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December 18, 2012

Not a Civilized Nation

Roy Meachum

All weekend, holding strong through Monday, the subject was kicked to death. Not literally. The topic captivated preachers of all religions, momentarily merging the faiths. The National Rifle Association, the chief lobbyist for weapons manufacturers, had mud on its collective face.


A whole lot stingier than wet dirt!


Out of several mouths, the NRA declared the real answer to Friday was to arm teachers: Anything to make greater profits! They’re proposing a national referendum on the issue, convinced they can gather so many votes; I think they’re wrong! They would find men and women cannot be sold as America’s lawmakers were, out of fear of losing their jobs, their positions.


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg concluded, since the November elections didn’t oust President Barack Obama, and he is still in charge of the big city, the gun lobby is on-the-run. There was ample reason for dismissing the bureaucrats with their bodies covered with globs of sand – NRA money.


Citing the Constitution’s Second Amendment, they dig themselves into an electoral ditch: “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.”


We are no longer in danger, as the Founding Fathers felt they were. We don’t have militia, but the strongest-in-the-world armed forces. The gun lobbyists cry “We must uphold the Constitution” – strictly. Meanwhile, notably, women and blacks have won voting rights, impossible in the 18th century – when the Second Amendment was passed.


Americans publically wrestle with sex, unlike our predecessors. We’ve gone through Prohibition and the Great Depression; atomic bombs and the Civil War. We now trudge through the notion of the same-gender marriages. Matters seeming to relate to the Constitution have met apathy by an electorate. On the other hand, we continue getting our political “toes” stepped on, principally by the gun lobbyists and addle pated politicians.


Six teachers and 20 students of Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School were shot by a Bushmaster .223 rifle, many of them more than once and in their faces. The two deadly handguns were minimally involved. Connecticut adults acquitted themselves well; a young woman lied to the murderer that the children were in gym, while they hid themselves in the classroom. In essence, the grown-ups protected the children at a cost of their lives. Most of the young students were in kindergarten and first grade, averaging five and seven years-old.


There were suggestions that the killer’s mother, Nancy Lanza, should be jailed for not keeping the weapons stored away; she belonged to a shooting club in the well-heeled town. She permitted her sons to go along, getting their hunting licenses. Twenty-years-old Adam Lanza was fingered as the slayer that conducted the massacre.


On the same day, in China, there was a similar incident at a school, although the assassin could not get a gun. Armed with only a knife, he managed to wound seven pupils; only two were hampered enough to ride away from the scene, and to the hospital. The big difference was in the choice of weapons.


Other nations look down on the rash of massacres and incidents smugly; they permit their citizens to work out in other ways. They regard America as naïve, a child peddling upstream.


But by no means, “civilized.”


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