Notes from around the Human Experience…
WE THE PEOPLE: Whether any Second Amendment supporter is ready for it or not, eventually America will begin talking seriously about regulating weapons whose sole purpose is killing large numbers of people. It’s inevitable. The slaughter has been too enormous and people have grown too angry and too weary.
Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: On the campaign trail for the Libertarian Party for both the United States Senate and House of Representatives we’ve said we supported the Second Amendment without qualification or restriction and we continue to support it. It was included in the Bill of Rights for a reason, reasons that are as relevant today as they were then.
But we will gladly join this conversation. America can no longer stand by and do nothing, if for no other reason than to calm its collective psyche.
Dry, Technical Matter: Today we are going to take a non-partisan look at the Second Amendment, which was passed in 1791 with the rest of the Bill of Rights. We’ll start by reading it. It’s only 27 words long, as brilliant as it is ambiguous in its brevity:
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.
Thanks For The Clarification, Guys: Does the Second Amendment refer only to bearing arms in the context of being in a militia, or does it allow anyone to own whatever weapon they want? Taken in the context of the times that inspired the Bill of Rights, and the English laws and customs that influenced them, we think the answer is both.
Get Out Your History Books: Our Founding Fathers wanted armed citizens. Not only for militia service but to fight off the Indians whose land we were stealing and to provide food and for personal defense. Perhaps most importantly, they didn’t want unarmed citizens going up against an armed government. This was no small consideration then and it is no small consideration now.
Back To The Future: If America is of a collective mind to modify the right to bear arms, we must be careful.
One, criminals do not obey laws. That’s why they’re criminals. The several thousand current gun laws did not stop the Las Vegas massacre, just like they didn’t stop any other mass shooting and it is not reasonable to expect more laws will make more of a difference: those hell bent on causing tragedy and mayhem will cause tragedy and mayhem no matter what is and what is not legal.
But We Digress: As we discussed in an earlier column, this nation has not had a day of peace since 1989 and the result is violent citizens. We don’t think this logic can be impeached: violence begets violence. If America had been at peace every day since 1989 mass shootings would seldom, if ever, happen.
Back On Message: Two, automatic weapons are not the only guns that kill people. People are killed by handguns and non-automatic weapons on a daily basis in this country. Are we prepared to ban those as well? Because once the talk of banning one kind of weapon takes hold, talks of banning others will follow.
Some Philosophy Crap: We would not tolerate government intrusion on our First Amendment rights so let’s take care with our Second Amendment rights. They’re there for a reason, even if that reason is a bit muddled right now. We must show great care when modifying or relinquishing a Constitutional right.
The Bottom Line: Americans have grown weary of our semi-annual mass slaughters. We have, too. There will come a time, perhaps fairly soon, when enough Americans will demand something be done so that something is done, whether or not there is reasonable chance of really making a difference. America is not going to stand by and watch the innocent get slaughtered forever and ever.
Good. We shouldn’t. It’s our duty as concerned and conscientious citizens to take action when we feel action needs to be taken.
But let’s be careful.
HUT, HUT, HIKE: Georgia Tech defeats Cumberland College 222-0 on this date in 1916, the most lopsided game in college football history.
Cumberland had discontinued their football program the previous year, but Georgia Tech coach John Heisman would not let Cumberland back out of the game without the payment of the $3,000 (about $66,000 today) stipulated in their contract. Most of the players were frat brothers of George Allen, the baseball team’s student manager who was charged with mustering up a team.
A Kodak Moment: Man gets its first look at the far side of the moon when the Soviet probe Luna 3 transmits the first pictures on this date in 1959. The pictures weren’t very good by today’s standards, but it did reveal significantly more craters and fewer lunar plains than on the near side of the moon.
And You Wonder Why You Don’t Get Invited To More Parties: We Earthlings see the same side of the moon all the time because the moon rotates on its axis at the same speed it orbits the Earth, a phenomenon known as tidal locking, which is rather common in the Solar System.
Oh Jesus H: The moon does wobble, meaning that from time to time, if we look closely, about 18 percent of the far side of the moon is visible to us.
Quotebook: You have to believe. You have to play brave. – Martin Kaymer, professional golfer
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Sputnik-1 completed 1,440 orbits around Earth.
Today’s Stumper: Who were the first humans to see the far side of the moon firsthand? – Answer next time!