I don’t like guns.
I don’t wish to own a gun, I don’t wish to use a gun, and I don’t want to be around people with guns. Its not my cup of tea, as the redcoats would say.
All that being said, I really don’t mind that people own guns. It is their right, after all, guaranteed by the second amendment. I can say anything I want thanks to the old bill of rights and you can shoot at whatever you want, its not such a bad system, unless you want to shoot Bambi’s mother of course (that’s just plain heartless.)
Some students at Malvern live around a culture of gun owning and advocate gun ownership to the point of it almost being religious. But why do people want to own guns? What is the allure of holding such power in your hand?
Well, from what I have gathered through my vast and interesting seventeen years on this Earth, gun owners usually cite one of a couple of reasons as to why they own their arsenal. Some wish to hunt animals, which has been around since the history of forever, so tradition is tradition. That’s not such a bad thing and I really don’t have a problem with that reason. I don’t want to go hunting, but I eat a lot of steak, so to denigrate hunters for killing animals would be a tad hypocritical.
The other reason I hear people defend their second amendment right to the nth degree is the idea that their right to own a gun is the last line of defense against the totalitarian regime that is American government, or even worse, liberals! Ugh such a nasty word that is, liberals… anyway, back to the task at hand. This notion that guns are protecting everyone from the government coming down on the denizens of our great and free nation is preposterous, not because guns don’t protect us, but because we lost the rights the second amendment was supposed to protect in the first place.
This point was brought up on a recent episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher.” No matter how you feel about Bill Maher he brings up a valid point in the “New Rules” portion of this particular show. To paraphrase, Maher says, “Now the only right we have left is the guns and left nothing left to use the guns to protect, “ and nothing could be more right on. Gun owners out there love to believe that the only right that is in constant danger is their right to own guns, when in reality the only right that seems safe from an abusive government seems to be guns.
While they were all amassing the weapons to “defend” the US citizen’s rights, the rights in actuality were crushed under the boot of the actual tyrannical government that exists in Washington, DC.
For example, you may not have heard it over all the other news like the stories surrounding Sandy Hook or the Fiscal cliff, but in the last days of 2012, the congress passed and President Obama signed a reauthorization of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). This act is so vague, it allows for the spying and warrantless wiretapping of Americans without any just cause.
Another incident in the multitude of government atrocities comes with the suicide of Aaron Swartz on January 11th. Aaron was an internet phenomenon and a computer whiz who was involved in making the widely popular site reddit.com. He believed deeply in the free exchange of information along with free speech on and off the internet, and he paid dearly for it. A few years back, Aaron hacked into JSTOR, a digital library containing scholarly works, and systematically downloaded academic journals with the intent of releasing them publically. Now I’m not saying that Swartz is blameless in his own suicide or in his crime, but he faced 35 years in federal prison, a charge harsher than that of manslaughter which carries a maximum of 6 years, and bank robbery which has a maximum of 25 years. This is an overreach of judicial and governmental power if I have ever seen one.
Were there gun toting freedom-fighting Americans loading up to protect an innocent citizen? Oh, there weren’t? They must have been too busy polishing their M16 they finagled at a gun show.
It would take a whole separate article to point out the power which the federal government exercises and abuses over all of us, but the point I’m trying to make is that tyranny like this is ignored. While we live under the constant threat of an actual tyrannical government, we are spoon fed issues that are meant to hold us in line.
I make this claim because if I asked most Malvernians their opinion about FISA, or the overreach of a judicial system that victimizes someone like Aaron Swartz, or the patriot acts, or the killings of innocent civilians all around the world by drone strikes, or America’s imperial and capitalist intentions all around the world in general, I would get a blank stare. But if I asked about guns and their legality I would get the second amendment speech. “Guns are here to protect our freedoms! We’re free!” Or better yet the half-brained democrat opinion/solution to just totally ignore practical freedoms of gun ownership.
While the top political talking point is guns, we are given the illusion of freedom. People are content with their guns on the right, and people on the left are content with their gun regulations that won’t do much of anything anyway. The majority do not question the status quo, but ignore the real issues at hand. There will always be murders and terrible tragedies like at Sandy Hook and the total prohibition of guns is not the answer. (Neither is putting more guns in the schools, but that is the subject of another article altogether.)
The point is that while we hang on to our guns or our misinformed liberal/conservative agendas that distract, America will always be under the threat of tyranny the founding fathers actually warned against — the one without liberty and justice for all. The one that wants to throw you in jail for speaking your mind or the one that wants to ship you off to war. The pen is mightier than the sword. I implore everyone to arm themselves not with a 22 or a glock, but with information and knowledge of the dangerous times and world that surrounds us.
We all live in the 21st century here at Malvern, or so I’m told by all the painting changes in Carney. I ask anyone reading this article to just take 10 minutes out of your day. Read an article with a viewpoint that you wouldn’t hear on MSNBC or Fox News, or watch a youtube video explaining a certain situation without getting some warped viewpoint meant to further a political ethos.
And remember we are all in this together.
It is not Democrat versus Republican. We are Americans against something bigger than all of us – a machine that runs on the ignorant masses of people more concerned with pop culture than the fate of a good and decent free world.
Do not be a cog in a machine holding up an institution that doesn’t care about you, but instead know the machine and always question it.
As Charlie Chaplin says in the film The Great Dictator, “In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: ‘the Kingdom of God is within man’ – not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power – the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure”
Then – in the name of democracy – let us use that power – let us all unite.
And I for one, hope we can heed his timeless advice.
(PS: End the drug war and maybe, just maybe, gun violence and the number of illegal guns in America may go down. Just spitting in the wind…)