Sunday, December 20, 2015

Romanticizing Guns – Don’t be so sure of your Amore

Guns, how some people lose all perspective at any consideration of curtailing them. Frustrated and exasperated, I try to understand and seek the psychology behind such irrational thinking. In my opinion, one aspect derives of over glorified historical interpretation. So I’m going to make my argument.  But the chance it makes an impact beyond my bubble are about as small as the possibility that Obama-care will provide enough penal implants to actually alleviate our gun crisis. Nonetheless…

We had a revolution. An armed populace certainly played its part, and that gets a rise out of every NRA member who lives to leave off the well-regulated militia part.

But revolution - did we really need one? Yes, the founding fathers had some pretty nifty ideas. The bill of rights and, separation of powers come to mind first. But my favorite is the protection of minority rights (or opinion), which is a crucial guard against the type of mob rule that has unraveled democracies to the present day.

On the other hand, people like George Washington took a look around the Ohio Valley during the French and Indian war and saw the opportunity to pad their patriotism with some sort of monetary successor to English poundage

And how much did they really care about having the consent of the common man when one man, one vote applied only to property owners. Still, a little democracy is better than none, and ours continues to evolve.
But patience wasn’t necessarily providing a murderous platform for Pol Pot or Stalin. The colonists were subjects of the crown and not being bled dry like South Africans at the bottom of a diamond mine. In fact, according to David McCullough’s 1776, when the British soldiers came to New York, they found the richest people in the world and had no idea why there was a revolt.

Additionally, England was clearly on its own way to a separation of power. Doesn't anybody remember, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Hey, they were talking about England.

So a whole lot of people got dead because rich people wanted to be more rich. In contrast, Canada signed the British North America act in 1867 to gain their Independence.

Who says the pen isn't mightier than the saber. But that's not really the point. Gun people romanticize the American Revolution, and the flint lock when waiting out a relatively benign authority would have worked out just as well for the rank and file.

Putting aside that the NRA does the same with its members by using their dues to lobby more profits for the gun industry, let's go west.

The gun had to be an essential tool to live the frontier. Hunting and the law sparse in the vast open space, the six shooter defines independence and self-reliance. Throwing off the yoke of the eastern elites makes the nostalgia all the more noble too.

But if you remember, a whole lot of space had to be cleared of indigenous people, and the Homestead Act is nothing short of an occupying force. So you're right, guns don't kill people, people kill people. This means you’re once again romanticizing the role the gun played - this time under the guise of genocide.

Now, I wish I was in Dixie. Given that three million human beings were being held in bondage, Southerners biggest fear was the real possibility of an all-out race war. The availability of guns certainly had to help allay the fear.  The same might have been said of ending of slavery, but replacing the curious institution with terror and segregation might not have so easily settled southerners.

Instead, they clung to their guns. Any chance the underlying fear is still there? Of course not, racism is gone. The southern strong hold just wants to be able to shoot rabbits with semi-automatics and put the final bow on the just society that President Obama ushered in when he walked into the White House.

So there you are. The key historical allusions that put such a strut in your red state open carry ties to fighting a war that was far from a necessity, an imperialistic expansion that nearly wiped out an entire continent and an inbred racism that you still cannot let go of.

I’m happy to clarify this for you…You’re welcome.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

great piece Rich!