Friday, April 20, 2007

A couple of observations

First off, those who would limit the right of law abiding citizens to bear arms, or use a tragedy such as the one just experienced to stump for such an idiotic idea raises the notion of suspicious moral intent.  The notion to “strike while the iron is hot” opens you up to the accusation that you actually support tragic events so that you can further your own specific agenda.  As just a single example, who DIDN’T hear the story in history classes about the sinking of the Maine and the suspicion that a certain newspaper publisher was involved?


That said, I think it is genuinely well past time for a dialogue on a national level about the culture of society.  Guns did not create the tragedy in Virginia.  A sick culture created the monster that perpetrated the tragedy.  Guns merely gave him a tool to foist that tragedy on all the rest of us when the alternative may have simply been an angry 30-something guy going apeshit with a baseball bat on some other guy.  The point is that this guy was going to do what he did—that is, lash out and be destructive to himself and others.  But what happened didn’t have to involve 32 other people.  I’m not sure I can say that we can fix society to the point where there aren’t cretins, sickos, and abominable monsters roaming the streets with us, but we can work to limit their ability to project their sickness at others.

Am I saying take guns off the street?  Certainly not.  Absolutely not.  Cold dead fingers and all that.


But there is a broader concept to consider.


How is one man with a pistol, or 2, or a closet or trunk full of them, reasonably considered a “well regulated militia”?  The police surround my house, I have a gun and yell out the front door “I’m not coming out.  I’ve gots my family and I gots my guns and I ain’t comin’ out!  You pigs just gonna have to go or kill us all!”  How is that a well regulated militia?  It’s not.  It’s one nutter with a gun.  It’s one nutter with a gun legally, at that.


Well regulated militias keep us safer.  They’re called police, citizen’s patrols, and civil defense divisions.  Lone nutters with guns make us less safe.  Well regulated militias answer to authorities and chains of command.  Well regulated militias function based on specific rules of engagement.  Well regulated militias are trained. 


Lone nutters answer to no one, function on no rules of engagement, and are sporadically trained if at all. 


Lone nutters do not make us safe.  Me, on my own, with a gun in the house for any purpose other than russlin’ up some grub, does NOT make my family safer.  I’m not going to be protecting the family from an intruder with a gun if I have it properly locked away with a safety lock.  Intruders don’t wait for you to go to your gun safe, unlock the door, and remove the safety lock from the trigger of your gun after they break into your home.  They kick in the door and, if you’re home, put a gun in your face (if they have one) and start dictating the way things are going to be.  And if they don’t have one, you can damn sure bet they’ll get yours.  I have a better chance at protecting my family by throwing one of my cats at an intruder and going for a baseball bat.


So, since the solution is not more guns—guns for everyone, here’s your social security card and your pistol.  And the solution is not NO guns—cold dead fingers and all that.  Maybe the solution is simply a “well regulated militia” as it says in the Constitution’s second amendment.  It could be as simple as that.  When you buy a gun you must declare which militia you’re a member of.  These militias are registered with the states—NOT THE FEDS.  There would be criteria and compliance rules for each militia that involve training, maintaining member data bases, etcetera.  Just like with any other non-governmental organization, if your militia has a problem with compliance they can lose their license to operate.  If a member lets his training certification lapse he loses the right to identify with the militia and to perform his militia duties—just like when a doctor or lawyer lets his certification lapse or loses his license for one reason or another.  The militia would be obligated to report the individual, just like the AMA or Bar reports doctors and lawyers who are non-compliant.  Or the police with rogue officers.  Failure to do so might mean a de-listing of the militia.


That just makes good sense.


A well regulated militia can keep us safer.  A well regulated militia does NOT infringe our rights to bear arms, but rather insures that right and helps insure public safety.  2 roaming gunmen will not keep a neighborhood safe from gangs.  A well trained citizen patrol of 5 or 10 very well might keep gangs out of town completely.



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