This Article is About
guns
Guns—the Evil Within
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Guns—the Evil Within

Guns, guns, guns—Okay, let’s start with our Constitution. Our country is our Constitution—it is what Presidents and Pfc’s swear to protect and defend, it is the framework of our freedom. We can never take our Constitution for granted or discuss any changes to it without a lot of sober consideration, debate, and referenda.

However, our Constitution once guaranteed that no citizen would ever have to pay a tax on his or her revenue—that no longer applies. Our Constitution once made us free to say anything—over the years, the Supreme Court has allowed exceptions to be made in the interest of public safety (i.e. shouting ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater) and fairness (no false advertising).

There are several points on which the original Constitution can be seen to be modified, over time, in the interest of common sense. Most striking are Amendments 18 (Prohibition) and 21 (Repeal)—in that instance the Constitution was not only altered to infringe on our right to alcoholic beverages, but altered again to reverse that decision when Prohibition’s ramifications were made manifest by the organized gangsters who made Prohibition a ‘profit center’ (and a cancer on our communities that threatened to overpower civil authority).

So we see that our Constitution, while unquestionable in its immediate authority, can be modified with long, careful consideration upon the changing nature of our society—and, of course, the will of the majority and ratification by states.

Let us turn to another aspect of the possession of firearms—we citizens have many ways in which to kill each other. After the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, a decision was made to put ‘tagging’ compounds into nitrate-based fertilizer—thus allowing the FBI to track down the purchaser of this well-known ingredient of large IEDs. After 9/11, we saw good reason to severely increase security in airports. Decades earlier, the annual mortalities due to drunk driving climbed so high (and activist groups like MADD became so numerous) that the laws were changed to increase the ability of police to set roadblock checkpoints—and to change the penalties for DUI from a ‘slap on the wrist’ to actual jail time, for charges that could even include manslaughter.

So the question in my mind is, what are the ‘arms’ we are constitutionally entitled to? Rocks? Bows and arrows? Manure? Nuclear waste? Box-cutters? We have the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" as per the Second Amendment—but we have no definition of “arms”. Everyone knows what “arms” meant in 1791—the choices were few, compared to the present—but we can assume they meant muskets, rifles, pistols, and cannon. Asides from hand-to-hand combat, the Revolutionary War was fought on both sides using only those four choices. A purist might insist that the Constitution only protects our right to those 18th-century ‘arms’—not the revolvers, Gatling guns, Tommy guns, or the modern ‘assault rifles’ that, in time, would come to be. Contrary-wise, an ‘inclusionist’ might insist it refers to everything up to and including a shoulder-mounted missile.

Both of these possibilities have important ramifications. If the original framers intended to grant citizens the right to nothing more efficient than a flintlock, then we have dangerously (and tragically) exceeded their intent. But, if their intent were to make us capable of overturning our government (which would seem to be their wish) then we have had our rights grievously abridged by being denied access to tanks, artillery, fighter jets, and nuclear subs.

This, to me, seems the true crux of the question. If the 2nd Amendment was intended to give us recourse against a government that someday turns against its citizens, then what we have is a double-fail. People are entitled to walk around with dangerous weaponry (a safety hazard) but have no serious defense against a government that becomes un-representative of the will of its people (our liberties at risk).

Perhaps more importantly, the 2nd Amendment doesn’t say anything about hunting, skeet, target practice, or even home- and/or self- defense. It clearly states that we have the right to bear arms against the day when we need them to engage in a second ‘revolutionary war’ against a corrupted government. It does not say anything to imply that gun-ownership is a basic human right—it only says that the government can’t keep all the guns for themselves. And this, as mentioned above, is a moot point—our government, no matter how many gun enthusiasts this country has, faces no threat from its citizens that matches its own ability to prosecute war and persecution against us.

