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Now is, indeed, the time for the discussion

Clem, it’s time we had a serious discussion, things have really gotten out of hand.

You know where I’m going with this and I know you don’t want to hear it but it needs to be said and you’re going to listen, again.

Because, after some twisted lunatic opened fire in a crowded theater last week, killing 12 people and injuring many more, your first response was not shock and disbelief or sympathy for the victims but a severely slimy, “This is an inappropriate time to bring up gun control.”

Really? Because, as with Arizona a couple years back, the walking sack of human waste that ruined countless lives last week was also loaded with a 30-round magazine, something that arguably allowed him to take down two or three times the number of victims he might have killed had he not had the capacity to fire at will.

So when is an “appropriate time” to have this conversation? After the next batch of innocents is mowed down by some nutcase loaded up with 30-round magazines and an assault rifle? Or the time after that? The twelfth time? The twentieth time?

Because it’s going to happen again, as long as those magazines are legal and there are wacked-out loners walking around receiving messages from Jupiter.

And just as with Arizona, as soon as the topic of banning 30-round magazines came up, you shoved your fingers in your ears and shouted, “La la la la la la la, liberty, la la la la, freedom, la la la la la, from my cold dead hands, la la la la la la la, Second Amendment …”

It’s tiresome, Clem, and absolutely specious. And yes, while, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” is pretty clear that I have a constitutional right to own guns and shoot things (no antigun liberal, I happen to own a couple of guns myself), the 10th Amendment guarantees me the right to shoot heroin if I want.

Yes, drug laws are essentially unconstitutional — the reason why alcohol prohibition required an amendment to the constitution — yet I wonder how many gun-rights advocates would raise hell about my right to get jacked up on heroin being suppressed.

Are you following me, Clem?

What has happened with this 2nd Amendment argument is that it has been perverted by gun fetishists to assert that any stab at gun control is the first step at taking away our guns. Cop-killer bullets? The next step is an all out weapons ban. Assault weapons? Next thing you know, they’re emptying our gun cabinets.

Get this: No. One. Is. Coming. For. Your. Guns.

Despite what you’ve read in the numerous forwarded e-mails, sent by vacuous blowhards with severely limited intellectual capacity and a bunch of tin foil stuffed in their Imperial Stormtrooper helmet, claiming that Obama is rounding up gun owners for relocation in concentration camps or will be putting serial numbers and a serious tax on ammunition, Obama has done nothing about guns except expand the rights of owners (i.e. allowing concealed weapons into National Parks). That’s a verifiable fact.

Do the research and at least you’ll have some facts that, most likely, contradict the baldly moronic notions you’ve embraced without a mote of critical analysis.

Unfortunately, Clem, you’ve allowed the NRA to do your thinking for you. Once an organization devoted primarily to gun safety and marksmanship (and even supported the country’s first gun-control laws), the group has been overrun by extremists who oppose almost any law drafted that would regulate any arms sales. Not smart, Clem.

Here’s what I think, Clem. By and large, there are three types of NRA members, the first group being in the majority but co-opted by the more vociferous — and dangerous — second and third types.

First, there’s the legitimate sportsmen who, for whatever reason, thinks an NRA membership is de rigueur for gun ownership. Knowing that an assault weapon or a 30-round magazine have no other purpose than to hunt humans, they wouldn’t give a second thought to owning either of those.

The second type holds their weapons as some kind of patriotic totem, a badge of American citizenship. Skipping over the 1st Amendment (indeed, they’re not the type to cherish a free press, the right to dissent or worship), they endow their arsenal with some kind of mystical identity of American exceptionalism that sets our country head and shoulders above the rest.

Then you have the dystopian moonbats who live for the day when they can take up arms against their country to one day live a solipsistic dream of no brown-skinned people or anyone else they don’t like. Those cretinous goons, a pint of Rocky Road away from massive coronary failure and an IQ point short of a seat on the short bus, honestly believe that their days in the woods spent blasting the bark off of trees and playing dressup in camo is rehearsal enough for holding off a few well-trained marines.

The guy who can’t run 10 yards without collapsing into a wheezing pool of blubber honestly thinks he’ll bring professional soldiers to their knees?

My guess is that, when the rubber hits the road, the guy with the Dorito-stained fingers on the trigger will have about 10 seconds before getting to the cold, dead hands stage.

Wannabe Rambo brings up an interesting point, one rarely raised in the gun control discussion: the part of the 2nd Amendment that predicates gun ownership on, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” and then mentions arms ownership.

Are the gun owners of America members of “a well regulated Militia?” I doubt a vast majority are.

Really Clem, I don’t understand how pathetic one must be such that they absolutely must have a 30-round magazine or their life is incomplete. That must be a terribly empty life, one in dire need of purpose and direction.

Likewise, I don’t get the need to own an assault weapon. Yet, like the large-capacity magazine, neither are explicitly guaranteed or protected by our constitution. As I’ve said before (when I tried to have this conversation after the Arizona shooting) if they were, then we could all run out and purchase a grenade launcher, a SCUD missile or even a nuclear warhead. Extending your logic regarding the 2nd Amendment, you could stockpile napalm and chemical weapons and bomb-making materials under the rubric of being a militia.

Finally, Clem, while you say that this is not the appropriate time to bring up the issue of gun control, in the same breath you mouth the idiocy that, had someone else been armed in that theater, they would have prevented the massacre.

Putting aside the fact that the theater chain where the shootings took place has a policy prohibiting weapons on premises, I tend to think that the element of surprise, the initial use of tear gas and head to toe kevlar protection probably provided a distinct advantage. And, really, a crowd of people firing away in a dark, chaotic arena , most (if any) without training or planning, would in all probability result in even more victims.

And that’s the point, Clem, the reason why I’m raising this issue and telling you it won’t go away, that your seemingly principled adherence to the NRA’s obstinate stupidity will result in even more deaths.

You see Clem, the 12 dead and 58 injured aren’t just numbers, they’re people who touched many other people — whom are also affected by the tragedy. A 26-year-old sailor who managed to survive three Gulf tours only to have his life cut short by an armed lunatic (three other service members were also shot dead). A mother who, upon waking from her critical condition, learned that her 6-year-old daughter died in the shooting. A 27-year-old who died shielding his girlfriend and her older brother. A father of three teenagers, there to see the movie with his children.

All for whom, now, liberty and freedom means nothing.

No, Clem, there has never been a better time to have this conversation, to hold you and your “principles” complicit in this tragedy (and so many others), the more than 30,000 gun deaths a year, the 300,000 annual gun-related assaults and the over $100 billion a year it costs us.

That NRA lobbying, by far the most powerful lobby in the U.S. and, in the words of Bill Moyers, “the enabler of death — paranoid, delusional, and as venomous as a scorpion,” was no less culpable than the bystander who stood back and watched the shooting, smiling the entire time. Because it was those 30-round magazines that assisted in the killing, the assault weapons held so sacrosanct by a group that has lost its way.

The time is now, Clem. Grow up and own it. Be an adult, be an American — be a human being. Take the time to listen and consider that, when certain principles supercede human life, those principles are useless.

jim@pagosasun.com

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