Months have passed since the tragedy at Newtown, Conneticutt. My recommendation was to seethe and not let the anger toward the NRA anger dissipate. I’ve calmed down. But I feel obliged to remain engaged – continued calls to congress, more donations to the Brady Campaign, and producing another change.org petition. Regardless, I’d like to detail my journey to this point - what I’ve learned and moving forward.
First has to be the ugliness that social media creates. For me, I wasn’t posting to debate. I was there to “envelop the issue” in our common sense majority and get people to act.I also found the back and forth to be both painful and pointless. I wanted no part of the angry exchanges.
As you might imagine, my approach generated a good deal of anger on Facebook, and I was called on this. I acknowledged to one of my detractors that it was “inconsistent” to leave inflammatory posts without backing them up. In response, I made a pledge to this one particular “friend” who I’ll refer to as “Middle America.” I would limit my comments to petitions and encouraging others to get involved, which I’ve abided by.
Despite the established truce, the social network ain’t much for social civility. As such, Middle America’s profile picture stirs the image of a testosterone encased parody who thinks he’ll single handedly stand down the mantle of Emperor Obama – thus saving the republic and all our guns.
That is a completely reasonable inference to make if you live in the world of Facebook. Thankfully, real life is different. Meaning, I came face to face recently with someone who has a similar mindset. Politely, I said, “Hello!” That’s it. A real person with a family and an actual face made all my simplistic caricatures shamefully fall away.
But the Facebook truce was broken off after I posted U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s call for banning assault rifles. In turn, Middle America’s response made a huge leap from a simple assault weapons ban proposal to grandiose fears that all guns would be taken away in America.
In short, the slippery slope argument, and in a number of conversations with those I would describe as being on the political right, this was their primary concern. Thus, in the absence of second amendment rights, Americans would no longer be able to prevent our government from descending into dictatorship.
In my opinion, even with the huge scattering of firearms already possessed in America, the population is no match for our military. Additionally, if a coup ends our democracy, the military will be in full support, and they’ll make no bones of dispatching the holdouts.
Of course, as the regime hopefully starts to waiver, a few guns would be nice, but that adds yet another level to the discussion of this supposed future.
Yet, the certainty we enjoy could unravel, and
My experience rekindled, I remembered the unease one morning when I couldn’t find gas. How would I get to work, what if companies can’t haul food to the supermarkets, Mad Max, The Postman, etc.
I realized our sophisticated, interconnect existence is very fragile. Still, getting a gun to protect the three cans of tomato sauce I have stockpiled didn’t occur, but I can certainly see how it would.
So wanting to possess firearms to ensure against the breakdown of society is entirely reasonable – especially as our friends at Fox News and MSNBC have so many of us in a frenzy already. But I’m putting faith in a system that doesn’t equate banning assault weapons and requiring background checks with an America where guns are illegal.
Democracy provides the first check but the founding father’s understood something called the “Tyranny of the Majority.” That’s why we have the slow moving senate and the filibuster. This secures us from rash and sweeping overhauls and takes into careful consideration the rights and opinions of the minority. This leaves the Second Amendment pretty well protected from slippery slope scenarios.
Obviously, not everyone shares my lack of urgency. Does that mean seemingly unyielding supporters of the NRA are devoid of common sense? Not to me, their concern is completely valid. I just happen not to share the sentiment. That acknowledged, if you’re going to enter into a debate, this is where you should begin.
Who knows – maybe common ground can be found.
Or you could sign my Change.org petition…Google “Lockton Companies” NRA
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