We’re all very proud of America. We all assume that the USA is the strongest force on earth—and we’re probably right in thinking so. But how does that square against the founder fathers’ wishes that the people should hold the government’s leash? Those first Americans were concerned with being imposed upon by government under royalty or despot or tyrant—they wanted to be sure we could fight back against such threats—that we could shoot back.

Times have changed—the modern world has iron claws and nuclear bullets—a simple handgun is of no use, other than to threaten or kill each other. So, I feel the whole 2nd Amendment aspect of the gun-control debate is not the bedrock that many gun enthusiasts seem to think it is.

However, that still leaves the issue of practical gun control. If we pass the wrong legislation, we’ll only be pushing firearms into the same black-market underworld that circulates drugs around the globe. A ‘background check’ seems like a sensible step when selling any kind of firearm—the Internet being what it is, it shouldn't be too difficult to pull that together. Mental health treatment, too, should be able to offer support for the insane—there are too many mental incompetents wandering about the streets, homeless—the least we can do is keep them from acquiring firearms. Instituting both these ‘reforms’ seems like a sensible precaution. Yet, neither of those precautions would have prevented most of the killing ‘sprees’ that have so upset society these last few years.

The sad truth is that most such tragedies involve young men with no history of mental illness, who obtain firearms either from their homes or that of relatives or acquaintances, and virtually ‘announce’ their mental illness by gun violence in schools or neighborhood venues. Some of these mass-shooters have been driven to their state of mind by bullying or ostracization among their schoolmates. Bullying or ridicule amongst teenagers is no easy thing to eradicate—in spite of the recent policies against such behavior, there will always be school-kids that persecute their more vulnerable peers. And even so, some of these mass shootings have no such trigger involved in the berserk actions these unbalanced young people take suddenly and without warning—schools’ social dynamics are not the only pressures faced by our young.

Thus, considerations like clip-size, auto vs. semi-auto, assault-weapon bans, and mandatory background checks prior to purchase of firearms can only ameliorate the damage from young men who ‘snap’—not prevent it. Even ending the 2nd Amendment completely would still leave us a nation of gun enthusiasts, with millions of firearms already in circulation and, in large part, in the hands of criminals. The fact that some of these community incidents took place in foreign countries belies the notion that our attacks on crowded venues are a direct result of our gun policies.

In my opinion, the legitimization of firearms by armed forces, wars, and multinational peace-keeping is the greatest influence on the minds of our young—our government (and all others’) makes killing by firearms an institutional norm. While I can concede that video-games and movies that glory in gore do have an influence on our culture, they and the shooting incidents themselves are both symptomatic of our acceptance of shooting each other, whether as soldiers, peace-officers, or as security guards, as normal behavior.

Community gang-violence is but the logical extension of techniques used by our government to impose control on outsiders. Individuals who become mass-shooters are, likewise, simply making the most obvious and conventional choice our society presents—and the easiest. In all of human history, there has never been a more easy and convenient method of killing someone than by shooting them with a gun or rifle.

So I suggest that gun violence goes much deeper than gun-control legislation, or the 2nd Amendment—it is the simple existence of firearms that pose the problem so hotly debated since the Newtown, CT school-shootings. Even if all the guns in the world were under lock and key there would still be our knowledge of guns—which would, inevitably, lead to home-made firearms. In addition, Violence itself is not dependent solely on guns and IEDs. Humans will kill each other—Cain’s famous fratricide is the oldest recorded social interaction. And it is no accident that we record that murder so early in the Old Testament that it predates all the history that follows. Humans kill each other. And humans always respond to violence with disgust and condemnation.

While modern firearms make possible higher body counts than, say, single-shot guns, they are nevertheless only one way to act out, psychotically speaking. Also, our treatment of the mentally ill, so tragically neglected amidst economic hard times, will do nothing to change the fact that we are all of us sane only until we go crazy. Neither will it affect our presumed ‘sanity’ in using firearms to kill each other under ‘legal’ circumstances.

