ANN DAVIDOW FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The way it is talked and written about in conservative circles one would think the second amendment trumped all the others. Republican lawmaker Jason Chaffetz says “protecting the second amendment is paramount” when it comes to gun legislation.
One might think that protecting innocent lives and our borders should be the first concern of lawmakers. The Constitution gave Congress the responsibility of declaring war and safeguarding the nation’s interests at home and abroad. It is rarely required, however, to perform this sacred duty and when our country engages in unauthorized foreign conflicts they tend to be called something other than actual war - - our ‘police action’ In Korea comes to mind. Decisions about war and peace tend to be viewed through the prism of constitutional rectitude when they may in fact have more to do with political ambition.
Protectors of the second amendment tend not to reference the part about a “well-regulated militia” and make wild assertions about the need to protect hearth and home with huge magazine clips and multiple firearms. Outlandish hypotheticals are repeated endlessly and which willing gullible followers repeat and embellish at will. One of the least truthful but most often repeated bromides is the “it won’t work” excuse for not passing new legislation. If the NRA is convinced it is useless to try to interfere with a determined killer they shouldn’t waste so much time and energy trying to undermine the legislative process.
Of course the NRA isn’t the only overwrought gun rights advocate in the right-wing arsenal. Larry Pratt presides over a membership of some 300,000 as executive Director of an organization called Gun Owners of America. There is even a web page devoted to singles looking to ‘hook up’ … “Meet singles who believe in the 2nd Amendment! Whether you own several guns or one, love to hunt, or just believe strongly in our right to bear arms & defend our God-given freedom...there's someone special waiting for you” Who knew? Pratt is now trying to find a replacement for Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey because he voted to allow the Senate on debating a watered down gun control bill to proceed rather than support a filibuster of fellow Republicans. The threat of being ‘primaried’ has been a successful tactic in past elections most frequently employed by Tea Partiers.
Many gun advocates try to act rational and caring, couching their rhetoric in language that sounds as if they shared the sorrow that parents and schoolmates continue to experience after the shootings at Sandy Hook. But exclaiming about the horror doesn’t excuse the heartless reaction of some who like Sean Hannity, suggest that parents of the children lost are just being used to promote the president’s agenda. It may be the perfect moment to press for better gun safety measures, but it has long been an issue that didn’t depend on extraordinary events to validate the need for new ways to address the issue of gun violence. Ann Coulter said Hannity’s remarks reminded her of her own when she spoke out about the widows of the pilots who died on 9/11, saying she had never seen widows who enjoyed themselves so thoroughly. How these despicable air heads are provided with air time is a tribute one supposes to the right to free speech, an amendment taken so seriously that even the worst of the worst are given a place on the podium.