Harry Belafonte, of course, popped up in the news lately advocating jail for Republicans, and showing that he remains faithful to his now departed Soviet idols. He, therefore, got me thinking about guns and something else.
For liberals, the second amendment is a big embarrassment. They cannot accept that private ownership of firearms is in there with the rights to assembly, speech, religion, etc., as a crucial limit on the power of the government over the individual. The second amendment is not about hunting or target shooting: it is about freedom, about denying the government a monopoly on the means of violence, just as the first amendment denies the government a monopoly on expression and thought.
Are there abuses of freedom in a free society? Sure. Are all gun owners responsible? No. Are all who express political, social, economic, religious, or cultural views responsible? No.
So, folks, time to get "Mister tally man" to come to town. Let's see which freedom poses more danger to the public: that of holding and promoting bad ideas, or that of holding and promoting the right to bear arms. I am not kidding. This is an idea for some serious research, and I offer some preliminary thoughts triggered by a little conversation I had with a German diplomat 30 years ago in Guatemala.
This very nice German diplomat came to the Embassy for a visa to go to Miami on vacation. I was in a cranky Republican mood and this kindly gentleman stumbled into my crosshairs. He said he feared going to Miami because of press reports on carjackings in pre-concealed carry Florida. There had been a couple of foreign tourists killed. He said "This would never happen in Germany. There are no guns there."
I rose to the bait, "There are also no Jews there precisely because of that. If every old Rabbi accosted by the SA, the SS, the Gestapo, or other party thugs had met his tormentor with a locked and loaded Luger or Walther, instead of with the resigned wisdom of three thousand years of philosophy, I wonder how long that Nazi party would have gone on?"
The same, of course, could have been said about the Klan in our own country: what if every black they went after had met them on the steps of his home with a loaded shotgun or pistol? What if the racists had not taken away the right of law abiding blacks in some parts of the country to bear arms (Note: This continues today, e.g., Chicago)? How many of the 5-6000 lynchings would have occurred? How many innocents would be dead in the gang wars of major cities? All this points to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, who understood the critical role of guns in promoting and protecting civil and human rights, including the right to life.
What about bad ideas? My motto: People don't kill people, people armed with bad ideas kill people. Communism has killed nearly 100 million people. Nazism, exclusive of the war dead, killed about 21 million, including nearly six million Jews. I have never seen numbers for the dead caused by well-meaning socialist schemes such as nationalized medicine, but do remember a few years ago when some 15,000 people, mostly elderly, died in France in one August because the temperature went up a few degrees; the doctors and ambulance drivers in the national medical system were on vacation. I still, however, run into people who think Communism is the way to go; the Nazis weren't so bad; and the government should run our health system. We also have people who so fear guns that they cannot understand why "gun free" Chicago, England, and Wales have higher homicide rates than "gun infested" Utah. In other words, we have lots of Harry Belafonte clones out there, and they are not silent.
I think, therefore, it's time to revoke the first amendment. We must work to ban bad ideas. All ideas must be registered. There must be background checks run on all those proposing ideas. There must be a mandatory waiting period before any idea can be held. The ACLU must be considered a terrorist organization, and its followers jailed.
We must do it for the children!
Please, think of the children!