After Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, I remember a debate raging across the US about gun laws – and reining in perhaps the most pernicious pressure group on the planet after Greenpeace, The National Rifle Association. 49 years later, the guns are more numerous, and the mass-murderers more commonplace.
The NRA tell us it’s all about the Constitution and the Right to Bear Arms: it’s in the Constitution so it must be true and right and proper. But the same Constitution also ‘holds it as self-evident that all men are created equal’, when they obviously aren’t. For the NRA – aka the Gun Lobby – the American Constitution is merely a convenient stick with which to bash the sane folks who want stricter gun laws. The RTBA was based on English redcoats getting ideas about a counter-revolution; it’s about as relevant to today as Jewish Kosher.
In the 1950s, they needed guns because the Commies were coming. In the 1960s, because the blacks were rioting. In the 1970s, because drug-related crimes were usually violent. And ever since, because you might need to mow down a gun-toting lunatic who bought 30,000 rounds of ammunition over the counter. No doubt in 2013, they’re going to need guns to wipe out the fraudsters, bent politicians, Libor fixers, gold regulators, and crooked speculators. And those groups in turn are going to need even better guns to defend themselves against the vengeful hordes of wiped-out Middle America.
Violence breeds violence. There is no such thing as a Human Right. What Rights we have are the result of national laws bestowed upon men by other men. The Right to Bear Arms is wrong. The mourning, vigils, floral tributes and tearful media interviews no longer impress me, because these regular massacres are self-inflicted. They happen because the NRA fills Congressional pockets with munnneeeee, and the electorate isn’t up for changing that.
It’s one of the more extreme examples of why all money flowing from private business and associated lobbying must be stopped wherever liberal deomcracy exists. But it is no less urgent for all that.