"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."
Here it is Memorial Day, and I'm thinking about re-animating dead people.
I would like to re-animate a Civil War soldier, maybe one of those ambitious 14-year-olds who lied about his age, and ask him, "What do you think of guns?"
I would like to re-animate Thomas Jefferson and ask him, "Could you be more specific about who should bear firearms? And oh, by the way, Tom. Look at this 21st century weapon! Who should keep and bear it?"
After all, it took at least 60 seconds to load and fire a gun in Jefferson's time.
The people who died in combat in our various wars were members of the well-regulated militia. They learned how to use weapons from professionals. They used weapons in professional situations. And a bunch of them died doing it. Given a second opportunity at life, how many of them would (as Shakespeare put it), throw their distempered weapons to the ground?
We talk about Big Coal and Big Oil, but we give short shrift to Big Guns. The selling of firearms and ammunition, the rental of target practice facilities, all of that is big business. The National Rifle Association is not a lobby for Constitutional freedoms. It is an arm of a big business.
My sister owns a weapon. She keeps it by her bed, in case someone breaks into her house and tries to rape her. She told me this. Now, she has a husband, a son, four dogs, and three parrots. Who is going to break into that house? And yet she worries about that rapist. This is brainwashing by Big Guns. And its a set-up for misuse of a dangerous weapon under non-rape circumstances.
You know what else I'm thinking about on this sunny Memorial Day? I'm wondering how many psychopaths are out there, behaving normal long enough to build arsenals, that they will then use to kill unsuspecting, innocent people.
Last week one of my most troubled students pulled yet another day in all-day detention. She wrote an essay according to a prompt (this is my standard assignment for "behavioral development program," aka sit in a room all day). The prompt was: "If you could live one day of your life over again, which would it be?"
The student wrote that she wished she could re-live the day of her brother's funeral, because at least she would get to see his precious face one more time. This brother did not die of a horrible illness. He was shot.
We have no well-regulated civilian militia. We have an Apocalypse. There is no solution. The cat is out of the bag. And just as in Shakespeare's plays, we won't quit until the stage is covered in dead bodies, and one or two baffled onlookers have to wipe up the mess.