Thursday, January 17, 2013

Owning A Gun Is Not An Accomplishment. It Is A Failure.

Owning a gun is not an accomplishment. It's a failure.

Gun owners are so self-absorbed and unfortunately misinformed about the constitution that they think owning a gun is the same as being named Jesus Christ, back for a second trip. Owning a gun is not the most elevated form of citizenship. Anyone whose idea of citizenship is that they are ready and willing to murder their neighbors is not my idea of a good community member.

Gun owners claim, preposterously and without any authority, that we, the other people who live in this country, are forbidden to regulate or restrict gun ownership. They are ignorant and wrong. Just because the constitutions refers to certain rights of citizens, that does not in any way mean the government cannot regulate or restrict the exercise of those rights.

People have the right to travel, yet we have extensive regulations on the subject. If you drive a car, the government can require you to wear a seat belt because the rest of us are the ones who have to scrape up your idiot bodies from the freeway if you get in a wreck. The government also can set and enforce speed limits, for the same reasons. They create driving laws so we don't have people driving on the left or right side of the street, depending on their moods. All done in the interest of public safety. One of the responsibilities of the government is to protect the public health and safety. When constitution "rights" conflict with the public health and safety, the constitutional "rights" can be regulated.

People have freedom of speech, yet you cannot set up a porn shop next-door to an elementary school because the government can create zones which are porn-free, in the interest of public welfare. You can't scream from a bullhorn at midnight in front of people's homes, because reasonable time place and manner restrictions of speech are allowed, again, for the public safety. People have freedom of religion but if they smoke pot as part of their ceremony, they can be arrested, or if they serve food in a food kitchen to the poor as part of their religious practice, that food service is subject to the health and safety regulations.

I don't like guns. But if somebody wants to own a gun, it's okay with me. As long as they keep it in their house; keep it in a safe; carry liability insurance to compensate me in the event of an accident; meet licensing requirements to show safety compliance and the ability to use the weapon; as long as it is not an assault weapon; as long as there is no one in their home who is a substance abuser or mentally ill. Other than that, I don't really care.

But I am sick to death of gun owners acting as if they are great patriots when the truth is they generally are just bullies who are afraid of their own shadow, paranoid, racists, and like to use violence or the threat of violence to compensate for their obvious inadequacies. As the saying goes.

You want to be a tough guy? Go take care of someone who is seriously ill. Go help people who are out of options, sleeping on the streets, and hungry. You want to be a tough guy? Go to an elementary school and offer to be the cross-walk guard, or monitor during recess, or read to children who need help with reading. Or go to a nursing home and help the old people, do something nice.

Owning a gun is not an accomplishment -- it's more a sign of a lack of will, compassion, or decency. The mere fact that someone embraces the idea of murdering others is a failure of morality on all counts.