baptist Church would start picketing gun shows with signs reading ‘God Hates AKs’. Republicans would be alarmed by the misuse of the Second Amendment and the government would rush in and put a stop to it all with some serious gun control measures.

Want gun control? Buy one. Or a few.
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+1 # randrjwr 2013-05-25 12:34
Unfortunately, this idea makes much more sense than I am comfortable with. Certainly our failure to correct all the wrongs outlined in the first part of this post is a crime against humanity in general and children in particular. Sad to say, America does NOT hold the high moral ground now and never did (as a perusal of history books NOT anywhere near inclusion in the public high school curriculum will readily show).
 

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