The above meme came up on my Facebook feed. Of course, I have seen it before; but, today, I had a reaction to it.
Don’t worry gun toting activists, I got the logical comeback covered: “But, teh Contitution don’t give anyone the rite to have ta drive a car or use asparin. Ain’t no writes in the Constipation you get to have fertilizer or wear shoes!”
And then I started falling down the rabbit hole of “No one thinks we should outlaw cars when some drunk driver kills someone!” Nah, of course not. But, when given the opportunity, drunk drivers are arrested BEFORE they commit manslaughter. And, tests demonstrating understanding of driving laws and safety, as well as the ability to drive appropriately are required before a license is given to operate a vehicle. On top of that, younger folks must take a class and are given a probationary license with more restrictions on driving privileges (at least in Wisconsin).
Forget not the concept of speed limits, safety belt laws, and getting pulled over for having the little light above your license plate malfunctioning. Oh, and having a driver’s license doesn’t automatically grant the privilege of operating a motorcycle, semi-truck, or vehicle engaged in commercial chauffering. Hmmm… I wonder if that last one is still true (again, at least in Wisconsin) with Uber and Lyft.
So, no, many do not make the connection that cars should be outlawed when someone operates one with malicious intent. Just as many gun control advocates are not suggesting that all guns need to be outlawed in order to enact some efforts to curb gun violence.
And the Constitutional argument is so stale. Anyone that believes that to be a valid argument is just plain stubborn. For the sake of “duh, like what,” here are just a few concepts: technological advances not fathomed in 1789, slavery, women’s right to vote, term limits, etc.
The idea that citizens’ right to bear arms will prevent the gub’ment from abusing its authority only makes sense if citizens are able to keep a couple million dollar tanks or jets or missiles and maybe a nuke or two to fend off an elected official turned tyrant. Well regulated militia, my ass. Listen kiddos, comma rules are important, since the most recent Supreme Court ruling on an individual’s right to bear arms hinges on the grammatical particulars and phrasing of the Second Amendment. As far as that court was concerned, “In order to form a well regulated militia,” is just a meaningless introductory phrase that could be used just about anywhere without impacting the context of a sentence. Let’s try some examples.
“In order to form a well regulated militia, the right to wear shoes shall not be infringed.”
“In order to form a well regulated militia, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.”
“In order to form a well regulated militia, lather, rinse, and repeat.”
“In order to form a well regulated militia, I’d like to super-size my combo meal.”
Yep, those are all grammatically correct and make absolutely sense. Using that phrase does not impact the meaning of the second part of the sentence. Clearly, well regulated militias have no purpose regarding whether or not I’d like to super-size my fries and Coke. I just like throwing unconnected phrases together. Like:
“In order to lose weight, I eat fourteen super-sized meals a day.”
“In order to drive a car, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.”
“In order to fertilize a field, shoes must be removed before going through the metal detecter.”
“In order to combat gun violence, thoughts and prayers shall be sufficient.”
Yes, it’s true I personally don’t like guns. It’s also true I currently (and legally) own and possess at least three firearms. None of which I purchased from a reputable (or disreputable) firearms dealer, waited three days to acquire (since I didn’t express or act on any desire to possess them), have my background checked for, or have any great need to quickly get them out of my possession.
If, however, I needed to conform to some act of background check; license process; mental, emotional, or physical fitness test, I’d surely prioritize resolving that issue, because, like most citizens, I strive to follow the laws of the land.
I don’t have a meth lab in my basement, a weed patch in my backyard, solicit prostitutes, or drive when I’ve had too much to drink because I could face consequences that I’d rather not suffer.
Aha! Say the gun advocates, “But people who are going to break the law aren’t going to follow laws, you stoopid libtard.” No shit.
But, that’s your argument!? I can’t even begin to understand devotion to that belief.
So… wouldn’t that mean all laws are pretty much stupid and useless? Or… the ability for authorities to step in and check, prevent, or apply consequences is impossible? I mean, does anyone really slow down when they see a cop on the road? Or blatantly stand on street corners advertising “Crack sold here” with neatly packaged vials lined up under neon lights? Are drunk drivers arrested merely because drinking a beer while cruising down the road is so much more dangerous than doing the same thing with a can of Coke? I’m pretty sure the reason is to prevent injury before it happens without stifling the rights of most people to tie one on. Just like rational gun control has the ability to prevent injury before it occurs without stifling the rights of most people to own, carry, or use a gun for recreational purposes.
Seriously. I’d like to believe that most people would take issue with a parent that shoots up heroin and leaves used needles and a bag a smack in easy access of a toddler… maybe to the point of even reporting it. Hell, what about just giving a two year old a couple of shots of Whiskey, maybe even a fifth, each night? Problem? Live and live? None of anybody’s business?
I have no idea why the meme got to me tonight.
Well, sure I do. It’s that most gun enthusiasts I know wouldn’t have a problem adhering to and passing reasonable gun control laws. The conviction of those advocates to refuse any sort of effort to curb gun violence causes me to wonder, “Wait, what? Are you saying you have the potential to intentionally commit or are likely to accidently commit an injury to yourself or person? And you want to make sure you have the ability to do so? Um… and you want me to be cool with your potential to intentionally commit an injury or likely chance there’ll be an accident with your gun?” I can’t do it. I simply can’t find a way to have that make sense.
“Damn straight! I fully intend to hurt another person that comes after me!”
Gah! That reaction would be a prime example of stubborn devotion to belief. I get it. Self-protection is a valid reason to want to own a gun. And the remarks made in the paragraph above the previous does not contradict or challenge that line of reasoning.
If a person is able to demonstrate the mental, emotional, and physical fitness required to appropriately operate a firearm without causing oneself or another person undue injury, what’s the problem? If a person is unable to do that, what’s the problem with saying, “Try again when you can?” And, what exactly would be the problem of preventing someone who is incapable of displaying mental, emotional, or physical fitness to handle a gun without causing injury?
“Well, who’s going to determine if I’m fit enough to hold gun?” Jesus Christ. Anyone with that concern is way too paranoid. The same people that determined 65 MPH is an appropriate speed. You can drive faster safely? Bravo. I’m sure you’ll pass a firearm fitness test. If you can’t, and you get caught, face the consequences just like if you get caught doing 57 in a school zone when kids are present. Don’t like it? Take it to court? Still don’t like the outcome? Tough shit.
Most sane people agree that driving 57 around a school shouldn’t be done. Most sane people should be able to agree on gun control measures that will prevent many impulsive, accidental, reckless shootings.