Point of View Columns

The United States of Gun – Part II

It is said that history repeats itself. It is an overused phrase that sadly applies to these United States and its love-death relationship with guns. The following words were written exactly two years ago in September 2013:

“The Teapublicans and the right wing of the right wing are adamant in their defense of what they contend is their constitutional right to own an unlimited number of guns. And on the Planet Teapublican that right even extends to what are in essence hand held weapons of mass destruction.

Even the most common sense proposed limitations, such as background checks for mental illness and criminal records are met with outrage and implacable opposition. The fact that gun massacres with multiple deaths upon multiple casualties have become a part of the American way of life is met with a call for more guns in the hands of more Americans.

What is peculiar about this adamant and absolute Teapublican defense of the right to bear arms is that it does not extend to the right to vote. The same right wing avatars that are incapable of compromising on any limits, controls or oversight regarding the right to possess firearms have no problem with the multiple barriers to voting that are being erected across this country. In fact, the same Teapublican legislatures that trample even modest gun control proposals into dusty fragments are the same legislatures that are passing voter suppression laws the likes of which have not been seen since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In North Carolina, for example, new voter suppression laws have been passed with the express purpose of making it more difficult for minorities, the elderly and the young to vote. The fact that representatives of these demographics are not part of the Teapublican base of support is not coincidental.

And so, we are now witness to the irony that it is easier for a black man in North Carolina to own a gun than it is for him to vote. Somehow the predominantly white Teapublicans in North Carolina and elsewhere fear black people who vote more than they fear black people who own guns.

The naked illogic of this situation should be obvious as the exercise of the right to vote is far more important to the preservation of democracy and democratic institutions than individual gun ownership. Unless you believe that there are federal black helicopters about to lift off and come and take you away, voting presents a far more effective and rational way to establish and promote policies.

Say what you will about the Teapublicans, but they have managed to turn selective hypocrisy into an art form. Somehow, in this house of malevolent mirrors, the right to bear arms is an absolute right that should not be subject to any limitation whatsoever.

However, even though the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that a woman has a constitutional right to choose an abortion, the Teapublicans in many states have taken so many steps to limit that right to choose that this right is rendered virtually meaningless.

While the right to own guns, rifles, shotguns and assault weapons is inviolate on the Planet Teapublican – the right to vote of minorities, the elderly and anyone who is not a reliable supporter of the Teapublican Commandments can be modified and limited to make their right to vote virtually meaningless.

Indeed, to an observer from another country, it would seem that the only right that is absolute in the Teapublican Constitution is the right to own a gun. And it may be only a matter of time before this country is properly renamed ‘The United States of Gun’.”

As we prepare to watch another set of somber official mourners march to the gravesides in Oregon this time, we know for certainty that this will not be the last time that mass murder stains the pages of another day in this country’s history.

We can only hope against hope that, amidst the gunfire and the relentless hail of bullets, at some point sanity and self-preservation will inform the national discourse on the subject of guns.

Clearly we have yet to reach that point. And while we wait the body count continues to rise.


3 thoughts on “The United States of Gun – Part II

  1. Tyrone Byrd says:

    When kids or relatives of the NRA cohorts , including those at the US Congressional level,are murdered, perhaps that will strike a nerve to do something about gun control laws. Just maybe although it did not work for the AZ congresswoman who was shot.

  2. Eugene Pursoo says:

    Let me first join the people who appreciate and value all lives in expressing my condolences for, not only the latest, but all the tragic loss of lives through through this malady that infects our society.

    Wallace, you use of the term teapublican is interesting. Whenever I come across the tea party in the media, I lament main stream media’s refusal to acknowledge what the teapublican party really is – a racist group. Remember the Boston Tea Party was a revolt. This Tea Party was born in revolt against the election of a black man to the Presidency of the USA. It was not against any of his policy/s, it was against a black man. That makes them a race-based party.

    When these Tea-baggers talk about the right to bear arms they are not envisioning themselves using guns against their kind. We do not have to guess the images that are in their minds. Racism have created of them all – sick minds. Their sickness might be different from the sickness of the deranged minds that commit the horrible slaughters but the racist sickness of the Tea-baggers’ minds facilitate the murderous act of the other sickos.

    The truth is 1) all lives are not valued equally and tea-baggers party makes that very clear; and 2) dating back to slavery we have been too casual on behavior that put exorbitant profits (e.g. from gun sales) above the lives of people. The disgusting usual response to gun slaughters is to hold more discussion on gun control. Everyone knows that is simply “spinning top in mud”. Whether Republicans,teapublicans or Democrats, they are all part of the same game of unconscionable profit and growing inequality. As ordinary people, even if we feel we cannot do anything about it, I can only hope we would at least recognize the stupid game – that would be a beginning to the search for change.

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