By MARC McDONALD
In the aftermath of the deadly shooting that killed 27, including 18 children, at a Connecticut elementary school, there's one theme you can expect the mainstream media to repeat over and over in the coming days.
That is: How could this tragedy possibly happen?
Actually, there's no mystery at all.
The problem is that America has practically zero meaningful regulations on guns, thanks to the assholes at the National Rifle Association, an organization that has had great success in pushing its extremist agenda on America over the past 30 years.
The NRA's vast power is the main reason that America today has far weaker gun restrictions than it did a century ago. For example, in my state of Texas, in the 1890s, it was illegal to carry a concealed gun, unlike today. Which raises a question: how, exactly, did Texans manage to get by back in the 1890s with gun laws that were more restrictive than what we have now?
One issue that I never hear discussed when there is a tragedy like this is (ironically enough) the Second Amendment's actual text. Oh, sure, the gun nuts regularly talk about the Second Amendment in a general sense. But nobody ever actually cites the actual wording of the amendment.
There's a good reason for this. Despite what the gun nuts would have us believe, the wording of the Second Amendment is very convoluted and vague.
Here is the text of Second Amendment:
"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."
Yes, it does contain the text, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms." But the gun nuts tend to overlook the inconvenient words that precede the latter.
Gasp! Who wrote this? Nancy Pelosi?
Needless to say, the gun nuts quietly tiptoe away from this part of the amendment.
So what, exactly, does the Second Amendment mean? Does it mean that the government can pass absolutely no restrictions on guns whatsoever (as the NRA would have us believe)?
I'm sure the gun nuts would emphatically say "Yes!"
The problem is the Second Amendment's actual wording itself. I don't claim to be an expert on the Bill of the Rights. But in reading the Second Amendment, with its reference to a "well regulated militia," I just don't see that the amendment forbids any and all restrictions on arms, despite what the NRA would have us believe.
I'd suspect that most Americans would agree with me on this point. In fact, if more Americans were aware of the actual wording of the Second Amendment, I'd suspect even more people would agree with me.
Amazingly, even most gun nuts seem to be unaware of the actual text of their beloved Second Amendment. Here in Texas over the years, I've had countless conversations with gun nuts. Without exception, every time I've asked them to quote the Second Amendment's actual wording, they've been unable to do it. And it's not like I'm asking them to quote a lengthy passage. We're only talking about one sentence.
It's interesting to note that, before the massive wealth of the NRA helped that group achieve its iron-grip on American politics, starting around 30 years ago, gun restrictions were not even that controversial in America.
The fact is, even in the Old West, gun control was accepted as necessary. The f*cking Old West!
The Hollywood image of the Old West, where everyone is walking around with gun holsters is pure fiction. We live in truly surreal times when even the Old West had stricter gun laws that we have today.
Incidentally, a predictable argument of the gun nuts is always "This shooter would have been able to get a gun regardless of any gun control laws." It's an absurd argument. It raises a question: then why have any laws at all in America, if there are always some people out there who won't obey them?
Yes, a determined shooter could get a gun, regardless of any gun laws. But in the real world, a few sensible gun laws can and will reduce easy availability to guns. The entire rest of the industrialized world is my "Exhibit A" on this point.
A determined shooter could get a gun in a nation like England or Japan, regardless of those nations' strict anti-gun laws. But in the real world, few shooters do, and as a result those nations (like the entire rest of the First World) has a fraction of the violent gun crime that the U.S. has.
Note: when I've pointed this out to the gun nuts over the years, it's always their predictable cue to bring up the race card. "But those countries don't have as many blacks as we do," they say.
In fact, in my debates with the gun nuts over the years on the various woes afflicting U.S. society, they always bring up this point as a last resort. "But America, unlike Europe and Japan, has black people!" they always claim.
This last point confirms my belief about a lot of these NRA/GOP types. They're racists, pure and simple. They prefer to scapegoat other people for all of America's problems. It's always amusing listening to them vehemently deny that they're racist. I mean, these are the same people who pollute their minds with Rush Limbaugh's racist filth, day after day and then claim that they don't see anything racist about Rush.
OK, I will concede one point. Yes, it is true that, for various reason, per capita, black people do more gun-related crime than white people do in the U.S. But if you do the math, this still doesn't account for the staggering disparity in violent gun crime rates between the U.S. and the rest of the First World.
So my message to the NRA gun nuts is this: take your extremism and ram it up your ass. (And do the same with your racism).
Oh, and despite what you retards believe, Rush Limbaugh is in fact a racist piece of sh*t. So is any gun nut who claims that America's shockingly high gun violence rates are mainly because of black people.
Thank you, NRA. The blood of these children is on your hands.
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