I just returned from my local watering hole. I was more of less chased out by two gentlemen who considered my support for the Second Amendment tantamount to condoning mass murder. “Bobby, you’re full of shit,” one of my antagonists kept repeating, no matter how much I tried to calm him down. His drinking buddy, a Brown University professor, was equally adamant. And enervated . . .
“No one needs ten guns!” he said, slapping his hand on the bar.
“Are you saying you’d sacrifice those twenty kids for your freedom?” the local demanded.
I tried to explain my position. I tried to change the subject. I bought them both a drink. Neither were satisfied.
A woman at the end of the bar chipped in.”What about Mace?” She was angry that anyone would even consider carrying a firearm.
“Mace is good,” I demurred.
“It’s now three against one,” the Brown professor announced.
“You gotta gun?” the first gentleman demanded. “You gotta gun? Tell me if you gotta gun?” I refused to answer. “You’re full of shit. You know that? You’re full of shit.”
I got out of there as fast as I could. I drove back here and sat down at this desk to confess a single fact: I was wrong.
I was wrong when I wrote that President Obama wouldn’t touch gun control. I was wrong when I believed that America had shifted so far towards firearm rights that the extension of those rights had acquired the patina of inevitability. I’m sorry for my stupidity. I apologize to my readers.
You know that moment in the Wizard of Oz where the guy moving the levers shouts “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” I’ve always known that the Great and Powerful Oz (a.k.a., the government) is not the beneficent force it would have its citizens believe. But now I’ve seen the bland face of Oz. And I’m scared.
Today should have been the day I took heart. But nothing the NRA Veep said at the national press conference makes me feel any safer. Ultimately, Wayne LaPierre argued for “professionally trained” security at our nation’s schools, paid for and provided by the government. Cops.
What the hell has happened to the idea of individual responsibility and freedom? The NRA should have called for armed teachers. And parents. And citizens. Not government intervention.
Are we really at that point where gun rights are defended by an organization that rails against first amendment freedom of expression while lobbying for yet another level of bureaucratic empowerment and incompetence? Is that going to keep our kids safe?
“Of course I trust the government,” the Brown professor thundered when I dared suggest that the police weren’t the best people to defend my own and my daughter’s life. “Nobody needs ten guns!” he repeated.
“Who gets to decide what I need?” I asked. “Me or society?”
“Society,” the guy calling me a bullshitter responded. Without blinking.
I’ve tried to ignore it. I’ve tried to live in peace with my neighbors. I’ve submitted to my local and state government’s Spanish Inquisition-like requirements for exercising my Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. I was wrong to think that going along to get along was good enough.
My heart aches for the children mowed down by a madman. I wouldn’t want to sacrifice any human life for my gun rights. But it’s a done deal.
The firearms freedom we cherish was already paid for in blood. We honor the memory of the people who fought for those rights, who fight for all innocent life, by defending our right to armed self-defense.
The Second Amendment isn’t sacrilege. It’s a testament. No man, no group of men, can shake my faith in our individual right to self-defense. And yet I’m scared for my freedom and the freedom of my daughter.
There’s no getting around it: I’m living in a proto-fascist state with a populace that not only ignores the government’s suppression of individual liberty but actively promotes it. Happily. Joyfully.
I’m told the heat in Texas can be unbearable. The same is true here in Rhode Island. I hope the Lone Star State has room for one more freedom-loving American.