Friday, January 18, 2013

Not Much Hope for Gun Control.

There's something that I find inconsistent about the NRA's position on the Second Amendment. It's the fact that, while they will defend the right to keep and bear almost any kind of firearm without any consideration of the gun's killing capacity or lethality, nevertheless they do seem to recognize that there are limits to the constitutional right granted by the Second Amendment. The NRA doesn't claim to defend a person's right to keep an functional howitzer in the garage or a bazooka in the bedroom closet.... at least not yet, so clearly the honchos at the head of the NRA recognize that there is some level of firepower that just plain goes too far. The guarantee protecting gun ownership, then, seems to be a matter of degree, and not essence.

My personal opinion is that the real flaw isn't in the NRA or in the Second Amendment. The real flaw is in the Constitution of The United States itself. Every other democracy with a working constitution has a mechanism built into it that makes it possible (but not necessarily easy) to change provisions that prove to be unworkable. Other constitutions recognize that nothing is perfect. But here in the U.S.A. we only seem capable of dealing with absolutes. Our religions are absolute in the certainty of their beliefs. Our political parties are absolute in their sense of self-righteousness. And our Constitution is invested with a sense of absolute perfection. In a sane country with a realistic constitution, the Second Amendment would have been eliminated many years ago because of its intrinsic irrationality and threat to human life. But for those of us in America, absolutism trumps sanity every time. Don't expect much from Obama on gun control.

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