Increasingly in today’s America, facts are being replaced by self-interpretation. Facts certainly continue to have their place as long as they are “our” facts versus “the” facts. In regard to right wing politics, guns and the 2nd Amendment, facts are code for “our beliefs.” Years ago and in the course of a conversation, an acquaintance spoke about her husband. “He knows what he knows and that’s all he wants to know”, she said. In a previous post some time ago, this simpleton quote my have been used in regard to another issue. Today, it bears repeating. While “Mike” (not his real name) is both a gun owner and a hunter, I’ve never known him to be careless with his weapons. His mindset is a different thing. “Mike” is in that group of American gun owners where right wing influence can and will, easily sway clear thinking.
Both nationally and in North Carolina, there are a lot of “Mikes.” For some concerning their “right to bear arms”, “Mike” could be looked upon as harmless. Until outside influences and or self-created paranoia sets in. If you’re a gun owner in America who plays around the fringe, you’re in luck. On a national level, the National Rifle Association has your back. On a state level and specifically in North Carolina, the likes of Paul Valone and his infamous Grassroots NC organization come to mind. More importantly, North Carolina’s representatives in Congress or the NC legislature. Pandering to constituents is meaningless unless organizational or financial influences are in play. When Senate politicians vote against a bill that would keep those on a “no fly list” from purchasing weapons in the United States, the NRA’s remarkable influence is a notable achievement. When Republican members of the North Carolina General Assembly propose legislation that is sweeping in its expansion of firearms rights in the state, the scope of the NRA’s influence is yet again and without question, breathtaking.
Today, “responsible legislation” concerning gun safety and ownership in an otherwise civilized society is based on self-interpretation and or influence. Individually, self-interpretation and or influence carries as much or more weight. For some, gun ownership and especially ownership of high powered semi-automatic weapons is either an extension or affirmation of man or womanhood. Knowing that a four or six inch barrel attached to a pistol will never go limp, self-serving importance and perhaps gratification above all else takes on an entirely new meaning. For others, reasons might be more sinister. Such as an Obama or Clinton tyrannical government sweeping in and forcibly removing that which has been bestowed upon them by our forefathers and 2nd Amendment rights. But what is an interpretation of the 2nd Amendment by the current right wing? As Brent Arends writes in today's online MarketWatch, “What America’s gun fanatics won’t tell you", the likelihood that this information will fall on deaf ears is extremely high. And again, we return to self-interpretation. Where facts are only useful if they heighten our wants, needs or desires. So what if a three year old toddler pulls a loaded pistol from the drawer and blows his two year old sister’s brains out? So what if someone on a “no fly list” is prohibited from flying but can easily purchase a weapon in the United States? So what if someone can go into a crowded bar in Orlando, Florida and snuff out forty-nine people with a weapon whose sole purpose and use is to ..... snuff out people? So what?
Read more about gun nuts here.