I want to avoid drawing conclusions based on hunches and stereotypes. I don’t want to generalize too broadly either. And I most certainly don’t want to say conservatives are not good people. Heck no, right? (Insert your favorite emoticon.)
But jeepers…there does seem to be perhaps a subtle trend toward conservatives when it comes to bad political behavior and certainly bad ideas. I would be willing to bet, for example, that the hateful attacks against our president when recently he opened a Twitter account likely didn’t come from many liberals. And please don’t try to say that “both sides do it” because they don’t.
By and large, conservatives are the people who foam at the mouth when anyone suggests any sort of responsible control on guns in this country. Many non-conservatives respectfully wish to keep guns, too, by the way. I have a rifle and a shotgun and I hope you have no problem with that. As long as I am safe and responsible, I see no reason why anyone, including the government, should be concerned.
But now let’s take a look what’s going on in Texas. The Texas legislature moved closer yesterday to passing an open-carry handgun law. Apparently gun owners can carry rifles and shotguns in Texas, even assault weapons it seems, so…I don’t know…handguns seem reasonable. What the hell, right? And I’m not going to debate the issue here anyway. Instead I want comment on one of the arguments promoted by pro-gun folks.
Good people and guns are a good thing, that’s the argument. Guns, after all, don’t kill people, people kill people. And who are those people killing people with guns? Bad people. In fact, good people with guns can be a deterrent to crime, they argue. Again, we’re not here to debate this. Let’s say they’re right…how do we test for this? How do you know who is a good person?
At a pro-gun rally in Houston last summer, a group called Come and Take It Houston held a rally to promote its views on gun rights. Some members attended the rally armed with assault rifles and carried signs which superimposed the group’s name and a picture of an assault rifle on the state’s flag.
Doesn’t that imply a threat? In my opinion, it isn’t even subtle. In the little man rhetoric of the pro-gun movement is this “from my cold dead hands” rhetoric that indeed does imply that these people will fight their government to the death if need be. Again, I understand the tyranny worries and blah, blah, blah…but in an era when school lunches and health care equate with government tyranny and the end of freedom, well…
So, who are these so-called “good people” seemingly willing to promote their political agenda quite literally at the point of a gun? Come and Take It Houston organizer, Kenneth Lindbloom, wants “people to realize that in the hands of good people, guns are not dangerous and they don’t kill people.” There’s something ironic about this, isn’t there? If the state goes the other direction and restricts gun use — gun ownership — will these good people turn their guns on the state? Probably not. I get that. But it points out a very basic flaw in the “Good People” argument. People are good only until they are not.
By the way, I see that “Come and Take It” is a patriotic slogan with connections to both the American Revolution and the Texas Revolution. (You can learn something writing these things.) Interestingly — and ironically — one might argue that the slogan refers not to individual gun rights, but to the arming of an organized militia, something which the Second Amendment does seem to endorse.