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the british are coming

Currently playing on HBO is the miniseries adapted from David McCullough's biography "John Adams". One of the trenchant short scenes shows the revolutionary colonists dragging British artillery through the mud; they'd captured it in upstate New York and were moving it downstate, opposite Boston, to shell the Redcoats.

They needed to do this because they had no artillery of their own.

The Bill of Rights was still some years in the future at that time, but the artillery situation related to why the Second Amendment was required. In modernized English, this would read:

"The right of the people to keep and bear weapons shall not be infringed upon by the Federal government, because a well-regulated militia is needed to assure the security of a free state."

The issue is right in front of the Supreme Court this week, which is being asked to decide if the District-wide ban on handguns, issued by the DC mayor and applicable to everybody who lives in Washington, violates the guarantees of this Amendment.

Of course it does.

"Well-regulated" does not mean a District-wide prohibition. The Founding Fathers, of course, knew very well what would happen to the cause of the people's liberties if King George had all the guns and they didn't have any.

Well, of course, we have our own King George 233 years later, who has macerated our Treasury in the name of buying arms for his government, but that's another post.

As with every single other law in this our fine nation, the bottom line is how the Second Amendment is enforced or not enforced. Or, as the colonists would have known to say, "The proof is in the pudding." Because we have much more become America the Violent these days, rather than America the Beautiful, we suffer from a welter of overlapping and unenforced laws that allow massacres of innocent students, like those at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech and elsewhere, to go on happening as easily as anyone can plunk down a credit card at an arms store cash register.

Of course, if you are mentally challenged and/or an expert at plotting crimes and/or even a full-blown psychopath, you aren't at all suffering from a welter of overlapping and unenforced laws. You aren't suffering, you're being enabled. It's your planned or random targets who will suffer.

As Don Campbell, a journalism lecturer at Emory University in Atlanta, views it: the real problem is not what the US Supreme Court is going to decide. Rather, it's a spineless US Congress who won't come up with tough Federal regulations [and FUND them.]

These would protect us against being turned into Swiss cheese or blown to bits by those folks who want to say hello and good morning to us that way, and who can legally get all kinds of automatic weapons never even dreamed of in 1775. And whose firepower is light-years beyond what's REALLY necessary to defend your life and your property and your family.

Well, in 1775, folks who were mentally challenged, criminal experts, and psychopaths were thrown into dungeons and chained up, starved, stoned, maybe even put through Trial By Fire or Trial By Water. Of course the King did that. Maybe sometimes the Church, too.

So look at the progress we have made since then. Hmm?


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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