It is with sad exasperation that we can candidly, confess to have lost count of the number of innocent American children and adults, wantonly murdered or maimed for life, by free-wheeling, gun toting lunatics, at schools, houses of worship, supermarkets, parking lots and other places of public assembly. The repetitive and innocuous, societal, benediction, “our thoughts and prayers,” has by its routine, lame, repetition, rung hollow and robotic. It is our firm view, that such homicides and crippling of innocent, hapless, citizens and their children, is capable of elimination, or, at the least, significantly, minimized. However, as we reluctantly, observe, America, generally, despite its passionate show of overt, emphatic, protestations and public demonstrations of outrage, fundamentally, have, shamefully, chosen not to do so.
The Second Amendment of the Constitution, is factually, the product of a negotiated settlement, or compromise, between the disputing “States Rights” and the Central Government (“Federalist”) proponents, granting the right of the separate States, respectively, (“the People”) to raise an armed militia. Right wing oriented, gun owners, instinctively, and eternally, disinclined to generally, champion the civil, Constitutional rights and liberties of fellow citizens, have chosen to deceitfully and immorally, maintain that said Amendment imbued every private citizen, with the rights of a “gunslinger.” At this precarious, National, moment when “truth” and factual responsibility, have, for many people, been deemed, irrelevant, (thanks, in large part to the aberrant Presidency of Donald J. Trump) such tactical misreading, is the construed, tactical and unabashed version of those, whose, skewed, neurotic priorities, are felt to exceed, in selfish and neurotically, insular importance, the empirically, responsible, commitments, associated with living in safe society, with others.
As, observed in an earlier essay, a pocket- knife has a wide potential of acceptable uses, such as, cutting string from a package, whittling, cutting fruits, peeling potatoes, sharpening wooden pencils, cutting bait and, at times, as an accessory hand tool. By sheer contrast, a gun has the sole and limited utility, of killing, or felonious assault. We are unable to comprehend any, societally mundane or, medically, sane, need for killing instruments.
The pathologically, aberrant belief, that the individual citizen needs a gun, to assuage his presumed, tenuous feeling of general fear or insecurity, is affirmatively, and profitably, promoted, by the sociopathic members of the profit making, commercial world, and, as well as the Nation’s autocratic leaning right-wingnuts. The latter category also constitutes the many, creative peddlers of the current plethora of conspiracy ideations, to those poor souls, who may generally, feel insecure and detached from empirical reality, and whose respective mind- set is irrational, and certainly, incapable of providing other than a bizarrely, skewed and pathological basis for legislation and public policy (like universal gun ownership.)
Assuming, arguendo, that toting a six-gun were an appropriate right of every American citizen we would then pose the following question. Why has the gun interest, with virtually, religious zeal, opposed, all legislation, aimed at overseeing or clarifying, the acceptable parameters of the right to own and use firearms? The universal proposition that every “right,” has its limitations is acceptably, inarguable. Regarding the universally, accepted right of “free speech,” there are legal limitations, e.g. “falsely, crying ‘fire,’ in a crowded theater, the laws of defamation, reparations for fraudulent representations, incitement to violence and the like. Yet, it is bizarre, that all reasonable efforts to regulate or oversee, the sale and use of firearms have suffered a quick, political death. This, despite the earlier, stated immeasurable number of tragic, homicidal mass shooting incidents at schools, churches and public places. It has become clear to us, that rational thought, and empathy, has been over- ridden, by atavistic inclinations, which can adequately, be described, as self- absorbed and disinterested.
We live in a Nation, populated, in the main, by too many people, including many of those benefited with advance education, whose perspective, can aptly be described, as selectively, shallow, insular and solely attuned to matters, perceived as material to their own ego integrity or perception of success. Empathy for strangers, mature world perspective, as well as aesthetic accomplishments and appreciation, literary, artistic, academic and philosophical subjects, they feel, interfere with life’s conveniences, and reduce the time for ephemeral and fleeting entertainment. Aspiration for insight to humankind and its universal struggles, or sophisticated, self-exploration, derived from fine literature, travel and other growth experiences are it appears, seldom, seen as a worthwhile expenditure of leisure time. At high school, high grades and admissibility to a “good college” is the sole currency, the aspirational goal being the pathway to a lucrative job, as tragically opposed to growth of sensitivity, maturity of understanding and hopefully, some measure of wisdom.
It is admirable, and encouraging, that modern Germany has dedicatedly and unreservedly, continued to go to great lengths, to recognize and publically, atone, for its horrendous sins, perpetrated during the Jewish Holocaust, by monuments, events and education. Concurrently, by contrast, many, in our “enlightened,” Nation, shamefully, evince fierce populist opposition, to teaching students about the dark periods in its history, like slavery (“critical race theory”) and the historic displacement of indigenous Americans. Such people are insensitive to and ignorant of a Nation’s existentially, spiritual necessity to know and heal itself. It has, incidentally, taken a full sixty-seven years to finally approve and pass, an “anti-lynching” Act.
With reference to America’s gun problem, no matter how tragic and sorrowful the many events, citizens, in general, not personally, familiar with the victim’s family may, indeed, when in public, routinely, mouth the mantra, “thoughts and prayers” but shamefully, do nothing, and move on. In addition to the homicidal mad man, du jour, we have ourselves to confront and despise.
In the poetically, insightful and aesthetic words of the memorable, Ellie Wiesel, “The opposite of love, Is not hate, it is indifference.”