Johnny Got His Gun

 

 

There are several versions of the text of the Second Amendment, each with capitalization or punctuation differences. Differences exist between the drafted and ratified copies, the signed copies on display, and various published transcriptions. The importance (or lack thereof) of these differences has been the source of debate regarding the meaning and interpretation of the amendment, particularly regarding the importance of the prefatory clause.

 

One version was passed by the Congress.

 

As passed by the Congress and preserved in the National Archives, with the rest of the original hand-written copy of the Bill of Rights prepared by scribe William Lambert:

 

“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.”

 

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, then-Secretary of State:

 

“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.”

 

- Source: Wikipedia

 

 

            It’s been said by many people in the last twenty years that there are five subjects you should avoid speaking of on the internet. In no particular order they are: race, religion, abortion, politics, and guns. I doubt it’s any coincidence these are the subjects Americans seem to hate one another for the most. These issues are always bubbling and threatening to go Mount Saint Helen’s on us at any moment. So of course it’s happened again.

            Sigh… once more the issue of guns is as hot as magma in the USA.

            Oh let’s just cut the bullshit and call it like it is—guns and the public right to access them has been a major issue for most of my life. When Saint, I mean President, Reagan was nearly killed by John Hinckley Jr. in 1981 all of the simmering factions on both sides of the gun control argument came to a head. What has followed has been a train wreck of pundits and demagogues on both sides drowning out the more reasonable and responsible voices.

            So where do I stand and what am I going to say on this?

            I’m not stupid, I know that no matter what I say someone will take objection to it and probably blast some form of derision in my direction. There was a time when I would have avoided this subject or done my best to walk a middle line like so many milk toast politicians. But that ain’t me anymore boils and ghouls.

            I believe whole-heartedly in the rights of all Americas to keep and bear arms.

            WAIT!!!

            Before you either cheer and applaud me for being a REAL ‘MURIKAN or you start referring to me a psycho gun fetishist let me explain what I believe and why I believe it. At the end of this I promise you’ll be even more confused by where I stand than you are now. I aim to irritate and confuse all in equal measure.

            I respect the weapon but I do not fear it.

            I grew up around guns. From an early age I was taught that under no circumstances were guns to be treated as toys or playthings—they are weapons. At the best they are tools to be used to for target practice, but in the end a gun is designed for one end purpose, they are made to kill. Whether we are talking about animals or people in the end it’s all the same thing. How to approach, handle, use, and maintain a firearm was drilled into me from a young age.

            I had a friend that wanted to get into a very heated discussion with me a few month ago about my assertion on the nature of guns. This friend, and yes he is a real friend and a person I respect a lot, has a VERY narrow view on the issue of firearms. I think he’ll go to almost any length to justify completely unfettered access to firearms and in our discussion he said my claim that guns are designed to kill was “Bullshit” he claimed competitive target shooting is just as relevant.

            To that I say bullshit.

            I know there are plenty of people who only shoot at targets, but in the end target shooting was started as a way to train better marksmen. The reason to be a better marksman is to use the gun for its intended purpose, which is to kill. Guns are made for killing. People who shoot competitively to the exclusion of all else are the exception, which proves the rule.

            So if a gun has only one purpose in my mind why do I think we have a right to them?

            For the same reason I should be able to do drugs, be an atheist, have sex with whoever I want, and do none of those things if I don’t want to. I am an American and we are supposed to be a country based on freedoms.

            Right now the Libertarians are cheering and I’d ask them to stop.

            I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat, and I’m not a Libertarian. If I am forced to identify with any affiliation other than Independent, it would be a Socialist. Not a Communist and not a Marxist, I identify as a Progressive Socialist.

            I believe there is an implied social contract the ultra right wing never wants to acknowledge. Rampant the 100% Libertarian Capitalist style freedom is just as dangerous as Stalinist Communism. Every citizen has a duty to help maintain our society and lift up our fellow citizens. Not carry them, but give them a helping hand. We need one another, anyone who thinks our standard of living can be maintained when its every man for himself should look at wonderful places like Somalia.

            But I still think I should be allowed to buy a gun if I want.

            Something a lot of the Ultra Liberals don’t want to admit is intent follows the bullet. The adage “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is true in that a person has to pull the trigger. A gun, except under extraordinary circumstances, will not fire itself. If a person wants to murder another person they’ll find a way, but the ultra right need to admit that access to guns makes it a million times easier and that doesn’t even take into account accidental shootings.

            What we need is common sense gun laws.

            Before my gun rights advocate friends start screaming at me about “OBAMA TAKING OUR GUNS!” please allow me to invite you to be quiet. No one is taking your guns. Yes, there is a small percentage of people who’d love to take your guns, but I secretly bet a lot of them are people you support and think can do no wrong. Just as people like Ted Nuggent are a tiny minority of the gun crowd, the true “Gun Grabbers” are a tiny fraction of the control crowd. Conversely before my very liberal friends start yelling about rocket launchers and anti tank weapons for all I would like you to likewise be quiet.

            I don’t have the answers but I have a few ideas. I’m sure none of them are new to any of you, but I’d like to state them before I wrap this up. It will only take a minute and then you can commence with the indifference, the agreement, or the hate.

 

·         Universal Background Checks: I don’t want people with severe mental illness or have been convicted of violent felonies with access to firearms. I have kid’s damnit.

·         Training and Licensing: You need a license to drive a car damnit.

·         Registration and Insurance: You need them for cars.

·         Age Limits: You have to be 18 to own a gun.

·         Assault Weapons: Sorry folks, but I’m just not sure. Sometimes I say ban them and other times I don’t. I don’t have an answer for everything, or most things, or many things, or what to have for dinner.

            And that’s it, I know there are a lot of you who’ll think I go too far and those of you who’ll think I don’t go too far enough (if you get that reference you’re awesome). I won’t apologize these are the things I believe.

 

- Josh

 

 

 

LINKS:
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Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books (www.palladiumbooks.com) and Third Eye Games (www.thirdeyegames.net) before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press (www.gwspress.com). I also work for Fat Goblin Games (www.fatgoblingames.com). In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!