What Are You Afraid Of?

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II. 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.

On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was adopted, having been ratified by three-fourths of the states.

A lot has been said about the second amendment – much of it willfully misinterpreted so that any lunatic or terrorist can acquire a gun, or multiple guns, to use at will. Whatever it’s called, the gun of choice for terrorists and mass murderers was created specifically for the purpose of killing as many humans as possible in the shortest possible time. To allow those weapons off the battlefield is just wrong.

stg44-large

Neither the first or second amendment implies or avers the right to practice one’s religion with a gun. Anyone questioning that assertion should be kept as far away from weaponry as possible. Nor does either amendment imply any purpose for automatic weapons, which didn’t exist in those days (except possibly weapons from ancient times that cannot be reasonably considered convenient for anything but testing on the Mythbusters.) Far be it from me to tell the military how to run its business. However, it seems logical, if we’re going to teach people how to kill efficiently, we shouldn’t be surprised if they carry that behavior off the battlefield. Still, clearly, when warfare must happen, those stateside would be much better off if those weapons were only on loan for a soldier’s tour of the battlefield.

As if all of that was not distressing enough, the misrepresentations and distortions of both the First and Second Amendments are shouted over any disagreement. Free speech has been stretched beyond its limits. No longer the purview of callers into talk radio, thisScared_Child_at_Nighttime disgraceful practice has spilled over onto the floor of Congress: The 2016 Republican senate refused to do its constitutional duty to interview a nominee for the Supreme Court. The same politicians lie about women, Muslims, and people of color, and think it’s an effective use of our tax dollars to harass a White House hopeful and humiliate the head of the FBI. Another presidential candidate wrote a book called The Art of the Deal in which he says openly that if you tell a lie three times your prospect will believe it, then you go in for the kill by appealing to their fears.

PinocchioFox News has no compunction about spreading “pants on fire” lies 60% of the time[1]. A Republican senator said openly that congress would focus not on governing, but on making sure the Democratic president could not do his job. A plethora of Republican governors have lowered taxes on the rich and found their venue bankrupt. If the 2016 Republican presidential nominee and 40th President of the United States are any indications the way around deficits is to purchase goods and services and default on the payments. Moreover on June 30, 2014, in an effort to legitimize a previous, misrepresented ruling that corporations are people[2], a benighted Supreme Court of the United States ruled that money is a function of Free Speech.

corporatepeople
Republicans and conservative economists continue claiming cutting taxes for the rich is key to full employment, wealth for the masses, government flush with money, and a robust economy. In fact, Kansas Republican Governor Sam Brownback and the Republican legislature were so confident that slashing safety nets, cutting education, and spending a budget surplus on tax cuts for the rich would produce an economic bonanza, they gave the wealthy well over a billion dollars in unfunded tax cuts that starved the state’s economy of revenue. [3]

How does making education less available improve job prospects? Especially for good jobs. And how does preventing voters from entering the voting booth support Free Speech? Certainly, one U. S. political party is seriously confused on what Free Speech looks like:

Senator John Lewis and his Democratic collegues sit-in for Gun Control.

Senator John Lewis and his Democratic colleagues’ sit-in for Gun Control.

Worst of all is the wall of words used in congress to prevent a discussion of gun control on the floor of the senate after the abomination in Orlando. This process in which walls of words, like noxious gas, vomited out in an effort to silence rational response is much too similar to rape to be acceptable. The response was devastating, again proving that quiet voices speak the loudest.

Kuhn on shaky voice

Why

Click to see “Why Gun Laws Need to Change” video on “The Other 98%” Facebook page.

——
[1]http://www.mintpressnews.com/pants-on-fire-analysis-shows-60-of-fox-news-factsare-
really-lies/205563/ 787
[2]Hartmann, Thom. Unequal Protection: How corporations became “people” and how you can fight back. San Francisco, CA: Barrett Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2010.
[3]http://www.politicususa.com/2014/07/28/kansas-bankrupt-republicans-lying-taxcutting-reason.html

Media Credits:
Pinocchio – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lie
Scared Child -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Scared_Child_at_Nighttime.jpg
Corporate Personhood – https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/occupy-santaclara-corporate-personhood-reconsidered
Ids – http://imgur.com/gallery/MzoNfof
Sit-in for Gun Control – http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/22/politics/john-lewis-sit-in-gunviolence/
Gray Pather Maggie Kuhn – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/151926
Why Gun Laws Need to be Changed – The Other 98% – https://www.facebook.com/TheOther98/videos/1358714637472844/

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About Judy M. Goodman

Freelance writer, aspiring novelist, and board member of Jane Stories Press Foundation.
This entry was posted in constitution, economy, ethics, Free Speech, guns, hobgoblins, politics, powerlessness, violence. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What Are You Afraid Of?

  1. drgeraldstein says:

    “However, it seems logical …” You have diagnosed the problem, Judy, in that logic isn’t the most important part of the conversation. Indeed, Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist, has documented the large body of research indicating that we humans come to our opinions about things like politics and religion emotionally, only a bit later finding reasons for those opinions. Of course, we (on both sides if the aisle) believe it works the other way around.

    • Judy M. Goodman says:

      Gerry: are you saying that logic and emotion are mutually exclusive? I do not believe they must be all of the time..Naturally, we respond emotionally to the terrible abuses of the 2nd Amendment, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to apply logic to the clear problem. I have heard that 80% of gun owners favor common sense restrictions on the sale of guns — which we certainly do not have at this time.

      • drgeraldstein says:

        No, Judy, I’m not suggesting logic and emotion are mutually exclusive. However, in fraught areas of discussion like politics, virtually all of us have probably found that conversations with someone on the opposite side are almost always fruitless — unable to do much other than create heat without persuading anyone to change their point of view. No amount of data or rationality tends to puncture the already established positions. If you’d like to look at the research on how quickly and instinctively we come to our political positions, you might begin with this book: https://www.amazon.com/Righteous-Mind-Divided-Politics-Religion/dp/0307455777/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471432754&sr=1-1&keywords=Jonathan+haidt/ Haidt’s work and the work he cites also is important because it points to the different moral values held by those on the left and the right, values that contribute to political positions that often seem irreconcilable. So, all I’m saying is that logic has its limits — one reason why politicians (demagogues in particular) — try to stir people up. Finally, I have heard and read of the same beliefs about common sense restrictions regarding the amount of support they get from the public. Unfortunately, gerrymandered congressional districts and the fear of being outflanked on the right during primary elections seem to cause too many of our politicians to put the retention of their jobs before other responsibilities. But, I realize you are already aware of this.

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