Simple proof that America is at war with itself

The Chicago Tribune news coverage following the Las Vegas mass shooting included a story quoting off-duty police officers trapped in the mayhem where 59 people were murdered and hundreds more were injured when the calculating gunman perched himself in a tall hotel to take aim with scopes and guns reconfigured as automatic weapons.

Some of the off-duty police officers had also served in the military. Those that had seen combat were still shocked by the scene of women shot through the head and people bleeding out as they lay on the ground wounded or dying from the effects of a man with plenty of ammo and deadly aim.

Combat statement.jpg“I have been in combat, but I have never seen this type of mass casualty,” said police Sgt. Michael Gonzalez.

The Las Vegas shooting may have been massive in scope, but it was just a bump in the pulse of bloody shootings taking place every day in America. There is no more denying the fact. The nation itself has become a combat zone. The United States of America is literally at war with itself.

The statistics of all the deaths caused by gun violence back this up. More Americans have now died from gun violence on home soil than all the soldiers ever killed in combat in foreign wars.

This is the direct product of the murderously blind activism of the conservative Supreme Court that wields its judgements like a weapon of the vigilante ideology favored by both the NRA and the politicians it has bought and sold. The inexcusable complaint that gun control measures are an infringement of the “right to bear arms” is disrespectful to the Constitution as a whole. When people own the right to steal the life of another human being in the blink of a trigger pull, there are no equal rights to that. There is no freedom in America.

Concealed Carry poison

The right to kill has bled into Concealed Carry laws that have poisoned the nature of freedom across the country. Think about it. The person standing next to you could well be packing the cold-hearted tool of your own demise. Say something wrong to them, or conduct some unintended slight that they judge to be a threat to their person, and they can claim the right to shoot you. Right in the head if they feel like it.

It is inconceivable that the Founding Fathers ever intended this to be the presiding scenario in America. In essence, we’ve been drawn back into an era when dueling was used to settle difference, or when gunman lined up in the street (supposedly) to draw weapons and fire. That’s what the NRA has promoted as the safest brand of citizenship in America.

Ignorant claims of so-called “responsible gun owners”

Don’t you see the ignorance of these claims? When laid bare, they have no constitutional foundation at all. They do have money behind them, and people selfish and angry enough at their plight in life to abide such foolishness. Meanwhile supposed “responsible” gun owners cower behind the controversy hoping the band of idiots at the forefront of the “more guns” debate will cover their fearful asses.

Because that’s what rampant gun ownership is all about. Fear. The United States is rife with chickenshits who feel like they can’t walk down the street or mingle with other human beings without carrying a gun on their person. This is the opposite of courageous. It is the parallel of insanity.

The bleeding and dying

That police officer who carried bleeding, dying people off the concert grounds knows now that America is a literal war zone. He saw it with his own eyes. He compared it to what he saw in actual combat, in real wars, and this was far worse.

The Second Amendment needs to be clarified. Re-balanced. We need a hard, strong definition of what a “well-regulated militia” looks like, and how it functions. We should no longer leave that to the addle-brained conservatives on the Supreme Court to decide. They have originalism blindness. They couldn’t muster their way out of a cardboard box if the writing on the inside mentioned guns in any way.

But our gutless Congress and Senate when run by Republicans is even worse. Their long term claim that government is the enemy of the people is the knife to the gut of common sense. If that’s the case, they should commit hari-kiri and get out of office. If you don’t believe in the merit of government, you have no right or ability to serve.

Cognitive dissonance

We live in a combat zone of cognitive dissonance. And innocent people are dying every day as a result. Screw the gun lobby. We don’t need any more evidence to re-write the Second Amendment, or repeal it altogether. The frightening reality is that we’ve seen  Presidents succumb to gun violence several times already. Even that conservative pet Ronald Reagan got blasted by a freeloading gunman back in the day. Gerald Ford was a target too. We lost JFK. His brother Bobby. We lost Martin Luther King, Jr. And we even lost John Lennon.

Imagine that. If Happiness is a Warm Gun, America has burn marks on its holster side.

What will it take for an admission of the combat zone that America has become? Does another President need to become a martyr for the nation to wise up? That might wake up the close-minded. The backwoods and front-office gun nuts, selfish and obsessed with weapons as a sub-culture.

It’s a sickness. An addiction. But like that soldier who comes home to find life at home too quiet, it seems the gun nuts of America fear the quietude they might face if they can’t wave a weapon in yours. That’s the worst angst they can imagine.

