The Two Sides of the Debate, As I See It
Side A: More gun control in some form or fashion.
Side B: The only gun control they’ll respect is repealing the 2nd Amendment–but then they’ll secede.
Sounds crazy, no?
Whether crazy or not, that Side A must advocate nothing less than ‘repeal’ is so obvious to me that I cannot see any other way. I almost want to lead the charge to repeal just to show them how it is done. Isn’t that what Side A wants? If not, if you’re on Side A, please do explain why you don’t want to repeal. I cannot understand how anything less than a repeal accomplishes what you want.
As a reminder, here is the opening of the Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Sounds of Life
His fingers slid along the front side of the envelope. He recognized the sender as one capable of bearing no news or bad news. The fear of bad news might be why he heard his fingers as they slid, a sort of low hiss. He was near his breaking point. His body was on full alert. Finding a slight opening near the seal, he heard the envelope tear as he wondered why anyone would ever buy a letter opener. He unfolded the pages, hyper-extending the crease with a pop. Next, the sound of paper against paper filled his ears as his left hand unveiled the second page.
Then, there was no sound.
In that moment, in that void, he did what any good soul does when receiving bad news. He used the limitless silence to escape. He filled the silence with questions, with doubts, with denial. That led to him filling the silence with Lawrence Fishburne’s voice. “You have to let it all go Neo. Fear. Doubt. Disss-Bee-lief.” Finally, he filled the void with a smile. Because the truth was–the truth was that from rock bottom there is only one way out. Up.
Then, as always, laughter broke the silence.
The Last Time He
The last time he unquestionably believed something because of the proponent’s position in society he was a child. This is not because he thought position, rank and/or authority were easily gained, but because he wanted to keep ever sharp his ability to think for himself.
And because there is that point, increasingly difficult to identify over time, when trust becomes foolishness–itself only a few steps away from danger.
Definitive Response to Mr. Mike Keefe
Dear Mr. Keefe,
I am writing to you in response to one of your recent works, “The Civilian Need for Military-Style Assault Weapons.”
Here’s the thing, civilians who argue for the right to own “military-style assault weapons” are not arguing that they need to own them for hunting purposes. The reason civilians need to be able to own assault weapons is to maintain the ability to prevent and/or defeat tyranny.
It was during my second deployment that the idea struck me. It doesn’t matter how many planes/boats/tanks the US has. The reason we are running the show in Iraq and Afghanistan is because we have more guns and bullets than the enemy. Before 2003, I might have had to argue my point simply on principle (still a winning argument), but after a decade of fighting men armed only with assault rifles, I can convince you with practical experience as well. How else do you explain these last ten years during which the most powerful military in the world hasn’t been able to definitively defeat men armed only with assault weapons?
Let me state the main assumption in this argument; that is, the point on which we may disagree: every government trends towards tyranny. Our founders recognized this and put a check in place in the hope that it would be enough to prevent the tyranny from occurring. That being, governments should fear (just a little) their people. The real genius, of course, is that an armed population can actually overthrow a tyrannical government, not just threaten to overthrow it.
To sum up, your cartoon totally sets up a straw man in the debate on gun policy in America. By defeating this straw man as soundly as you do, you miss your mark. Rather than offer insight on the gun-control debate in America, you do two negative things. First, you confuse a reason for assault weapon ownership that isn’t worthy of attention for one that is. Second, deliberately setting up a straw man on an issue that restricts my everyday freedom to spend my money as I please actively promotes tyranny. No thank you, Mr. Keefe.