Is it just me, or has the old GOP dramatically changed? Thought they were patriots, but now they talk of ‘us’ against ‘the government?’ If they are not for our form of government, just who are they for? What this Democrat reads in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence seems to say something other than what I see happening around me. Some people, that refer to themselves as Tea Party GOP seem to want to restart the Civil War! It is history; a horrendous period in our nation, when brother killed brother; something we swore we would never again repeat. We are all Americans first or we are not a nation, at least not the United States of America.
This irrational fear of each other, this fire which some in media circles seem to delight in fanning, the whole ‘us vs. them’ thing, apparently includes our need of lots of guns to protect ourselves from each other, along with being ready to go against the government if it gets out of hand, which they warn may happen at any moment!
The Second Amendment, as it relates to our time, talks to me of a ‘well-regulated’ militia made up of citizens who feel the call to participate; to ‘protect and serve.’ When I look around me, I see our community’s local police, our National, and Coast Guard. These are citizens, brothers, sisters, and neighbors, who are armed, well-trained, and supervised, with the intention and mission to protect us. We as tax payers pay for their equipment, and salaries. Bingo! Second Amendment met.
But what about the hunters? They can have guns? Any real hunter I have ever met is OK getting a hunting permit, showing an ID and bringing along the weapon ‘singular’ that is planned to be used. The fees collected are what pay for maintaining the reserves, with permits reflecting where there are too many deer & not enough mountain lions.
Shooting for targets? Plenty of ranges around. Show ID & gun, or rent. Every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, and your crazy uncle Fred, do not need to store weapons in their homes, and pack concealed ‘heat’ wherever they go. I personally would like to shop or go to the park, with my grandchildren, thinking NO ONE near by is carrying guns, unless it is a well identified officer of the law.
There really isn’t any good reason for the amount of guns in this country in this crowded day and age. We already did the ‘wild wild West’ thing and decided it didn’t work. Eventually most towns decided when you came into town, individuals had to leave their weapons at the sheriffs office. The police I think could do a lot better job at keeping the peace, if they didn’t have to imagine an arsenal behind every door, a gun in every purse, and under every jacket! We really don’t want them ‘trigger jumpy’ and they shouldn’t have to be! They could de-militarize a bit too, if it was only they who had military style weapons, and if armor piercing bullets were not being sold to anybody with the cash!
We either trust our government, and our elected officials to run it, or we vote and get out in the streets until we do What won’t work is trying to take on the government, or the police, in armed combat! That type of war is one that ‘we the people’ could never win, not today. Storing up guns ‘just in case’ is fantasy. The strongest most armed military has already been created. They are ‘our’ troops. They are also family and Americans.
This whole ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ crap has no place in the America I know, and that is what makes the ‘American Dream’ thing so cool, and worth standing up for. It is what team has the best ideas for all of us! It is not that there are teams, but that we are all playing by the same rules. The winners are those who listen the best, come up with the best solutions, and want the best for all Americans.
When the day is done, it is just us! There is no ‘them’ and to continue to try and divide us is un-American, if anything is. Journalists and commentators have to stop playing up the ‘he said, she said’ drama, pity, ratings parties. Takes away the focus on what really matters. What are the issues that affect the majority of Americans? What is critical to our survival as a nation? What do our people need to thrive? That’s what needs to be talked about. We need to be smart, and honest.
To continue to separate North from South, city from rural, male vs. female, gay vs. straight, and yes, dark vs. light, we will eventually disintegrate what really could have been a great nation which not only talks a good game, but practices what it preaches. The rest of the world might take notice if we set an example of what democracy, and peace looks like. To do otherwise makes us hypocritical; to be pitied even if feared.
A ‘we the people’ type of democracy will only work if we truly are equal in the voting booth. That is where we start. Every vote counts. The ‘right to vote’ is the very basis of our democracy. Every year it should become easier and easier. If we can bank online securely we should be able to vote as well. The questions I suppose we need to ask ourselves is do we really want America to be the best possible? Do we as a nation want to be all that we can be? Do we want a country that is improving every generation, for all of our children? Or, do we want us to only talk about certain inalienable rights, but not live by them?
We are way more alike than different. We love our families, want them to be safe, healthy, and have an opportunity to thrive. We are all human. Think about it.