In my recent travels to eastern Kansas (which is quite beautiful, by the way) my wife and I stopped for a snack along the way at a Subway in Missouri Valley, Iowa (which is not so beautiful, by the way). As I sat there eating my healthy sandwich I watched a paunchy, middle-aged man and his thin, mousey wife enter. They had arrived in a large SUV (which has to be an expression of his insecurity, I figure) and he sauntered in wearing a black tee-shirt with the slogan: “The Second Amendment: The Original Homeland Security.”
Now I confess I have a thing about tee shirts with in-your-face slogans written on them — though I do love the funny tees — and this one gave me pause. After all, the second amendment is about forming a militia and Homeland Security was formed, ostensibly, to fight terrorism after the Twin Towers were destroyed. So I am wondering: how can a militia be effective in fighting terrorism? How will a number of eighteenth century muskets — no matter how many — fight off huge planes piloted by zealots determined to fly them into tall buildings? What on earth is this man thinking? But, I jest. It occurs to me that this is imply one of the millions of slogans put out there by gun aficionados to affirm their “right” to bear arms. I assume this man has a SUV full of automatic weapons and the next time he sees a plane headed for a tall building he plans to open fire — with his mousey wife urging him on. Or something. It’s not clear what people like this are thinking — if, indeed, you can call that thinking.
In any event, it is time the defenders of the second amendment to the Constitution buy a copy of that document and sit down and read it. As I have noted before, it’s not about the right to bear arms. It’s about the necessity to form a militia in lieu of a standing army. But I will stop kicking a dead horse since those who read these blogs are getting tired of hearing me go on about what that document actually says. And it is not even a little bit likely that men like my middle-aged, paunchy freedom fighter will ever actually read the document or, even if he did, that he would understand what the Second Amendment actually says. So I suppose I should take solace in the fact that my country is now protected by well-armed, paunchy, middle-aged men who drive gas-guzzlers filled, I imagine, with automatic weapons and I need no longer fear terrorism. Boy, what a relief!
Never stop preaching the concept of reading and reading this document, specifically. I was thinking the other day if we continue to widen the gap the between the “haves and have nots,” the people who should be worried about the “have nots” with guns are the “haves.”
“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” — (with weapons!)
I love this. I, too, am tired of hearing about what the second amendment is not! I just saw in an ad this morning that Barnes and Noble has a nice leather bound edition of the Constitution. I just wish some of them would pick it up and read it, like you say.
I was thinking about this the other day – my inspiration was a question on “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” so please forgive. Since some believe the constitution was divinely inspired, why did the words “in God we trust” not get added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954?
To Emily’s point, also if people actually read some of the stuff in the bible, they would not quote it so often as the gospel truth.
“…it is time the defenders of the second amendment to the Constitution buy a copy of that document and sit down and read it… – even if he did, that he would understand what the Second Amendment actually says.”
well stated. i also enjoyed your closing sentences! that man would probably send his mousy wife in the lead while ‘covering’ her from a safe distance!
Reading the actual document, and understanding what it really says, are capabilities far beyond many of the “second amenders.” They’d rather get their information and understanding from Fox News, El Rushbo, or even Ted Nugent. They’d be the last ones to ever let facts and truth get in the way of their mindless diatribes.
But thats not to say we should give up. The numbers stupids out there are increasing, but even if there is only one mind to save, we need to keep speaking up, to keep writing.
Thanks, Barney. I dare say I will keep up the din!
Hugh, good blog as always. Next time you go that way and get off the interstate at Missouri Valley, I’d recommend a short trip to the east through the Loess Hills, some truly beautiful landscape/scenery. I think in the town of Missouri Valley there is a terrific visitors center/interpretive center that is the gateway to the Hills. We have taken that trip a couple times. Very much worth it.
Now, back to the discussion … my vote is that if a person wants to bear arms they must be in the National Guard (present-day militia) at all ages, all times, ready to be called to active duty whenever needed.