|Charlton "From My Cold Dead Hands" Heston has been exactly that for a few years, yet no one wants to take him at his word. Long overdue is serious effort to curb the spread of guns into the warm, live hands of not only such nuts as shot up Columbine, Virginia Tech and countless post offices, but also Dick Cheney.
Guns nuts always recite "Second Amendment!" but they extract only five words, "the right to bear arms", out of context. It's short enough even for them to memorize wholly: "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." Clearly they dislike that "well-regulated" part.
I maintain that neither two Columbine students, nor one Va. Tech student, nor a post-office worker constitutes a militia, let alone regulated. OK, the Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings, Westies and Yakuza are militias, but regulated? The Amendment's context is a country's army defending the country – against armed enemies, hence the law's recognizing self-defense against a life threat. I consider this a gun's sole legitimate use.
Gun nuts always chant "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." Two brain cells say both premise and conclusion are wrong: guns should be regulated, not outlawed, and even if outlawed, the authorities too would have guns, like the police and soldiers gun nuts so ardently support.
Even they should understand: another Wild West is repeating failed history. Yet they can't wait seven days, they can't do with one gun a month, and they refuse background checks while calling themselves law-abiding – what's to hide? Their "convenience" argument is, quite simply, completely insane regarding instruments of death. They remind us that cars, purchased for convenience, kill too, but I remind them that getting a car involves a certain age, a written test, driving school, a road test, and regular renewal – imagine if that were true of guns! Actually, among well-regulated militias, it is: soldiers and officers continually train, practice and pass tests. Every gun owner should do the same: the right to bear arms necessitates the responsibility – unlike cars, guns kill by design.
We have technology that traces every gun and bullet and senses a gun's proximity to its owner's property. Robert Kennedy might say: too many gun tragedies – why? This technology isn't used – why not? Most gun nuts are also pro-life, right? Jesus would like the Bible in one hand, but not the gun in the other. That these insane, selfish, illogical, hypocritical, anarchy-favoring, Republican-voting, conservative-thinking nuts both own and use instruments of death – frequently and legally! – should scare us all.
Commentary by J. Andrew Smith, Bloomfield, NJ