The last two weeks witnessed extreme actions by a Democratic congress to try to get votes on common sense gun laws. The Republicans reacted as they usually do with declarations of support for the 2nd amendment – ignoring as usual the sensible restrictions that we put on every “right” guaranteed under the constitution. I could go through those for quite a while but will only say that this is not likely the well regulated militia described. The founders of the nation could not have imagined the weapons we have today but it is deeper than that.
Guns are a symbol of conservatism that is a holdover from the civil war. It powers the idea that those “elites” in Washington D. C. are not going to tell “me “what to do. We never had a reconciliation after the civil war. Maybe we would have if President Lincoln had not been assassinated when he was. The war made the South give up on owning other people but there was a base there that didn’t give up on their flags, their resentment, their hatred. Their “heirs” now do not want to give up on guns because of what the government might do. They don’t like being told what to do
Then we went further. The country decided that every person deserved equality. The signs that ordered a strict segregation came down, but the flags stayed up . We did nothing as a country to bring ourselves together. There has never been a reconciliation. Instead we have allowed the underlying currents to run unchecked and unchallenged.
Conservatives fall back on religion, freedom and guns. I hate saying it that bluntly but I think we need blunt. The cry for guns runs in parallel with the denegation of the government. Religion is being used as a reason for denying things to others and guns are held as a protection against – well – against America. It also is the shied for racism, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia and a segment of the population that wants an America that goes back to the 1950’s or the 1850s.
We don’t need guns. We don’t need weapons that kill 50 people in an instant. Our country flourishes when we work together and accept others.