I am removing my link to Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) from OGNDY.
I joined the National Rifle Association (NRA) after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school right here in Newtown where I live almost 3 years ago. That might sound like a counter-intuitive move from a guy that by no means is a die-hard gun enthusiast. Although I am a gun owner, I don’t identify as such; it’s not who I am. Politically most people who know me would say I’m a (far) Left-leaning, liberal/progressive with a dash of Libertarianism. I wouldn’t be offended if you added some kind of Socialist to the mix.
The reason I joined the NRA was in response to the dishonest politicking that took place in the wake of Sandy Hook, nationally in general, and more specifically here in CT where governor Dannel Malloy used downright unconstitutional bully tactics to force through meaningless, feel-good legislation.
I hadn’t paid much attention to the NRA prior to becoming a member, but I quickly discovered that they were a bunch that held values so far removed from my own that I didn’t want to be associated with them.
Then I tried Gun Owners of America and dropped them quickly for the same reason.
Finally I discovered CCDL, who, on the surface seemed like a less rabid organization, a local group of people who promoted safe gun-ownership, sensible gun laws and a polite way of conveying their ideas. I made a small contribution, put their sticker on my car and linked to them on my blog
I later found out, through various interactions with other members, that the same vitriol, the same hatred, the same fanaticism that is the trademark of the NRA, also permeates CCDL, but I didn’t disown them formally and kept the sticker on my car.
After Thursday’s shooting in Oregon at he Umpqua Community College I had to ask myself why it was important for me to belong to an (any) organization that promotes gun-ownership. I couldn’t come up with a reason. There are more important things for me to do than spend time and money to support the cause of private gun ownership in America.
I’m not strong pro-gun. I’m not strong anti-gun. I’m not getting rid of my guns (even though I haven’ fired any of them in almost two years), but I could live a happy, fulfilling life if I got rid of them all this minute. However, I do see quite clearly that America has a problem with guns. There are a lot of guns out there—I’m not going to say too many, but I am saying too many in the wrong hands. I will also say that the level to which some people fetishize their guns borders on a mental disorder.
To deny that America has a gun problem is to be delusional in the extreme.
Let me be clear: I don’t know what the solution is. The reason we have evolved this gun culture peculiar to America is historical. There is no easy fix. I do know (by my own reasoning; I’m not going to link to polls and academic studies) that limiting magazine capacities, expanding background checks and imposing registration (all of which I have no objection to) will make a very small dent at best in the number of gun killings. I also know that there is an obstacle that will hinder any legislation that will significantly and within reasonable time reduce the level of gun violence. That obstacle is called The Second Amendment To The Constitution Of The United States.
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.
This is one of the most shoddily written pieces of legal text we have and practically begs for a wide range of interpretations, all the way from regulated militias, and only regulated militias (conveniently leaving out what constitutes a militia, much less a well regulated one) has the right to own guns, all the way to a free-for-all to own and carry whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want. The current interpretation (by SCOTUS, the only one that counts) is that gun-ownership is a personal, individual right. My right (and yours) to own and carry firearms, is protected by the Constitution Of The United States. Do you begin to see why gun-control reform is an uphill battle?
I cringe when I hear fellow Liberals argue against guns, argue for stricter gun control laws, cry about dead babies, and in the same breath say they’re not for bans or abolishing 2A. This is cowardly, distasteful dishonesty at best, or downright stupidity at worst.
As long as The 2nd Amendment stands, there is zero chance of any meaningful change to our gun laws. So let me be the first Left-leaning gun owner to say: I support a repeal of the 2nd amendment.
I understand that it is a next-to-impossible task, but just like the obscene amount and importance of money in politics will always stand in the way of a functioning government, so will 2A always stand in the way of meaningful reform of our gun laws.
- Get rid of money in politics or accept that our democratic institutions are bought and paid for by corporate interests.
- Get rid of the second amendment or accept that mass shootings is the new normal.
For clarity: I am not advocating banning guns. I am simply pointing out that our problem with guns can’t be solved as long as the nation’s founding document specifically lists gun ownership as something akin to a natural right imbued in us by our Creator (don’t get me started). Personally, I see no good reason for a modern, advanced society in 2015 to have such a statute on the books. In 1791, yes. 2015, no. But that’s just me.