Perhaps such tragedies get us all worked up because, in our hearts, we know that the cause of so much violence is in the nature of our civilization, not in the details of our law or the treatment of our insane. We are upset by the suspicion that we are all as much a part of the problem as the confused man-child that pulls the trigger so many times, and then commits suicide the same way.

The suicides, for my money, are the key aspect of these mass attacks—if the shooter killed a bunch of victims and ran for his life, we could presume that the evil is in the individual. But when they finish by shooting themselves, sending themselves to whatever fate they sent their targets, we must face the strong likelihood that the evil is in our society.


Street Talk

Good to hear you weigh in Chris. I Always enjoy reading your articles. This is a very interesting take on this. I have to agree with you. I really am curious where this round will lead.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Another winner from the pen of Xperdunn... Chris I agree with all you say and read with interest something I have thought since the Dark Knight Rising incident.... change all the laws all you like, what about the arms already out there... I don't see a solution for the USA on this, what is already in existence is already there and can't be taken back... as for the illegal aspect, ban something and see the local underground industry thrive... we have strict laws and licencing procedures here, but there are still 1000 s of illegal arms out there being used to perpetrate the heinous crimes being committed... this to me is a state of the world, and personally I don't see how any government is going to change the status quo.... but it certainly does boggle the mind how gun sales went up directly after the events that have happened... is this because the general public wish to protect themselves.?? or is it they think the government is going to put an end to easy purchase and want to get in before laws change..???

Reply
  about 7 years ago

My guess is they are part of a growing demographic here, and maybe globally, a group of people who have used 24-hour cable news and the internet to surround themselves with an emotional involvement with the media--their lives are thus made more dramatic, but their preference for the 'twitter-verse' rather than what's actually happening in their own homes. They flock to Chick-Filet when they hear there's a controversy over its stance on LGBTs; they take the train into the city to join the 'Occupy' campsites on Wall St.; they attend rallies to hear celebrities who are heralded on the news as having an extremist agenda... OR, they just sit in their dens, watching TV and going online, getting a vicarious sense of all these things and rooting for whatever side they tend to favor.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Chris, what an interesting and thoughtful article! I agree that some focus should go to the evils of our society. Thanks for a fascinating read.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

My pleasure, Lewis--I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm often struck by the sheer superficiality of TV news reporting--to hear them tell it, it's simply an argument between red states and blue states. One would think they'd go into depth once in a blue moon, just for a change of pace..

Reply
  about 7 years ago
You May Also Like
The End Of Guns
There are many things that one can do to the ar15 to improve the performance of the weapon or just make it look better. Just one idea is to add or replace a flash suppressor, these look great, but also have a specific purpose. Another add or replace part is…
By: Patc in  Recreation and Sports  >  Hunting   Apr 28, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Keeping Children Safe With Guns In the House
Many of us, mothers, have nightmares about our children being killed or injured if we keep guns in the house. Few of us consider that an accident could happen at someone else’s home. The fact is that even if you don‘t keep guns at your house, some of the homes…
By: Adri in  Womens Interests   Apr 19, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Keep Your Guns Safe
As a gun owner, you have a responsibility keep your weapons safe from possible misuse by unauthorized users. On top of your responsibility to others, there is also a personal incentive to keep your weapons safe, since no gun owner wants to risk theft of a weapon with monetary and/or…
By: danny floyd in  Home Improvement  >  Security   Oct 14, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Gun Safety Tips for Households With Children
When you have children in your home, one of your main concerns related to gun storage is keeping your children from getting their hands on the guns and using them to harm themselves or others. Therefore, you should take some extra precautions when storing guns in your home to protect…
By: danny floyd2 in  Home Improvement  >  Security   Feb 03, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