 

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Fighting for guns and hockey

goonsbox20 years ago I took my impressionable son to a Junior-A hockey game at the newly built Fox Valley Ice Arena. As an associate creative director at a local marketing agency, I’d designed the logo for the team, which was painted 50 feet wide under the ice.

To be sure, I understood little about the actual game of hockey. My experience playing it as a kid was limited to whacking around a farm field ice rink with a bunch of friends. I didn’t really know the rules to the game. Heck, I didn’t even know there were three periods in the contest. After two periods I’d gotten up to leave, figuring the game was over. A friend turned to me and said, “Where you going? There’s a whole ‘nuther period.” So we sat back down in the slightly cold arena and waited for the affair to continue.

There had been scuffles between the players thus far in the match. At one point one of the local team’s players fell over the boards into the box of the opposing team. All the players on that side began jabbing the other player with their sticks. It looked like the attack of a band of crazed goons. And indeed, hockey has long celebrated goonery as a tradition in the sport.

The fight game

Five minutes into the third period, a real fight broke out. Two players squared off just below our seats. Their punches flew and one began to win the tussle. Sweaters were stretched. Fists landed. Then one player began to bleed. Profusely.

A bright red puddle of blood flowed out over the ice. Their skates kicked it up in the air as they continued fighting. Finally the referee entered the fight zone and began to break it up. But the damage was done. My son turned to me and asked, “Dad, do they always have fights in hockey?”

At that period of time, the game of hockey seemed all about fighting. When I mentioned the incident we’d witnessed to so-called “real” hockey fans they all laughed and said. “That’s why we go! Isn’t it awesome?”

Now, it wasn’t awesome. At best it seemed unfortunate. We’d been getting into the game and learned a little about hockey. Perhaps we’d have become fans. But not so.

Change has come

I’m not some naive pacifist. I had my share of fights early in life and had done my share of damage to others on the athletic field by that point. But I still wondered why hockey felt the need to let fighting remain such a large part of the action.

Fast forward 20 years. My daughter’s interest in hockey took off the same year the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Our family enjoyed many games that year, and grew to appreciate the fast, relatively clean brand of hockey played by the Hawks and some other NHL teams. It seemed the game was changing for the better.

Yes, there were still a few fights that broke out. But in the last few years the fighting in NHL hockey has been reduced and nearly eliminated. Hockey has actually become more exciting and watchable as a result. The league even seems to want to protect its players from the effects of concussion. In other words, it is still a sport of strength and speed, but it has eliminated some of the unnecessary brutality.

Brain changes

The paradigm of reduced fighting in hockey may be unpopular with diehard fans longing to see two players beat the hell out of each other. But as in football, the recognized effects of concussions and CTE on pro players is becoming a sensitive issue. Why put athletes of additional risk of life endangerment and brain debilitating if you can prevent it?

Hockey is taking simple measures to make the game safer for all. Either by proxy or intent, the game of hockey as a sport is actually more interesting without the fighting. Throwing down the gloves and tugging on each other’s sweaters always was a childish, immature way to settle actual differences. Playing just as hard and scoring more goals as a result makes the net game more exciting. The game is using its brain to make important changes that protect the players and in some ways, protect the sport as well.

Well, shoot

Guns_1000So let’s imagine the same scenario, yet with a different “sport.” That would be guns. Millions of Americans own guns, and most of them never shoot anyone. Yet 30,000 people a year die from gun violence by suicide or murder, and many thousands more are wounded.

Yet many gun owners seem to think they don’t have any responsibility for these statistics. Using their brand of logic, it would mean that all the hockey players who play the game and do not get into fights have no responsibility for the fights that do break out. Yet we also know that the game of hockey, especially at the pro level, condoned the hiring of “goon” players whose main job was to act as an enforcer for the rest of the team. If one of the star players got hit too hard, the goon would head out on the ice to inflict punishment on the opposing team.

The same principle used to hold true in baseball, where pitchers would purposely throw at the head of a batter if it was judged that some transgression had taken place by the opposing pitcher. It was called getting plunked.

So these quid pro quo acts of violence were supposedly part of the gamesmanship of each respective sport. Fans selfishly cheered such violence, just as they cheer hard hits in football. The players enforced these regimens of accepted violence by refusing to protect themselves. Some played through game day concussions or multiple series of concussions. Football is now having to deal with the consequences and public image of these savage habits.

