Here in Chicago a teen shot his brother over an argument about an XBox game. Blam. Right in the head. The kid is in custody now, facing indictment and planning a pretty good future for himself, we must suppose.
Surprisingly, no one jumped out of the closet with another weapon to shoot the kid down before he could shoot his brother in the head. That's how the Concealed Carry law now taking effect in Illinois is supposed to work. There are supposed to be enough people carrying secreted guns around to defend themselves and everyone else if there is a gun crime about to happen.
Because, you see, law enforcement can't be everywhere. That's what they tell us. So it is much better to have a vigilante force of law-abiding gun owners out there in the streets, alleys and closets of private homes to take down gun-wielding criminals and, we suppose, angry older brothers who are sick of competing for time on the XBox.
Or is it the other way around? "Guns don't kill people. XBoxes kill people."
But that can't be right either, because we are to suppose that even violent video games do not lead to gun crimes, nor the violent fantasy of committing gun crimes. You see, the numb response to violence that is normally reserved for people with psychopathic tendencies is now supposed to be our norm, rather than the radical exception.
And we now all personally own the law. The George Zimmerman case is an ugly illustration of what it means to take the law into our own hands. Then the law translates into criminal acts. Just like that.
All it takes is a gun, and a person with the merest whiff of psychopathic tendencies to conceive crimes both simple and ornate. Ask any shooter in the last 5 years how easy it was to imagine themselves taking revenge on those they hate. Or, not having a motive at hand, to waltz out there and see what the weapons in their hands can really do. Murder, through access to murderous weapons, is both commodified and accessorized. Owning a badass gun is now akin to lusting over a high-priced purse. In which you can carry your concealed weapon.
Bang bang shoot shoot
25 miles west of my home a heavily armed shooter walked into the auditorium of a state university and shot numerous students at nearly point blank range. Then he shot some more. Usually these shooters finally shoot themselves. When they run out of targets. Such is the boredom of the modern gun state.
Gun lovers love to state that these shootings are all the 'acts of criminals.' But a criminal is simply a person who chose to act. When will we admit to ourselves that the gun alone is now enough motivation to act, because you can, kill so easily.
There will be more than 400 homicides in the City of Chicago again next year. Will Concealed Carry prevent any of those deaths?
Not likely. See, the criminals shooting each other as well as innocent people have long believed in the verity of Concealed Carry. Here's the odd fact: Criminals invented Concealed Carry. Violent gunhands in the Wild West practiced Concealed Carry. Now we've legalized it all over the country. And why? It's simply another move in the effort to overthrow the original meaning of the Second Amendment, for selfish reasons.
We've normalized what was formerly criminal activity in so many ways it is hard to figure out what the Constitution ever meant by a "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Gun lovers can get away with focusing only on the last phrase in that oddly constructed sentence because the original meaning has been buried.
It has become a national tradition to ignore the first part of the Second Amendment, which was historically designed improve the quality of a militia necessary to help protect the nation from foreign invaders. Our early militias were so ragtag and haphazardly constructed they often turned tail and ran or turned up with crappy weapons. That's no way to protect a country, so the Founders put in a humble request for a well-regulated militia. They likely did not imagine or recognize that the phrase would be so ignored or misinterpreted.
The Founding Fathers created the Second Amendment as a means to help organize our collective thoughts about guns. And notice that they began the entire effort with the words "well-regulated." Do you know why that was necessary? Because the militias, on their own, could not be trusted to meet the standards of what was becoming a freestanding nation.
The Second Amendment, considered in whole, and historically, says absolutely nothing about protecting individual rights to own guns. For sure it talks about the right of the people, as a collective, to keep and bear arms--for the security of a free state. We have almost completely lost that defining aspect of the Second Amendment, and how it was intended to be read.
The NRA and Constitutional imbalance
The results have been the loss of a free state including the absolute loss of security in many places because people who do not have guns do not now feel safe without them. How ironic it is. The very reason the Founding Fathers crafted the Second Amendment has been violated, raped really, by the people with selfish reasons for owning guns. Even law-abiding gun owners essentially argue in favor of defying regulation, and thus defy the Constitution. In so doing they collectively defy the security of a free state. That is why the NRA is so dangerous to our nation's security. In advocating against regulation, the NRA has tipped the balance against Constitutional authority in favor of a very personalized militia. That is not what the Constitution intended, or says.
Tragic consequences of misinterpretation
Want proof? More people have died in America, on American soil from gun violence than all the soldiers ever killed in all the wars fought by the United States. On foregin soils.
Could it be true that you're safer fighting in a war in Afghanistan than walking the streets in some sections of Detroit, Chicago or Los Angeles? So the NRA would rather turn us into an Afghanistan than protect our civil and personal liberties here at home. Want proof? They have purposely confused the notion of personal liberties with the reality of personal insecurities. Just check ou the 9 craziest things said by NRA chief and spokesperson Wayne Lapierre.
Yet here we are with Concealed Carry laws now in force in every state of the Union. We've basically given up on the idea of a secure state, and instead have given in to the people who have perverted the meaning and intention of the Second Amendment for selfish reasons. The insecure and scared members of our populace are winning. Do you get that? You can hear it in their voices and demeanor every time you mention the words "gun control."
Other securities lost
The same violation of Constitutional authority has taken over the meaning of free speech as well, what with Corporate Personhood and blanket surveillance of digital communications at a level far exceeding that of the novel 1984.
It all fits together, you see. The perversion of the notion of "security" has allow America to turn into a violent, intrusive society lost in confusion over the purposes of its freedoms. We've let terrorism dilute our right to privacy, and we've let gun violence dilute our right to personal security.
The real patriots in all this are people who can see clear of the hard-assed, shortsighted rhetoric of gun zealots and opportunistic politicians profiting from the military-industrial state. We need to stop this type of fascism with words, with resistance and with support of social justice over prejudice and power.
Otherwise it's and ugly scene, and we'll all be shooting each other over XBoxes. Because we can.
So, here's a little going away present for those who have gotten incensed by reading this essay. Take this simple test to see if you've lost your mind over the desire to own and possess weapons.
Would you shoot God in the head if he told you to give up your guns? Just asking.
Because that might be the last test we can administer to determine if you feel that gun rights trump all others.