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All I Want for Christmas...

Tuesday, 25 December 2012 09:04 By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

Cemetery Wreaths.(Photo: NDNG / Flickr)I want Wayne LaPierre to sit in a room with the families of the victims of the Newtown massacre and explain to them his grand theories on further arming our hyper-armed society. I will not get that wish, however, because Wayne LaPierre is a cowardly blowhard who gives "press conferences" where no questions are allowed.

I want those children to be alive on Christmas morning. I want those teachers to be alive. I want Adam Lanza to be alive. I want his mother to be alive. I want her guns to be un-bought, sitting in a gun store display case gathering dust, forever unloaded.

Early on Christmas Eve morning, a man outside of Rochester set fire to a house and waited with his firearm for firefighters to arrive. When they did, the man shot four of them, killing two and wounding two severely, before killing himself. Because of the gunshots, the fire could not be dealt with, and several neighboring houses also burned.

I want those two dead firefighters to be alive on Christmas morning, those two wounded firefighters to be unharmed, I want the shooter alive, those houses unburnt, and I want someone to explain to me how a man who would set a trap for firefighters by burning down his own house got his hands on a gun, and why that is the definition of American freedom.

I want Wayne LaPierre to be in a roomful of firemen when he announces the solution to problems like this is to arm firefighters. I want to watch what happens next.

I want a broad national conversation on sane and sensible gun control, but I won't get that, either, because "gun control" is the Israel-Palestine of American policy discussions; the opinions are so entrenched, and the arguments have been repeated so many times, that nobody actually talks to each other about it anymore, but merely belch well-worn cliche responses like some demented exercise in cut-and-paste conversation...while the bodies pile up, and up, and up.

If I get my wish about having a real conversation on the issue, I want the idea of establishing a 28th Amendment to the Constitution - one that clarifies the 2nd Amendment and for all time nails down what gun rights are in America - to be part of the debate. This is far from unheard of: the 14th Amendment was established as a direct response to the Supreme Court's wretched Dred Scott ruling, and clarified the rights and privileges provided in previous Amendments. The 15th and 19th Amendments clarified and expanded upon those rights even further. The 21st Amendment utterly erased the 18th Amendment. We need a 28th Amendment to forever do away with the pernicious gibberish that has entered this debate because of the language in the 2nd Amendment. Let's have some basic clarity on the matter, and go from there.

I want the Republicans in Congress to stop holding up relief money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I want them to stop pretending they are exercising some simon-pure form of small-government orthodoxy and just admit they don't like the president, and won't let government work so long as he is in office. No tax reform, no immigration reform, no nothing, ever, until this president is gone, because they said so, so there.

"Ronald Reagan was long thought to be the most conservative of Republicans," Mark McKinnon, a long-time Republican campaign advisor, wrote yesterday. "And by any standard today he is the most popular Republican in modern history. Yet he raised taxes 11 times, supported a ban on assault rifles and the Brady Bill, which mandated background checks, and established amnesty for 3 million undocumented workers." I want these so-called "conservatives" in Congress to talk their way out of that as they polish the gilded frames of their St. Reagan murals.

I want all the soldiers out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and home with their families. I want the president to publicly explain the legal justification for drone warfare before another crowd of children gets blown in half, because dead kids are a tragedy over here, but only collateral damage over there.

I don't want to know these things I know about my country. I don't want all this rage and sadness in my heart. I want to believe we are better than this. I want my daughter to come into a world where sane conversation on things like assault weapons and aid money for storm victims isn't a complete impossibility. I want one day to go by without someone in America dying at the end of a gun. I won't get those wishes, either.

I want to be part of the solution. Getting that wish is entirely up to me.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

William Rivers Pitt

William Rivers Pitt is Truthout's senior editor and lead columnist. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

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All I Want for Christmas...

Tuesday, 25 December 2012 09:04 By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

Cemetery Wreaths.(Photo: NDNG / Flickr)I want Wayne LaPierre to sit in a room with the families of the victims of the Newtown massacre and explain to them his grand theories on further arming our hyper-armed society. I will not get that wish, however, because Wayne LaPierre is a cowardly blowhard who gives "press conferences" where no questions are allowed.

I want those children to be alive on Christmas morning. I want those teachers to be alive. I want Adam Lanza to be alive. I want his mother to be alive. I want her guns to be un-bought, sitting in a gun store display case gathering dust, forever unloaded.

Early on Christmas Eve morning, a man outside of Rochester set fire to a house and waited with his firearm for firefighters to arrive. When they did, the man shot four of them, killing two and wounding two severely, before killing himself. Because of the gunshots, the fire could not be dealt with, and several neighboring houses also burned.

I want those two dead firefighters to be alive on Christmas morning, those two wounded firefighters to be unharmed, I want the shooter alive, those houses unburnt, and I want someone to explain to me how a man who would set a trap for firefighters by burning down his own house got his hands on a gun, and why that is the definition of American freedom.

I want Wayne LaPierre to be in a roomful of firemen when he announces the solution to problems like this is to arm firefighters. I want to watch what happens next.

I want a broad national conversation on sane and sensible gun control, but I won't get that, either, because "gun control" is the Israel-Palestine of American policy discussions; the opinions are so entrenched, and the arguments have been repeated so many times, that nobody actually talks to each other about it anymore, but merely belch well-worn cliche responses like some demented exercise in cut-and-paste conversation...while the bodies pile up, and up, and up.

If I get my wish about having a real conversation on the issue, I want the idea of establishing a 28th Amendment to the Constitution - one that clarifies the 2nd Amendment and for all time nails down what gun rights are in America - to be part of the debate. This is far from unheard of: the 14th Amendment was established as a direct response to the Supreme Court's wretched Dred Scott ruling, and clarified the rights and privileges provided in previous Amendments. The 15th and 19th Amendments clarified and expanded upon those rights even further. The 21st Amendment utterly erased the 18th Amendment. We need a 28th Amendment to forever do away with the pernicious gibberish that has entered this debate because of the language in the 2nd Amendment. Let's have some basic clarity on the matter, and go from there.

I want the Republicans in Congress to stop holding up relief money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I want them to stop pretending they are exercising some simon-pure form of small-government orthodoxy and just admit they don't like the president, and won't let government work so long as he is in office. No tax reform, no immigration reform, no nothing, ever, until this president is gone, because they said so, so there.

"Ronald Reagan was long thought to be the most conservative of Republicans," Mark McKinnon, a long-time Republican campaign advisor, wrote yesterday. "And by any standard today he is the most popular Republican in modern history. Yet he raised taxes 11 times, supported a ban on assault rifles and the Brady Bill, which mandated background checks, and established amnesty for 3 million undocumented workers." I want these so-called "conservatives" in Congress to talk their way out of that as they polish the gilded frames of their St. Reagan murals.

I want all the soldiers out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and home with their families. I want the president to publicly explain the legal justification for drone warfare before another crowd of children gets blown in half, because dead kids are a tragedy over here, but only collateral damage over there.

I don't want to know these things I know about my country. I don't want all this rage and sadness in my heart. I want to believe we are better than this. I want my daughter to come into a world where sane conversation on things like assault weapons and aid money for storm victims isn't a complete impossibility. I want one day to go by without someone in America dying at the end of a gun. I won't get those wishes, either.

I want to be part of the solution. Getting that wish is entirely up to me.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

William Rivers Pitt

William Rivers Pitt is Truthout's senior editor and lead columnist. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

Related Stories

Guns or Butter?
By Bryan K. Bullock , Speakout | Op-Ed
Gun Ownership Is a Hobby, Not a Right
By Salvatore Babones, Truthout | Op-Ed

Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus