The MOST terrifying aspect of gun violence in America — is the mindset of most citizens that we are helpless to stop the carnage. That the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution absolutely forbids us to objectively critique gun policy and take common sense steps to significantly reduce this violent madness. (FYI — I’ve owned guns for 40 years. I respect the 2nd Amendment.)
The societal problem we face pertaining to gun violence is partly about a 2nd Amendment debate as to the Founding Fathers’ intent in writing:
“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.” 2nd Amendment, U.S. Constitution
Interpreting words written over 200 years ago by men living in an agrarian society, a century prior to the Industrial Revolution, and two centuries prior to the rapid acceleration of technology — is an exercise of corrupt foolishness IF one tries to force an extreme interpretation to justify a profit motive. George Washington himself would exclaim, “What are these 21st Century wackadoodles trying to prove by twisting Constitutional verbiage into A License to Kill?” Good question George. What are gun extremists trying to prove? They are acting on a set of beliefs articulated and perpetuated by legal contortionists hired by the firearms industry and their lobbyists. The gun propagandists are twisting Constitutional verbiage out of historical and common sense context in order to advance their commercial interests.
America’s gun violence nightmare did not grow up in a vacuum. It matured in an extreme capitalistic environment that places profit over people. It has been masterfully nurtured by greedy commercial interests — the Gun Oligarchs — so that even good, salt of the earth citizens think, “This carnage is oh, so so terrible, but it’s the price we must pay for freedom.”
Gun Greed has amassed so much wealth and power in America — it has been able to influence public opinion sufficiently to create confusion, inertia, and extremism. The forces of greed are so powerful and brilliant, that the U.S. Congress and many state legislatures actually do the bidding of the Gun Oligarchy without much fear from a citizen revolt. The gun lobby basically controls the Republican Party, which has become the most sinister cog in the firearms empire. Republican (and a few Democratic) elected officials are addicted to the money from the gun industry filling their campaign coffers — and most of them have drunk the extreme 2nd Amendment kook-aid. They pull creative power plays like gerrymandering the electoral map so that enough legislative districts provide safe havens for incumbents, who pass legislation favorable to the firearm industry. What a brilliantly corrupt, vicious cycle!
This prostitution of our democracy so beautifully illustrated by the Gun Oligarchy is duplicated by most every other super powerful industry. Just imagine — IF there was no profit motive, do you really think any credible, sensible American would be making such absurd and extreme claims about the 2nd Amendment?
Capitalism has gone awry. Our inability to produce a “well-regulated Militia” much less a “well-regulated Wall Street” — has pushed our democracy to the brink of self-destruction. Americans, so preoccupied with ISIS, fail to see the enemy from within — EXTREME GREED.
The Gun-Garchs, their lobbyists, and congressional shills control USA firearms policy. Through money, power, and propaganda, they have successfully perverted a common sense interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Their EXTREME GREED is indirectly responsible for most of the 30,000 + annual American deaths attributed to gun violence.
If you want to know who is DIRECTLY responsible for this lunacy, this USA Gun Policy that is purely a LICENSE TO KILL, just look in the mirror. Ask yourself, “What have WE THE PEOPLE done to stop this madness?”
The solution is obvious. Get off the sidelines. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Demand change. Vote REFORM. Vote the Enablers that take the corporate payoffs (campaign contributions) from Gun Oligarchs and every other powerful industry — OUT OF OFFICE.
Reform campaign finance and government ethics by passing a 28th Amendment to the Constitution. (We do not have to wait for a Supreme Court to overturn Citizens United).
We can do this. ¡Si se puede! People Power can smack down the American Oligarchs, their lobbyists, and their corrupt elected shills.
It is a matter of political will.
It is a matter of saving capitalism from itself.
It is a matter of preserving our democracy.
(Photo by Steve Rainwater)