Paying the price

Because society ultimately does pay a price for escalations of violence. The ravaged brains of former football players and the death of children in America have a parallel relationship. Either we take the most steps possible to prevent such damage or we do not.

We’ve seen for years the debate over gun violence take oppositional forms. Gun advocates say it’s not their fault that criminals get guns and use them to murder. Gun control advocates simply want gun laws that do the most possible to keep guns out of the hands of unstable people.

But the “goons” in this case take a heavyhanded approach to gun advocacy. The NRA is the lead goon, hired by millions of gun owners to promote an interpretation of the Second Amendment that condones business as usual. This is the parallel to pro hockey. The goons know that to keep their job, they have to keep fighting. Those who benefit from the protection of the goons care not to question either the methods or the outcomes so long as their personal rights are protected.

Collateral damage
Spilled bloodThe collateral damage to all this goonery is the lives of innocent people. Many have been slaughtered in elementary schools, movie theaters and college campuses. There have even been shootings on military bases. Of course, the irony there is that military personnel are not typically allowed to wander a military base bearing arms.

As reported on The Blaze.com in a 2013 story, “The question of why military members aren’t armed on base garnered attention back in November 2009 when Army Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire at Ft. Hood and killed 13 people. He was sentenced to death on August 28. Now, nearly four years later, many are asking the same question.

So what’s the answer? It appears this “gun-free zone” type policy can actually be traced back to Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5210.56, signed into effect in February 1992 by Donald J. Atwood, deputy secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush.”

So let’s be clear: the policy to allow carriage of concealed weapons in modern society actually runs against the nation’s own Department of Defense dictums issued by a Republican President. And since that time, and to make matters worse, arguments for the proliferation of guns in public places has been expanded by Supreme Court rulings emphasizing the right to bear arms over the supposedly balanced call in the Second Amendment for a well-regulated militia.

The goons are winning

In other words, the goons are winning. The goons rule the game of gun laws and aren’t going to relinquish their roles easily. There is too much money to be made by promoting rampant gun ownership, because that’s how goons keep their jobs.

Do you get what’s going on? Our own military, an institution that nby profession trains and licenses personnel to handle guns, sees the common sense of limiting that right on its own grounds. As also reported in the story about DoD policy on TheBlaze.com: “The controversial directive  states that “it is DoD Policy” to “limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD military and civilian personnel. The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried,” it says.

Ahead of the game

The military is, in other words, “way ahead of the game” when it comes to proper regulation and use of guns. By contrast, civilian America is being forced to live as if there is reasonable expectation of “war on the streets.” This is a self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one. We’re left with the sad claim that guns actually make America “safer.”

By that brand of logic we might arrive at the conclusion that the fights in hockey actually make the game safer. But that’s exactly the logic being used by America’s “gun goons” to make the case that guns are necessary for freedom.

Even language of the debate over guns rights is concussively rife with violence. As reported in a story on on CNN.Com, “Wayne LaPierre, the nation’s most visible gun-rights advocate, rallied supporters on Saturday for a renewed fight against gun control, saying membership is up since the Newtown massacre, and calling the effort to stop new limits a “long war” and a “fight for everything we care about.”

Confessions

In other words, Wayne LaPierre outright confesses that his job is waging a war on everyday Americans. And to that point, more Americans have died on American soil from gun violence than all the soldiers that have ever died in wars on foreign soil.

In other words, the goons aren’t just winning the war. They are committing genocide on the American people by proliferating guns. There are almost as many guns in America, 300,000,000, as there are people. And they’re proud of that fact.

And they won’t give up easily: “The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president vowed in remarks at the group’s national convention that “we will never surrender our guns.” He implored members to step up their outreach to members of Congress as part of a fight against “elites” and others who “use tragedy to try to blame us, to shame us” into compromise and who “want to change America, our culture and our values.”

Yes, it’s the fear of change that drives so much violence in this world. And please don’t stop the genocide, because it’s fear that motivates gun owners to purchase weapons in the first place. It’s a perfect circle of illogical justification and cognitive dissonance.

Statistics lead nowhere

Gun proponents have been pointing to statistics that show gun violence is going down over the last 30 years. That does notchange the fact that there are still 30,000 people dying in the streets every year, and that is far more than any civilized nation on earth.

And, despite the claims of the gun goons, there is absolutely no proof that the presence of more guns has led to less shootings. CNN notes: “Researchers have studied the decline in firearm crime and violent crime for many years, and though there are theories to explain the decline, there is no consensus among those who study the issue as to why it happened,” the researchers say in a summary.

