Let’s begin this week with something surreal, shall we?
PIcture this. A picnic along a scenic creek in Georgia — U.S.A. Not the former Soviet republic. Although saying former Soviet Republic is a dangerous thing these days, as someone — I’m looking at you, Vlad — seems to be determined to lose the “former” on some of them.
Anyhoo, back to our serene picnic in Georgia.
About 25 tables are filled with people and good will abounds. Oh, it’s political picnic. Look, there’s the Governor of Georgia! What will he announce? Some much needed infrastructure funding? Perhaps a new school being built?
Wait, there’s a man wearing a Guns Save Lives t-shirt. And another one sporting a shirt that says Stop Gun Control — because really, why would you want gun control?
And apparently in Georgia, you don’t want gun control, because the Guv, one Nathan Deal, was there to announce the passage of the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014. And it was announced, to great rejoicing from the crowd.
The Safe Carry Protection Act, also referred to as the Guns Everywhere Act by those who just don’t get it, allows Georgians to well, carry guns everywhere. Everywhere. If you have a permit to carry, you can carry. Want to bring a gun to church? As long as the church leadership agrees — and God and guns are pretty close in Georgia — you can bring a gun to church. Or to a bar — what could go wrong when you mix booze with guns? Or even parts of airports.
Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
The whole thing is wrapped in the premise of self-protection. What better way to defend oneself from a nut with a gun than by being … a nut with a gun. So Georgians can have shootouts whenever they feel threatened. Someone reaches for their wallet — boom. I thought he was going for a gun, Your Honour. Of course in Georgia, it would be Yor Honor.
And it’s all wrapped around the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. As many other far more worthy writers than myself have pointed out, the Second Amendment’s intent, at least how most interpret it, was not to arm the entire population of the U.S. It reads, ” A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
But it’s the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” that has been taken and run with by the pro-gun lobby in the states. It is the inherent right of every U.S. citizen to carry a sidearm. This is truly, and in cases, fanatically, believed by a good portion of the population. Any attempt to curtail those rights is looked at with horror. And the constitution is cited. It’s in the Constitution. You can’t change it.
The thing is, you can change it. And I will put to you, that you should change it.
The U.S. Constitution has been amended exactly 33 times in that nation’s history. In fact, the right to bear arms is the second AMENDMENT. So the original constitution had to be amended to allow the right to bear arms.
So amend it back. Or amend it to fit the world we live in today. But you’ll never get agreement on that. You will never find a politician with the guts to even propose it. The gun lobby is too powerful, and voters too, in some cases, blindly, devoted to keeping all their “freedom” to ever get the votes to change the Second Amendment.
But if it was ever going to be done, the time was after the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. A lot of voices called for increased gun control. And nothing happened. There have been more mass shootings since. And still nothing happened. And now we have a law that allows people to bring guns to church. And to bars. Some people believe that’s the solution to gun violence, just being able to shoot back.
I cannot help but feel it’s not going to work. But even if it doesn’t, nothing will happen.
Carolyn Grant is the Editor of the Kimberley Daily Bulletin