The vitriolic language from the far right over Second Amendment rights tells a story beyond the fear of losing the right to a thirty round clip in the favorite 9mm semi-automatic hand gun. This debate is not about guns – this debate is about fear of government. That is one way to say it – a more accurate way might be that the debate is about fear itself, fear of government, fear of President Obama, and particularly fear of loss of control or fear of the unknown.
I live in conservative northwest Missouri. Many of my facebook friends are advocates for anything anti-government. My facebook page is inundated every day with NRA produced posters. The same people who vigorously defend the Second Amendment also promote every form of distortion of the President. He is a socialist, they say (Implication: Communist). Equate him to Hitler, a sound judgement by any thoughtful person. Not a true American, a common refrain. One might think that the President is a polarizing force responsible for all ill of our nation. But that is not the case.
The vitriol began with Lee Atwater and was honed to a science by Karl Rove and Rupert Murdoch. The Tea Party is but a puppet of political operatives with no sense of ethics. Using huge leaps of logic these scoundrels have connected the dots of different puzzles. General Motors was faltering, Obama injected needed revenue, Corporate takeover by government is socialism, Obama is a socialist, Hitler was a socialist, thus Obama will soon be opening concentration camps for Missouri Rednecks. In order to contain the Rednecks Obama must first remove their guns. Rand Paul, that nutty Senator, would suggest that any Redneck with a gun will soon be executed by military drones.
If the debate were about guns, if the debate were about hunting, if the debate were about home protection, then we might reasonably assume that ten rounds in your 9mm semi-auto clip would be enough. You will continue to have the right of multiple loaded clips on hand.
The political operatives of the NRA and the once honorable GOP (Republican for you Rednecks) have cast the debate as one of Communist takeover. These Missouri Rednecks are the last line of defense against foreign aggression. There are actually laws being discussed in the Missouri Legislature to invalidate any Federal Gun Laws. Other goofy States have already openly challenged the Feds.
Sane, educated, thoughtful people do not respond to goofy logic. Sane people are able to discern nonsense. Sanity is generally free of neurotic fear based on unfounded, irrational, contrived danger. The unfettered fear has grown to full blown paranoia. Paranoids Anonymous has formed new groups in Missouri, but they won’t tell anyone where they meet.
My neighbor lady showed me her new 380 semiautomatic handgun. The 380 is a small, purse size, handgun generally used for personal protection in dark parking garages. “Why,” I asked, “Did you feel the need to get a gun?” She appeared dismayed at my question, “We all have to get guns before this President takes them all away from us!” This lady is middle aged, single (divorced), owns her own home, has a nice automobile, works as a skilled medical technician, and has a tough guy redneck boyfriend. Entertainment is sitting on the patio with a cooler of beer, telling stories of noodling on the Platte River.
Cold beer and guns have never produced positive outcomes.
The truth is that this President (Obama) never even mentioned gun control in his first term in office. It was only after the horrendous tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School that President Obama openly took a position.
We live in troubling times. We are no longer an agrarian people growing and canning our winter stock of green beans. We are an interdependent society. Jobs come and go. Technology is changing our world at a rate unparallelled in recorded history. Some people feel the only thing left in their control is the defense of their front porch. We are not different than other mammals – when threatened we respond. The fear of government may be irrational, but the fear is real. And people act on fear.