Okay, so everyone knows about the second amendment- the one that “guarantees the right to bear arms.” What few people know or remember is the rest of that statement: “…within a well-regulated militia.” And fewer yet know that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one rung down from the Supreme Court—has determined that in our current culture, that would be the National Guard, not, as fictional president Jed Bartlet once said, “three men with automatic weapons in a Dodge XXXXXXXXXXXX.
Okay, we’re done with whining about the unnecessary and possibly illegal proliferation of guns in America. Okay, just a couple more: Australia outlawed gun possession at the close of the last century, the law took some time to apply effectively, and since then the shootings and use of a gun in a crime have fallen precipitously. I was going to say just one more, but then I couldn’t decide from the plenitude of statistics I could throw out, and I decided against it. That’s not what I’m saying here. Here that comes.
With all the debate about gun control and especially all the fear and rumors about its possibility, no one—and I mean no one—really believes that anyone is going to pass a law forbidding further gun sales. No one, so stop saying that. Stop thinking that. I’m not going to lecture here, all I want to say is that there’s an important issue at hand about guns that no one is talking about. It’s about power, sometimes real power, sometimes the illusion of power. Doesn’t matter- it’s a seductive, addictive habit that no one is ever going to let go of.
Have you ever held a gun? If you’re uncomfortable about holding one for the first time it's almost the same as using one regularly, except for one thing. What’s making you uncomfortable is the power of what you’re holding. Whatever, be it a handgun or a rifle, it’s heavy and it feels… substantial. Substantial? What does that mean? It means that what you’re holding has imbued you with an ineffable but thrilling power. It gives the holder a sense of power, and the only difference between the first-timer and the old hand is the process of sorting out what the hell is going on in your body and mind. After a while, it’s just what it is, but it’s still a rush to put a gun in your hand. Always was, always will. It’s power.
Everyone wants to feel powerful, and some actually are, but there are many, many more who are not. But when they pick up a gun, they are powerful. It has to be primal because … I just can’t see it as a learned response. It’s too deep, too… primal. There I said it.
It’s still a kill-or-be-killed world out there, even though the kill and the prey have changed. We all have responsibilities, and we all have stress about it, and having or looking forward to having a little power right there in your hand…
And yes, it’s great for home protection, although some grieving parents would argue differently, but that’s me whining again. What I mean is that even if you’re not holding it, just having it in the house gives one a sense of security. And what is security? That you having the power to protect what is yours, and that again is… primal.
And that’s all I have to say about guns. It’s a shame that no one is copping to this addiction, but in calling a spade a spade, that’s what it is, and that’s why you’re going to have to pry guns from cold, dead hands.