I know, that is not a good way to start an essay, but I can’t help it. American citizens, as a group, show a greater lack of common sense than a lab rat. At least a lab rat, after many times negotiating a maze, will eventually remember how to get to the cheese. Most U.S. citizens rely on their politicians to tell them where the cheese is.
Before I go on, let me exclude from this essay those who do think for themselves and are capable of analyzing a dilemma to find a solution. I applaud you. I’ve always considered myself part of this group. To those free-thinking, reasonable people, I hope you will find this article amusing; I expect the remaining to be insulted but you only have to look in the mirror to find out why.
Let’s take a quick snapshot at only three topics, and I mean quick since each topic can fill a book and I don’t have the space here.
A collection of guns, including the sort of assault firearm that Bonnie Erbe complains of. Photo: user kosheahan (Flickr), CC BY 2.0 License
In a utopian society (of which this is not) only having guns in the hands of the military to protect our rights as United States citizens from foreign invaders, and not in the hands of the citizens, is a good thing. Then nobody will fear for their lives by armed crazies out there who just want to kill people. But if you are a criminal, I’ll bet you will find a way to get a gun. Or maybe you will change to machetes or baseball bats to do the job. Guns do not kill people, people kill people. If I typed a curse word here, would you take away my computer? If somebody used a baseball bat, would you outlaw the National Pastime?
Guns are only the means to an end. It’s quicker and uses less energy than a machete so it’s the weapon of choice. Then there are the politicians. Refer back to my opening remarks, there are smart ones and there are dumb ones. In order to lessen the killings by guns, the Chicago administration instituted stricter gun control laws, stricter than any other city in the country. The result, Chicago replaced Detroit as the homicide capital of the U.S. and is on its way to a new homicide record for 2013. Honest people can’t easily own guns in Chicago so the bad guys out number them. The number of weapons in the hands of the bad guys probably out number the police force. Way to go, pols! How about those Chicago citizens? Do you really think that the gun control laws are helping you? Maybe it’s cleaning out the garbage since the killings are supposed to be largely within the gang element, at least that’s what the politicians say. But tell that to the family members of slain victims. If the politicians are so smart, why don’t they find a way to remove the guns from the criminals? Maybe if they ask nicely? That’s how our government is handling Iran.
P.S., Texas relaxed their gun control laws and their gun crime went down. The bad guys just don’t know who’s packing! A 78 year-old grandmother here in Tennessee recently held three would-be robbers at bay with her licensed hand gun until the police could arrive. Really happened last week. Only local media carried the story as a human interest piece. Doesn’t fit into the national political narrative so it probably never hit the news wires.
Religion and Government
Last time I looked, the atheists of this country were a minority. What changed that? Why do we have to remove “In God We Trust” from any governmental building, sign, money, etc.? Wasn’t our government established by God-loving fore-bearers? Were they wrong back in the 18th Century? Don’t you have the right to honor or not honor your God, or to believe or not to believe? If the believers out-number the non-believers, then tell the non-believers to just shut up. What are you atheists afraid of? This political correctness will ultimately doom our once-great nation. What is professed isn’t a bad thing. “Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not steal,” and the remaining eight Commandments are good things to believe in. If the political leaders of Iran, North Korea, etc., truly loved their neighbors, we wouldn’t need weapons of mass destruction. I’ll bet their citizens just want to live their lives and don’t care if they have nuclear weapons . . . just food on their tables. But politicians wouldn’t have the power they grave. Many citizens of North Korea do not have access to the free world press (oxymoron here) so they believe when their government tells them that Americans will eat their babies. And if they don’t believe, they disappear. It makes believers out of the masses.
I don’t profess to know the answer to this and I think nobody really does. I’m a practicing Catholic so that let’s all know of my thoughts on the subject. But for me to tell someone else what they should do with their bodies, will just make me a liberal politician. Not a good thing for what I thought was a free-thinking society. I will deal with my Maker when my time comes for any bad thoughts I might harbor on this subject and that will be my problem and not one I will enforce on others.
However, I see a similarity with gun control here. Let’s remove the “guns.” Maybe if we made all males eunuchs at puberty, while figuring out how to harvest all the sperm from their young bodies, and cryogenically preserving the little swimmers, they could still be fathers. (“. . . be fruitful and multiply,” Genesis 35:11) but there wouldn’t be any more rapes! No baritones, either. At least the rapes could be enjoyed for what they are (by the doers) with no fear of repercussion (by the do-ees).
I know, I know, it doesn’t make it right. But don’t you see the similarity with gun control, if all males were eunuchs, rapes would increase ten-fold since there wouldn’t be any “residual problems.” The act would become our new National Pastime! And honeymoons will be strictly for sightseeing since all the stuff normally done on honeymoons would be old hat by both parties. (You mean you went to Niagara Falls and didn’t see the water?)
Maybe the real answer is in the short story by Philip K. Dick, which became a movie, “The Minority Report.” If our politicians were all-knowing, in all 190+ countries of the world, they would know what we were going to do before we did it and then tell us how to behave and live our lives. Oh, wait! That’s exactly what they are trying to do.
Woe is us!