It is safe to assume that no people on Earth would want to live in a violent society such as Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where armed men roamed the streets and the idea of peace and security were little more than an idealized notion. The Constitution’s drafters prefaced America’s most revered document with a guarantee that their intention in forming a more perfect union was, among other things, ensuring domestic tranquility that nations like the aforementioned Afghanistan could only imagine a fictional heaven would be like. However, there is a contingent of wealthy libertarians who are actively promoting gun proliferation to transform America into a nation where domestic tranquility, and the population’s general welfare, are figments of one’s imagination and unattainable.
Much emphasis by gun-proliferation zealots is put on the Second Amendment’s fallacious guarantee that every American has an American-defining dog-given right to unrestricted access and possession of military-grade weapons and concealed handguns with high-capacity magazines in public places, but before 1980, only five states allowed gun owners to carry concealed weapons in public; by 2012, 44 states had laws allowing concealed weapons. Under the Reagan administration’s anti-government regulation frenzy, and coupled with the emergence of a violence-promoting NRA, American Legislative Exchange Council and funding by the un-American John Bircher Koch brothers, the push to put as many firearms on American streets as possible led to six of the 12 deadliest shootings in America’s history; all in the past five years. It is no coincidence that the vast majority of the world’s worst mass shootings in developed countries have taken place in the United States, including 65 mass shootings since Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in 2009.
Last week during a Tucson Arizona voluntary gun buy-back event, the NRA threatened to take the police department to court to halt the destruction of unwanted firearms, and with model legislation from ALEC under the direction of the Koch brothers, it will be a recurring scene across America. After the tragic Sandy Hook school massacre, cities around the country have held community-wide voluntary gun buybacks for citizens to turn in their unwanted guns, but the NRA wants those guns back in circulation. Early in 2012, corporations and legislators on the ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force adopted a “Firearms Destruction Prevention Act” as a model that Arizona governor and ALEC alumni Jan Brewer signed at the behest of the NRA for the express purpose of putting as many guns on the street as possible. The concept of a heavily armed population was not the Founders intent in the Second Amendment, and until recent decades, states embraced strict gun controls today’s NRA religiously opposes as tyrannical and anti-American.
During colonial times, in states such as New Hampshire and Rhode Island, public officials went door-to-door to document “gun ownership in a community,” and Massachusetts required every gun owner to appear annually in public with their firearms for listing on a statewide gun registry. In Boston, there were laws on where ammunition could be stored, and having a loaded gun in public and in one’s home was illegal and would result in the gun being confiscated by local authorities. In the seventy years between 1790 and 1860 14 of the 20 states that joined the Union included the right to bear arms in their state constitutions, but they also enacted strict gun-control laws, most notably banning concealed weapons in public the NRA decries as tyrannical and un-American since Reagan’s administration. In the great majority of frontier towns, guns had to be surrendered to local lawmen when their owners entered a city’s limits, and even in Texas, Governor James Stephen Hogg said the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.” The NRA, Koch brothers, and ALEC will not comport a nation with self-respecting law-abiding men and have worked tirelessly to put as many firearms in American homes and streets with sustained lobbying and legislative drives to rid America of any gun-control laws. The NRA’s goal since the 1980s is in stark contrast to the original intent and purpose of the organization.
In the 1920s and 1930s, NRA leaders wrote and lobbied for the first federal gun control laws, and proposed model legislation for states including requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon, adding five years to a prison sentence if a gun was used in a crime, created a waiting period between purchasing and acquiring a gun, and proposed gun dealers turn over sales records to police; provisions the NRA vehemently opposes today. After the NRA began paying legislators to oppose any gun-control legislation, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, no liberal activist judge, said in 1991 that the Constitution’s Preamble, to “ensure domestic tranquility” allowed for new federal gun controls “if we are to stop mindless homicidal carnage” and called for new handgun regulations the NRA labels as sheer tyranny, unconstitutional, and decidedly un-American.
To garner support from gun-fanatics and dysfunctional Americans panting for a revolution since an African American man took up residence in the White House, gun extremists in Congress and neo-conservative pundits are inciting opposition to any gun control measures. A Texas Republican, Rep. Steve Stockman from Texas, threatened to file articles of impeachment against President Obama if he dared use the power of his office to address gun control, and Lou Dobbs, Fox Business host, ratcheted up the extreme conspiracy theory that President Obama wants to destroy the Second Amendment as a first step in eliminating the entire Bill of Rights.
Unfortunately for the NRA, revolution-happy gun fanatics, and anti-Obama conspiracy theorists, a recent poll reveals that 62% of Americans are in favor of banning semi-automatic assault guns and high-capacity clips, but despite public opinion, the NRA wants more guns, even unwanted guns, in circulation and they have the funding to buy the votes to defeat common sense gun laws regardless how benign or ensuring Americans live in domestic tranquility. That really is the NRA’s goal, to keep the public frightened to the point that they believe the only means of being safe is carrying a loaded, concealed handgun with a high-capacity magazine and a fully automatic assault rifle that portends America becomes Taliban-controlled Afghanistan for one purpose; to enrich the gun manufacturing industry.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.