A person exhibiting behavior involving uncritical zeal and devotion for an ideology, or obsessive enthusiasm for an inanimate object such as a drug, is a fanatic. Fanaticism is not unlike addiction in that in extreme cases, an individual may become defensive or violently protective of their object of devotion, and Americans are witnessing religious fanaticism bordering on addiction from gun fanatics as the nation attempts to have a conversation to stem the proliferation of firearms responsible for the senseless shootings ravaging what should be a peaceful civilized nation. The violent reaction the NRA and so-called patriots demonstrate at the suggestion the nation needs sensible gun controls is tantamount to a protective parent defending their child from a sexual predator.
The reaction from the NRA and gun-proliferation addicts over the past week have revealed a deep-seated belief among firearm fanatics that simply talking about gun control is a cardinal sin worthy of civil war. There were three specific incidents involving gun advocates that reveal their fascination with firearms rivals familial relationships worthy of fight-to-the-death scenarios to protect a blood relative, and all over an inanimate object. It is noteworthy that there has been no discussion, or intent, on the part of the government to dispatch storm-troopers to seize firearms and imprison their owners, but one would not know it based on the rage emitting from so-called patriotic Americans defending their dog-given right to possess weapons better suited for the battlefield than an American’s home.
On Wednesday, the CEO of a Tennessee company specializing in weapons and tactical training threatened to “start killing people” if the President took any steps to move forward with gun control measures. James Yeager, CEO of Tactical Response, went on a verbal rampage in a video posted to YouTube and on his Facebook page over a report that Vice President Joe Biden suggested the President could take executive action with minor gun control measures without Congress’s approval. Yeager said, “Vice President Joe Biden is asking the president to bypass Congress and use executive privilege, executive order to ban assault rifles and to impose stricter gun control. I’m telling you that if that happens, it’s going to spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot. I’m not putting up with it. I need all you patriots to start thinking about what you’re going to do, load your damn mags, make sure your rifle’s clean, and get ready to fight. I’m not f*cking putting up with this. I’m not letting my country be ruled by a dictator. I’m not letting anybody take my guns! If it goes one inch further, I’m going to start killing people.”
Yeager was most likely reacting to reports from conservative sites equating President Obama with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin over the idea that the White House could act without Congress and impose harsh gun control measures without Congress’s approval. The President cannot ban assault rifles or close gun show loopholes of his own accord, but he can, by executive order, take lesser steps such as modernizing background checks and limiting assault rifle importation into the country, but to a gun fanatic, such steps are indistinguishable from sending their children to concentration camps.
Last week, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones went on a tirade while discussing gun control with Piers Morgan, and immediately went to a favorite talking point of conservative gun fanatics equating gun control with Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chavez seizing guns and said, “I’m here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms! The Second Amendment isn’t there for duck hunting. It’s there to protect us from tyrannical government.” Actually, the Constitution’s framers wrote the Second Amendment for a well-regulated militia with the goal of creating a strong central government with a citizens-based military force capable of putting down insurrections, not to enable or encourage uprisings. However, the NRA, gun lobby, and so-called patriots never mention that easily verifiable piece of information because doing so destroys their argument for the necessity of weapons they believe are living embodiments of the Constitution.
The NRA has humanized firearms to the point that when gun owners turned their guns in to be destroyed by law enforcement in a Tucson gun buy-back campaign, the pro-gun fanatics went ballistic, and national board member of the NRA said they may sue to stop police from destroying the firearms. Todd Rathner, NRA national board member, said he has no problem with the gun buyback, but he does have a problem with the fate of the guns once police take possession of them. He said, “We do believe that it is illegal for them to destroy those guns – the guns can be put back in circulation or given away” even though the people turning them in said it was for the purpose of destroying their unwanted firearms. In the fanatical NRA’s mind, unwanted guns are like orphaned little children worthy of a good home, and second chance at murdering human beings.
One can almost understand fanaticism over religion, political ideology, or even a sports franchise, but guns are inanimate objects that serve no useful purpose in a civilized society except for killing other human beings. The idea of civil war, or revisiting the revolutionary war, over simply talking about sensible gun controls is a fairly new development arising since the election of Barack Obama as President in 2008, and a recurring theme of so-called patriotic gun fanatics that conceals the real issue is opposition to an African American man as President. What is most worrisome are threats of civil war and revolution against the government over a discussion about controlling the proliferation of guns, and in conjunction with uncritical zeal and devotion to inanimate human-killing devices, the reality is that perhaps it is time to seize the fanatics’ guns before they really do “start shooting people” and “commence 1776 all over again.”