January 21, 2013
To my friends and debate partners and others who care to read what drips out of my mind and my heart…indulge, forgive, raise a brow, or simply pass over. I welcome your thoughts; I really do.
“Rights” irony at its best. On this day set aside to celebrate one of the great leaders of this country, this century, and this planet, the pages of facebook and the blogs and the airwaves are lit up with a critical mass consumed with protecting their own right to bear arms.
I have no issue with the second amendment. I believe it was intended to protect us from tyranny and abuse. The contemporary radicals in this argument would love to have us believe we have now arrived at that point because of the audacity of a few requesting a discussion. Moreover they fear executive actions as downright threatening to them. Really?
Until the last three weeks I have never known a single gun owner who waxed on that his cache of weapons was to protect against government. These once regular folk who wanted to protect their family or those who got some cheap thrill out of killing a helpless and unsuspecting animal and hanging its head on a wall (as if that is something to be proud of …. take a Viagra instead…I digress) are suddenly a band of militants circling the wagons of anarchy. I’ve heard this kind of rhetoric somewhere before…not too long ago…hmmm…oh yeah, it is called Al Qadea. Rage and fear and paranoia of taking something supposedly sacred is worth a jihad of their own. Their histrionics are enveloped in “revolution.” The irony thickens.
Martin Luther King had a dream. A damned good one. One where human rights trumped any other. He hoped we might move beyond a society where others, less than a hundred years before thought it was their “right” to own other humans. And they tried to disguise their barbarism by rationalizing the fight was about State’s rights versus an economic policy of inhumanity.
Yes, less than a hundred years later, only two generations, people like King were still fighting. Not to own a gun or a weapon solely designed to wipe out mass numbers of people, but to vote, or eat, or get a job fair and square, or go to a decent college or sit where they choose on a bus.
Those 2nd Amendment radicals have passion all right. Good for them. Speaking out and calling for revolution. Threatening to shoot anyone who tries to pry their guns away. Irony multiplies; the only thing they are willing to die for is the right to possess an item (or many) intended to kill another.–or based on current laws–many others.
I wonder where they would be if Dr. King was sharing his dream today, for the first time? Would they be demanding time on Piers Morgan and Fox News and asking for facebook petitions to support human rights? Would they put it all on the line for real liberty…the kind that requires courage and compassion and respect and love for others?
The story today should be that civil rights, while still in their infancy, are experiencing some positive moves. To suggest that we are there is a myth. Injustice rears its ugly head in Asia and Europe and in Africa and in South America and in North Africa and the Middle East and yes, right in in the good ol’ U.S.A.
During a trip home to Florida recently I pulled next to a truck with a triple-gun rack inside the cab and a bumper sticker on window, “The South Will Rise Again!” Another sticker read, “Obama Go Back To Africa!”
I find the artifact and the sentiment often go hand in hand. To borrow an expression from a friend, this guy is a “waste of precious oxygen.” But, he has just as much right as I to take up that oxygen. My guess is that he would draw a similar conclusion about me. Gotta love the First Amendment…even if some of those that follow it (amendment, that is) are pretty bastardized; present topic at the top of the list.
My father fought and killed. He fought honorably but never thought war was honorable. He hated the idea of killing fellow man. He loved the idea of peace and justice and a life of good. He was an angry man though until just a few months prior to his death, when he found a peace with it all. He had seen a lot of death. He saw how strategic interests were used to justify removing life. It begins with and ideology and finds it message carried in and carried out with a gun.
I support the second amendment. My worry is over the motives and true self behind the radicals screaming revolution over removal of their weapons of mass destruction. Listening to them I am convinced they secretly pray for the opportunity to use them one day. It’s in their rhetoric and in their pictures.
Dr. King was asking for the most basic of rights. It took this country almost a couple of hundred years to add human rights to its sacred list. Would you triple-rackers have fought with the same passion for those rights if proposed today? Dr. King had a dream…it is still a dream worth dreaming.
Thank you, good man, for a fight worth fighting.