Packs of goons

We do know one thing for sure. America is faced with veritable packs of goons running around claiming the government is out to get them and coming to take away their guns. Every time there is a new mass shooting, gun sales shoot up across the nation over fears that the new rash of violence will lead to more restrictive gun laws. That has never happened, but it doesn’t stop groups like the NRA from leveraging such fears into fundraising campaigns. It also serves the purpose of gun manufacturers, whose profits depend, if you follow the straight line logic of gun sales in response to mass shootings, on loss of American lives.

The most fearful gun goon squads actually call themselves militias. They are not “well-regulated” according to any interpretation of the Second Amenment. A pack of these goons is currently occupying a wildlife refuge in the state of Oregon. If the government intervenes, they will have accomplished their self-fulfilling prophecy. In hockey terms, that’s like a goon punching the referee in the face.

Armed insanity

That’s how insane the game of gun control has gotten in this country. We’re being governed and manipulated by collaborative bunches of goons that insist personal gun rights supersede all other efforts to establish law and order in the country. Even when children die, and mass shootings continue, and America continues to lose more lives to gun violence than any other civilized nation on earth, the gun goons keep shouting that their own personal liberty is at risk. It is both a lie, and it is insane.

So the question remains. Do you want to be governed by NRA goons and their political henchmen? Or do you want to take responsibility as hockey has done, and has football is about to do, and begin the process of making “the game” safer for all to play? Should you really have to carry a sidearm everywhere you go in America to “feel safe?” Or is that notion the product of goons who are terminally insane over the notion that guns equal freedom?

Spilling blood

Truly, there is no excuse for the blood being spilled on the ice of our everyday existence. Old School thinkers want to codify their vigilate version of reality and let the goons do the work of protecting their Wild West fantasies that more guns will keep the peace. Even the violent games of hockey and football are being forced to change to protect their respective sports and the players who engage in them.

And likewise, the United States Military changed its policies for “gun ownership” on its bases long ago. There is no such thing as “concealed carry” for military personnel.

Yet America with its insane interpretations of the Second Amendment refuses to acknowledge that violence as a way of life is harmful to all.

 

How difficult it is for some to enter the Kingdom of God

PaversToday’s scripture passage at church was a quite famous story found  in Mark 10:17-29. A man approaches Jesus to ask him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The passage focuses on how Jesus addresses the man. 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”

From that point of reference, Jesus goes on to ask the man how he has lived his life. Has he kept the commandments? ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[d]

“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” the man replies.

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

The passage remains the greatest challenge of all for so many in this world. The belief in modern society that success is the measure of the man, and that success is measured in material terms, is still a stumbling block. America is one of the richest nations on earth. There are many people who enjoy their wealth and the security that comes with it.

But the lesson from Mark 10 calls all this worldly focus to account. Scripture describes the reaction of the man who approached Jesus with the request, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He is told to give it all to the poor. Cherish nothing. Covet nothing. That’s what Jesus asks.

The bible says: “At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.”

We don’t know what happened next. Scripture does not tell us. But perhaps if the man had engaged in a change of heart, sold all his possession and followed Jesus, as his closest disciples had done, we might have heard more about the man. He might have been one of the greatest heroes in all the bible, for that matter.

Instead the man went away sad because he was not sure he could bear the idea of giving up his wealth. Perhaps he was good at protecting it as well. We all know how prideful and jealous people can be toward their worldly possessions. Some stack up weapons in their homes to confront and “defend” themselves against anyone that might dare to enter. These enemies, imagined or real, are considered good enough reason to use deadly force in protection of goods and family.

A closeup of an aggregate substance.

It is hard to imagine Jesus giving anyone a hard time about that, isn’t it? After all, isn’t it our job to protect our family and guard our homes? Isn’t that the most important thing in all the world?

Not according to Jesus, who tells us that we need to give it all away to get what we really need, which is fulfillment. 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

This statement is a direct indictment of the “I’ve got mine” mentality that drives so much of modern culture and economics. The idea that wealth is to be earned and then guarded with deadly force is not the way that Jesus would have us follow at all. The idea that keeping and bearing weapons for the purpose of protection of home and family turns out to be a gross exaggeration of an already misguided principle.

