Rant of the Week
You know, I read a lot of message boards. Some have a lot of liberals; others are predominantly conservative. While both have their share of crackpots, it’s a particular breed of idiot that that makes me shake my head in disbelief. This breed would be the creepy gun owner. Now let me preface my comments with the standard disclaimer: I happen to know a lot of guys who own guns. They're normal, good guys who just like to hunt and as long as they aren't hurting anybody or breaking the law, they just want to be left alone.
The folks I'm going to rant about are these wackos who belong to some sort of gun cult. You know them, and you wish you didn't. They're the guys with subscriptions to guns and ammo, soldier of fortune, and every NRA magazine under the sun. They have a penchant for wearing army surplus jackets, and may have a poster of Ted Nugent on the wall. They have armories in their homes that would make Osama envious "just 'cuz". They're fucking nuts. It's unfortunate that traditional, quiet American patriotism has been hijacked by these Uber-Amerikans who claim to be the true defenders of American freedom. They wrap themselves up in the flags (American and Confederate), and tend to expound, however erroneously, on the Founding Fathers' wishes for the country. Quite a few of these fellows also keep calling on America to return to it's "Christian Roots", while they go out on the weekends and train to fight the always imminent U.N. invasion. It's really sad that when a lot of Americans think of the word "patriot", they conjure up the mental image of these weirdoes.
Sooner or later, if you peruse conservative boards, you'll read something posted by one of these people. Now a lot of conservatives will justify the right of ordinary Americans to own guns based on the Second Amendment. This is really the only defense you need. Most realize this and tend to argue the finer points of the amendment itself, and most discussions usually tend to center around taking a loose interpretation as most do with the first amendment, or taking a stricter reading of it. Not so our gun cultists. They have to make outrageous doomsday scenarios to sufficiently scare and incite people. The most common of these is the "Police State" line of thought, and it is the focus of this rant.
These people think that once the government takes away their guns, that martial law will be declared and bad things will happen. Seriously. Apparently, the thinking behind this is that the only thing standing between us and a tyrannical police state is a few fucking loons with assault rifles. I have no idea where they get this over-inflated sense of importance, but to hear them talk, they're our last, best, and only hope against martial law. I guess that if the government were to come and take away their rifles today, then King George himself will rise from the grave and the Redcoats will be drilling on the Mall tomorrow. Even worse, the President will take away their guns and then immediately invite the U.N. to come in and assume control of the country. It is only the lonely vigilance of these trailer bound militiamen that keep us from such a fate.
Of course, such a line of thought begs the question: What fucking color is the sky in your world? Do you honestly think that the United States government has the slightest fear of a bunch of overweight weekend warriors who run around the woods and play soldier? If the U.S. wants to overrun your rights with abandon, it'll do it whether you're armed or not. We just got through bitch-slapping the Taliban back into the mountains. Do you think you'd fare better amongst the most powerful force on the planet? So what if the U.S. were to start trying to seize everyone's rights? Are you going to take up arms against it, little man? I don't think so. You'd sit your fat ass in the chair and boast on the internet about what you're going to do if the government goes just one step further like you've done for the past five years. See, the government knows you're a pussy whose bark is worse than his bite, and it has nothing to fear from you, so your whole line of reasoning that your guns are the only things that preserve liberty is bullshit. And what if you really were to take up arms against the government? Well then, you're a traitor who advocates the violent overthrow of the government of the United States, and have just become my sworn enemy. What's a gun nut to do?
Well, first of all, realize that there's more to the Constitution than the Second Amendment. Second, figure out that the Founding Fathers, in all their wisdom, actually found a way to prevent the government from overstepping its bounds that didn't require explosively propelled projectiles. The people and their votes are the final check on government power. Active and intelligent participation in your government, starting with the vote, is the only thing that will save us from a truly tyrannical regime. Third, stop trying to force your religion into the government. Your protestations to the contrary, this is and always has been a secular nation. We just got done wiping out one fundamentalist theocracy; we don't need to set one up here.
Finally, this is a democracy. Use the tools and processes provided to us by the Founders to work within the system. End rant.