The national hysteria over potential, modest regulation of firearms brings to mind an eight-year old, who eats at McDonald’s every day, three times a day, wailing in fear of not getting enough McDonald’s. I’m not quite sure what more ‘freedom’ these people want? Tiny guns delivered with a smile in their Happy Meals?
My neighbors are fond of shooting. And for the record, I’m against any legislation banning silencers. In fact, I’d make those mandatory. I live in what should be a peaceful, beautiful little valley; but apparently there are violent insurgencies happening all around me. I take my morning cereal in body armor.
The two groups are equally mystified with each other: The People With Guns, and those of us trying to survive The People With Guns. The gun people are incredulous that those of us without would put ourselves in such imminent jeopardy of personal injury and federal tyranny. Those of us without guns are incredulous that our could-be-the-cousin-of-Will Ferrell neighbor is a) still alive, and b) truly sees himself taking on a federal armored column at some point. Such an ambition only really requires a handgun – after all, you’re just making a statement, right? Just pop a few caps at that tank, and then, really, from that point on, you can just kind of relax, can’t you?
According to Pew Research, more than 85% of Americans would like to close the gun show loophole, and require background checks on private sales. The other 15%, God bless them, apparently have never shopped at Wal Mart. It doesn’t take a thirty second glance around Wal Mart to determine that some of our fellow citizens can’t be trusted to manage their own jeans well, let alone devices that emit lead projectiles at 600 MPH with the touch of a finger.
Freedom isn’t free, and the freedoms established in the Bill of Rights aren’t absolute, either (now, take a minute to gently wipe from the paper the coffee you just blew out of your nose, because you’re going to want to read this next part):
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” That’s pretty clear. Congress can’t prevent me from practicing any religion I choose, right? Great! My religion is called The Church of Not Getting Shot, and my temple is from coast to coast, and from Mexico to Canada. So put away yer squirrely guns, fellas; I have established my religion, and that’s that!
What – that’s not ‘that’, you say? But we’ve established that no one can prevent me from exercising my religion! What’s that you say? That I live in a society? That other people have rights, as well? You’re suggesting, then, that the First Amendment – a part of the Bill of Rights, with the other ten – isn’t absolute? Why, that’s nothing short of tyranny! I’d shoot you, sir, if my religion didn’t prevent me from doing things that might get me shot!
But you get the point. See, an F-16 fighter jet is technically a gun. It’s just a big, flying gun. A tank is a gun on treads. A bazooka is a giant gun that comes with chewing gum and a little comic.
We don’t allow people to have these things, regardless of the Second Amendment. Why not? Because, while Will Ferrell next door may be a great shot, I’m not convinced that he could land the missiles he fires from his F-16 entirely on his own property, that’s why.
And I have a natural, inherent right to basic survival that doesn’t need to be written into the Constitution.
Sean Shealy is a progressive activist, radio host and author of “Corruption & Cover-Ups of the Bush White House Unmasked” and “Killing Limbaugh.”