Nothing you have in this world is meant to be kept. Absolutely nothing. Jesus drove a hard bargain even with those who clung to family ties. He certainly would not have supported the worldview that 290M guns are necessary for the protection of anything. Yet that’s an estimate of how many guns we have in America. Supposedly these guns protect our freedoms.

“What is freedom?” Jesus might well have asked. “There is no freedom if you are a prisoner to the weapons you need to protect it.”

Recently a friend on Facebook tried to make a point in favor of guns by invoking a veiled reference to religion. “It’s not the guns,” he pleaded, “Gun crime is a matter of the heart.”

But it is the guns, you see. It’s the guns and all the possessions to which we cling for fulfillment of our perceived promise of prosperity from God. That’s what’s wrong with the entire “I’ve got mine” mentality driving our acquisitive culture. It is a never-ending cycle of wanting more and delivering it by force or cunning if necessary. This has produced a political worldview that takes the position of punishing the poor for being need and passes an increasing amount of wealth to the already wealthy in hopes that it will “trickle down” to the poor like wine dripping off the table of a king.

This gruesome and distorted vision of prosperity leads to a defensively violent protection of self-interest and a host of rationalizations that support it. That is how the so-called Christian politically lobby has come to be so closely aligned with gun proponents. It’s not about protecting rights at all. It’s about protecting things that people have come to value as part of the package perceived to represent the American enterprise system.

But Jesus has a different message. He makes the point that if it is protection from evil that you truly want, the first thing you may have to do is give away everything you own. Otherwise people cling to temptations that pull them away from the trust that God will provide. Only in that trust do you have all that you need.

It’s a very hard lesson for anyone to learn, perhaps the hardest lesson in all the Bible. It is also difficult for some people to appreciate and understand that the Kingdom of God is not some faraway place or a goal to be attained. The Kingdom of God is ever present, right here on earth. It is what we make it, and whatever else may come.

It’s the liberal use of guns that is killing America

FIREARMReading this blog might give some people the impression that I don’t like guns. I’ve never actually said that. I like guns plenty. I grew up playing with guns and shooting actual guns from BB guns to 12-gauge shotguns. Not a lot, mind you. But enough to know what guns can do.

I specifically recall my father taking out a ground hog from the upstairs perch of our three-story house in Seneca Falls, New York. It made me think my dad was a real hero. Of course he grew up shooting guns to gather game on his Upstate New York farm. He told stories of following ruffed grouse with his gun and how hard they were to hit.

Dealing with fears

One of my best friends is a very able and avid hunter. He’s backed off the last few years because his body has rebelled against those cold mornings in the South Dakota hills. Plus he got stared down by a mountain lion a few years back and then had to walk out carrying only his bow and arrow as defense. That’s enough to unnerve anyone.

It might have helped to deal with his fear if he had carried another weapon with him. Like a gun. But not always. If a mountain lion really wants to track you down and pounce on your back, they’ll likely find a way before you can turn and fire your weapon.

Shoot first?

Of course the same goes in the city. If someone wants to shoot you, it almost doesn’t matter if you’re packing heat or not. You can conceal carry or throw that weapon on your hip for all to see. The rule of the urban jungle is that whoever fires first has the advantage.

Unless you miss. Then you’re screwed unless you have a rapid fire or automatic weapon. And thus the gun industry has responded by creating weapons that can fire multiple rounds. That cuts down your odds of receiving return fire.

Cops’ rule

So it’s no wonder the police are none too keen about the presence of automatic weapons on the street. How would you feel knowing that you might be outgunned even if you do fire your service revolver first?

There’s an hilarious yet somewhat revealing scene to this effect in the movie True Lies, in which the scantily dressed Jamie Lee Curtis character goes to fire a machine gun and drops it. As it falls down the steps it takes out a dozen or so terrorist types. So much for the theory that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Yes, it’s a complete farce of a scene. The likelihood of something like that happening is a million to one.

No solutions

Yet there are many arguments about guns that depend on a rather random belief that guns solve the problem of threats or violence. Once such contention is the idea that a room full of people carrying concealed weapons is going to deter a person with criminal intent and the will to kill. With the power of repeating weapons at hand, there is still a great advantage in the hands of the person who shoots first.

There’s the shock and fear factor, for one thing. And if the entire room erupts in gunfire, how will all those concealed carry wizards identify and focus on the original shooter? It really doesn’t make sense.