A Crime Scene Cleanup
But when it comes to crime scene cleanup in Fort Worth, some families choose not to have it professionally done and just look for someone with a strong stomach to clean the mess. But this can be dangerous. Much like in a hoarding cleanup Dallas, having a crime scene up…
By: joshua12 in  News and Society  >  Crime   May 10, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Campsites Cambridge - A State Of Mind, A Choice, A Way Of Living
The best place to spend holidays is at a campsite and if you are in Cambridge then Campsites Cambridge are perfect for you to forget everything and enjoy nature. Campsites Cambridgeshire have everything for you and they are located far away from the crowd and pollution of the city. Most…
By: Rebeka Sparrow in  News and Society  >  Crime   Feb 27, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Exotic Animals Killed: Did Ohio Deputies Have A Choice In the Situation?
Columbus Zoo Director Emeritius, Jack Hanna was in Zanesville, Ohio for one of the most heart wrenching days of his life, a day that he told reporters would haunt him for the rest of his life. On this day, in this town, almost fifty exotic animals, including eighteen Bengal tigers…
By: amie nogrady in  News and Society  >  Crime   Oct 20, 2011  
2
  Likes: 2

Community Based Corrections
Reality therapy refers to a psychological Community based correction method to find out what the offender aims for in life. After establishing this, the guidance counsellor focuses on what the subject has been doing in an attempt to get closer to the goals. Thereafter, the psychologist helps the client to…
By: Peter Gichuru in  News and Society  >  Crime   Feb 25, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

Buy Stun Guns Or Pepper Sprays to Prevent Violent Attacks
I am aware that today many individuals are concerned about their personal safety. Don't fall for those ridiculous reports that serious crimes are declining. I know for a fact that Police Departments manipulate crime statistics to convince the public that their department’s crime-fighting tactics appear to be successful. During the…
By: Jerome Wilkins in  News and Society  >  Crime   Feb 28, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Intergovernmental Organizations Issue Warning Against Name Misuse
Several intergovernmental organizations have recently posted warnings regarding the illegal use of their names, logos and addresses by criminals whose goal is to defraud the public, for example through bogus financial transactions, fake lotteries, non-existent employment opportunities and other scams. This type of elaborate fraud is often perpetrated via e-mail,…
By: Independent Researcher in  News and Society  >  Crime   Oct 06, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Invitation to A Workshop - Introduction Of the World's First Violence Prevention System
This is an invitation to anyone who is interested in witnessing the introduction of the world’s First Violence Prevention by way of a workshop to be hosted by Black Trans Advocacy at their 3rd Annual Conference. This conference will be held at the Double Tree Hotel in the beautiful city…
By: Daniel Ver1 in  News and Society  >  Crime   Apr 01, 2014  
2
  Likes: 0

Facts About Concealed Carry Handgun
A concealed carry hand gun is the act of carrying a handgun in public though in a concealed manner. In order for one to do this there needs to be an authorization from CCW through a permit. Such a gun can be carried on one’s body or on a close…
By: Robert Hainex in  News and Society  >  Crime   Apr 28, 2014  
0
  Likes: 0

Strauss Kahn Dominique
Recently the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Strauss Kahn Dominique, was arrested for the accusation that he molested a hotel worker, a housekeeper tending to his room. I understand that this is not uncommon. I know that hotel detectives keep their eyes on chambermaids as a precaution against…
By: John T Jones, Ph.D. in  News and Society  >  Crime   May 23, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Cops Or Criminals
Before I begin I would just like to note that I am a regular person, (civilian). I am a person with an opinion based on my own experiences or have been witness to incidents that took place. I have witnessed several incidents of police taking courses of action that are…
By: Janele in  News and Society  >  Crime   Sep 21, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Red Eye Revisited
This is another adventure with the Red Eye Montana Police Department. Remember that dreadful murder of chloe Davis? There has been another murder. This time it is a homeless man, Abner Wall. This town has around 500 people living here and half of them are only seasonal. It is very…
By: Sharon Vacelli in  News and Society  >  Crime   Dec 27, 2014  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 2518    Report this Article