The intended theme of this writing, regarding the current phenomenon of the widespread ownership and use of guns, is the puzzling question as to the nature and emotional motivation of citizens, to possess such tools, as are designed solely, for killing. In aid of the objective examination of the subject, we have, initially, elected to contrast such desire for guns, with the popular practice and utility of the ownership of a pocketknife, which, inarguably, has ubiquitous, but peaceful, utility.
The pocketknife (or “jackknife”), may beneficially, and safely, be used: in order not to damage a car key, in prying open a lid, to slice fruit and cheese, trim meat, diced vegetables, clean fish, whittle wood, cut the cord on packages, scrape surfaces, open envelopes, spear a slice of cold pineapple, and in any other number of ways, none of which, happens to be aggressive or lethal. The item is commonly, used by mainstream Americans and serves as a useful and practical, personal keepsake.
As a subsidiary, albeit, important subject, the vast number of individuals, who maintain that the American citizen has a Constitutionally, given right to own lethal weapons, are either, historically ignorant or, alternatively, have a personal or commercial interest, in intentionally misinterpreting the (archaic) language of its Art 2.
Any cursory, but objective reading of American history would dispel the argument of a purported, grant of gun rights to American citizens in the U.S. Constitution. The misreading of the phrase, “the people.” has been, intentionally, or merely, erroneously read. History reveals that at the time, following the American Revolution, there was a formidable debate between the “Federalists,” who wanted a central government, and the “Separatists,” who stubbornly argued for individual, sovereign, States. Such seemingly, intractable debate was, successfully, settled and compromised by an agreement to have, an overriding and, authoritative central (federal) government with a standing army, and separate and independent States (“the People”) with the right to an independent, armed militia. A non-biased reference to the Constitutional language, read, in the context of the history of the times, would reveal that the peaceful and philosophical “Founders,” had no intention, whatsoever, to create an armed and dangerous society, as tactically (and commercially), maintained, and misread, by the avid supporters of guns, led by the N.R.A.
We can, easily, and unhappily, comprehend, the interest of commercially motivated, manufacturers and vendors of guns, but are at a complete loss to understand the mindset of the many ordinary American citizens who desire to own these death-dealing instruments; and who are, accordingly, relegated to adamantly, insist on the erroneous interpretation of the relevant provision of the Constitution.
What bizarre motivation can exist, for the mentally, balanced, American citizen, to possess and regularly, carry an item whose utility is solely, limited to the production of bloodshed and homicide? In a culture, which highly values life, what feature, of the human persona, can account for the popular and imperative need to make of oneself, a dangerous instrument, capable of human destruction?
An extensive, perseverating, exercise of our imagination has only been capable of the attribution of two grounds of causation, viz., generalized and excessive, insecurity or fear, and the neurotic lack of normal and healthy, self-esteem. If our conclusions have validity, our abhorrence of guns and gun ownership is mitigated but only, (in light of the many tragic homicides) somewhat, by pity, and a small measure of empathy. How much comfort and assurance is actually, garnered by people carrying military, automatic, rifles, while shopping at the supermarket (as seen on television), holstered pistols, at local crafts fairs, or concealed handguns at parking lots? On analysis, it would seem truly pathetic, if not for the regular, horrific media reports of on the impact of the free and unregulated ownership of arms.
There exists no automatic rifle, nor, indeed, artillery howitzer, capable of assuaging feelings of worthlessness, or paranoiac fear. Weapons of human destruction can, however, be legally, and beneficially, outlawed, which would certainly, result in a more healthy and peaceful, American community.