We can turn to another example from the movies to point out the absurdity of all such strategies. In the scene from Men In Black in which Will Smith as a New York City policemen is put through a firing range test with some of America’s best millitary marksmen, he holds his fire until the last minute and finally shoots a cutouf of a young girl right through the forehead with a single shot.

The rest of the trained military men blaze away before that moment, taking out everything in the room that moves. But Smith, when asked why he chose to shoot a young girl through the head rather than the monsters and aliens presented for earlier target practice, simply explains that she looked out of place.

Good call

Well, good for him. We all wish our armed citizens and officers had such wits about them. But that’s also illustrating the problem as well as the solution. Officers who think that people look “out of place” have been known to shoot down innocent citizens or become aggressive at the mere sight of someone who “looks different.” Add in racial profiling and everyone on the street can start to look like a monster.

That’s in part why a women like Sandra Bland gets dragged off and winds up dead. Officers sick of being threatened or disrespected have every right and authority to take control of a situation. But this strategy is stressed to its limit when deadly firearms are potentially involved.

Liberality

There’s no telling when that might happen. There are plenty of guns to go around in America. There’s no shortage and no one in the Democratic Party has succeeded or even proposed much about taking guns away from everyday citizens. Oh sure, the NRA loves to trump up its base with those claims, but really, we’ve had eight years of the Obama administration and during that time gun rights have actually expanded with more Concealed Carry states joining the ranks of the gun happy populace.

I’ll accept that the law of the land has become quite liberal about owning guns. It has also become quite liberal about their use in mass shootings. In every instance in which multiple people have been killed in the last 10 years, it is the ability to liberally spray bullets without aim or conscience that puts the advantage on the side of the mentally disturbed and insane.

I have argued that it is this liberality that even turns people crazy with power. Certainly it does not happen with all gun owners. Not by a long, long stretch. By far most gun owners are law-abiding and perhaps just want to protect themselves. Only a few develop that messianic look in their eyes like George Zimmerman, and want to take the law into their own hands.

Militia madness

And there are militias too, those people that fancy their only chance at freedom in America is to take up weapons and stand up to the supposed tyranny of the government. That is a case of people running out of wits before they run out of imagination. They close this gap with as many weapons as they can gather, refusing to recognize the clear Second Amendment call for a “well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state.”

It works both ways, you see. No one really wants to take away anyone’s guns. I know I don’t. What we do want is a conservative return to recognition of what guns really mean, and why they exist. They were invented for killing. There’s no escaping that fact. Even law-abiding hunters must admit they are killing other living things.

Target and sport shooters stand apart somewhat from the killing fray. And yet, their sports would not exist were it not for the refined need to kill. At some level that is the Mother of All Gun Invention. The fact that you can shoot well is only an expression of the fact that if pressed, you could kill better than most.

Heroes and villains

Hence the popularity of the propagandistic movie American Sniper. With no apologies, huge numbers of Americans watched a film that celebrated a man that killed nearly a couple hundred people in war. They are strategic targets, but were killings nonetheless. That’s the nature of war.

Our problem is separating those instincts from society when people become snipers for their own anger, frustrations and delusions. Those are the people whose liberal use of weapons we must really watch. And whatever steps must be taken to keep guns out of the hands of those murderous snipers…must be done.

What to do

Enough with the excuses. Guns should be highly regulated and traceable not only to the current owner, but all previous owners. There should be liability when these processes are compromised or result in criminal actions. Guns should be digitally traceable at all times. With GPS technology and the ability to trace guns within feet of their position, all guns should be chipped with irrevocable and renewable chips. These weapons should be required to be brought in for regular inspections, and all failure to do so should be a criminal offense. You forget, you lose your right to own that gun.

Want to argue that all such chips could be disabled? Make that a federal crime with a year in prison as punishment. Again, no excuses.

Driving home the point

It’s just like cars. You can’t sell a car without a title, and guns need to be kept on record at all times. If you’re afraid the government is going to come and confiscate your deadly weapon, then you’re the one with something to hide. The only way to keep insane people from owning or abusing guns is to impose hard penalties for all such abuses, and to track guns aggressively so that ownership is a privilege and a conservative statement that the right type of government matters.

If we’re going to abide by the Second Amendment, let’s respect its source and its purpose. We pay for the right to drive our cars on tollways, and the government knows where we drive and when. The same style of regulation must be applied to guns, without exception.

Again, I’m not proposing taking anyone’s guns away. Instead, let’s encourage a conservative approach to gun ownership, one that demands responsibility rather than allows murderous intent to ruin the game for all.