How often we will continue to be in front of our television crying in agony because another father and mother suffer the loss of a child killed by a random bullet? Are we totally incapable and powerless to stop the madness? Did we lose the capacity to empathize with suffering families? How long are we going to allow the powerful weapon industry to manipulate our constitution in order to mislead a majority of Americans? Have we sold our values and moral judgment to an organization that pretends to represent us but instead do the dirty work for the seemingly omnipotent gun manufacturers and merchants? How long are we going to allow them to speak for us? Can we continue to turn a blind eye to where the money leads? Is the Constitution establishing the rules of an unlikely and unimaginable new nation the reason for that country’s unstoppable violence and eventual collapse?
The answers are blowing in the wind but we are rendered disable to grasp them and much less to act upon them. The killings will continue, the degradation of our planet will continue, and the concentration of political and economic power will progressively erode our valued Democracy and convert our government into a tyrannical corporate Oligarchy. Is this a cynical opinion? Maybe, but it is happening before our blind eyes and impotent will.
Those who feel strongly about arming themselves with powerful, destructive weapons in order to defend the Constitution against our government are fatally undervaluing the power and purpose of that constitution. The Constitution cannot be effectively defended from the government with guns because the best defense is its content. We must go back to our High School Civic textbook, we must read the content of that precious text, and we must follow its directions. We must appreciate its gift of organized, responsive, limited power and its promise of liberty to a subjugated humanity. The Constitution of the United States of America is the best defense against a tyrannical government, not a totally armed citizenry living in fear of bad government, producing more violence, accepting killings of children as a price of a constitutional democracy because the revered document gives us the right to own guns. A society that accepts and promotes violence, thinking that guns are the only way to combat it, is a society that will gun down itself to anarchy and destruction.
“in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” That is the unequivocal purpose of our founding fathers. The rules for governing and the list of rights were established for that purpose. What happens then when we accept and promote violence? What happens when we are lead to justify that insane attitude with “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”? What does “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” means at a time when weapons are unreasonably destructive? Can we find a rational answer in the 9th Amendment? It states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” It could be argued that the rules and list of rights cannot contradict the Constitution’s purposes in order to:
– Form a more perfect Union (not just perfect, but a more perfect – still working on it)
– Establish Justice (for all, because the truth is self-evident, that all men are created equal)
– Insure domestic Tranquility (law and order, not disturbance and violence)
– Provide for the common defense (of our life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness)
– Promote the general Welfare (free from fear and poverty)
– Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity (to this end we should “pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor”)
If we believe in the power and the promise of our Constitution of the United States of America we must use it to defend ourselves from undue imposition of government and/or the few powerful persons or groups. We must use it to demand that the government be responsive to the needs and aspirations of the governed, not to the greedy few. That was the purpose of the founding father when they painfully debated to create a document to guide a new nation.
Perhaps the most difficult and controversial question we must answer in the dawn of the 21st Century is: Are we going to allow our quixotic obsession with “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” to transcend and trample the Constitution’s overwhelming purposes as enumerated in its Preamble?
- If you are traveling to Cuba… Make a Pledge!
- How long are we going to allow the powerful weapon industry to manipulate and mislead us?
- A Century and a Half Later a Child is killed with Impunity
- Are Americans as Stupid and Ignorant as the Republican Presidential Candidate Treats Them?
- Republican majority? A disastrous misfortune