ANN DAVIDOW FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Perhaps common sense has become obsolete; at least the term seems to have lost the clout it used to enjoy. Especially in recent days, the most absurd arguments have been put forward about everything from same-sex marriage to gun safety. Hold that semi-automatic, multi-round magazine clip close to your heart and repeat the one-man, one woman mantra or the country could be overrun with people who prefer goats as marital partners and heaven only knows what forms of life such liaisons might engender.
As for guns and ammunition, anything less than a hundred-round magazine clip could spell disaster for that woman and her children hiding in a closet when a cadre of armed assailants invades her home. And with respect to those fun-loving hunters and targeteers: is the nasty old government trying to twist a light-hearted pastime into something evil and dangerous? Or is limiting the number of rounds the way an authoritarian government keeps a freedom-loving people in check?
Arming teachers and beleaguered public officials is the best way, according to the NRA, to protect all of us from the bad guys. As President of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre puts it, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” A gun is, of course, one way to silence a drunken hubby, unless of course he has a gun too and thinks his wife is the one who needs to be silenced. There are dozens of gun apologists and moral one-man, one-womanizers who suggest solutions for the current state of our social compact. Unlikely situations abound that call for a fully-loaded weapon at one’s side; training by NRA do-gooders is available so safety is assured, they say. The biggest problem is a paucity of weapons in the private sector, not the preponderance of them. Examples of what happens when guns are confiscated by leaders like Hitler and Mussolini abound, as if the lessons of the Second World War boiled down to countries that lacked a second-amendment shield.
And every time attempts are made to track the kinds of guns and their purchasers, excuses are made to keep that from happening. Arizona’s Jeff Flake claimed that the paperwork to develop a broad database of gun purchasers would be an incredibly arduous and time-consuming task. Could that be the real reason, or just another stalling tactic? Then there are those important issues regarding the difficulty one might encounter in gifting a family member with a gun or providing a “raffle item” for a charity event, skipping right past the more important matter of ‘straw purchases’ for people who would be unable to purchase a weapon because they couldn’t pass a background check.
Gun lovers are absolutely paranoid about the prospect of some jack-booted thug showing up at their front door and demanding their guns. And they want to make it clear that under no circumstances will they give up their weapons without a fight...or as Charlton Heston once said, his gun would have to be pried from his “cold dead hands.” He had the poor taste and lack of simple decency to hold an NRA convention in Colorado not long after the shootings at Columbine high school (it should be noted that there was an armed guard at the school when the shootings occurred).
Likewise, there’s a kind of paranoia surrounding the issue of gay marriage. How shaky the foundations of heterosexual unions must be if gay marriage is so terrifying. And where did the emphatic pronouncements about one man and one woman originate? As in so many instances, it appears that mankind wasn’t created in God’s image; more likely man created God in his image for his own selfish reasons.