Has the U.S. gone insane? A legitimate question, after it was announced that at least twenty (20) U.S. States will pass legislation before the end of 2021 abolishing any form of gun regulation. No license, no registration, and no restrictions on carrying guns in public. Total insanity, supported and driven by republican legislators who believe that catering to the fringe white supremacists is the way to regain power. They have sold their souls to the great lie of Donald Trump that he lost the election and, in the process, they hope to ride his dominance of the far right, to power of their own. Apart from totally abrogating their elected responsibilities to the nation, they appear to have gambled that currying favor with Trump will be to their advantage. They have forgotten that Trump’s only loyalty is to himself.
Today, it was reported that a judge in California just revoked the State’s decades-old ban on assault weapons. The Governor is furious, and will almost certainly appeal the decision, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on whether that appeal will succeed. Again, “has the U.S. gone insane?”
One hundred and eighty-one mass shootings have occurred in the U.S. this year. I should add that I haven’t looked at the news this morning. It might be higher. Ten people were gunned down for no reason in my local supermarket, a little over a month ago. Children in Kindergarten classes, presidents of the country, fans at rock concerts, people praying in church, clients in a massage parlor, the list goes on. With all that insanity, you might expect that public SERVANTS would be at least leaning towards some form of gun control. The opposite appears to be true. It only makes sense if you realize that the idea that legislators have a responsibility to anything other than to themselves, and their retention of power, is a myth in a major sector of U.S. politics today.
I reported in another blog that I had an interesting/frightening/bizarre conversation recently with a young man (30’s) about gun control. He stated that he needed a gun to defend himself in case Russia or China invaded the U.S. There is a blunt description of my reaction to that comment, which is culturally biased to my background, but explicit enough …. “GOB-Smacked”. How could anyone come up with such a concept, and then actually verbalize it? It speaks to the overall insanity of the gun issue in the U.S.
The current justification for removing all gun restrictions has trotted out the old lie that the 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every citizen the “Right to bear arms”. It doesn’t. It give you the right to bear arms “as part of a formally constituted State militia”. The NRA has worked for 40 years to get the last part of the wording forgotten or, in the case of many State constitutions, eliminated.
Even from a historical point of view, the gun lobby position makes no sense. In the nineteenth century, most Southern states had far stricter gun laws than they do today. Even in the Wild West of folklore, places like Tombstone, Arizona, had laws that you had to check your gun before you could enter the town. Even the NRA, before the 1970’s, actually promoted gun responsibility, gun clubs and the sport of shooting. What the hell happened?
What happened was the takeover of the NRA by gun fanatics, and their brilliant marketing strategy of charging almost nothing for membership. That created a huge following, which created a huge lobbying fund, which bought most politicians in the U.S.
I would love to say, it’s time to stop this insanity, with a sense that it might be possible. I’m not sure it is. I repeat, “Has the U.S. gone insane?”