Friday, July 20, 2012

Social Commentary: From My Cold, Dead Hands

Words by F LoBuono

From my cold, dead hands . . . Actor, and then NRA President, Charlton Heston, while brandishing a replica of a Sharps Buffalo Rifle, uttered that phrase at the close of the 129th NRA Annual Convention in May of 2000.  From my cold, dead hands . . . Those words hold special meaning to NRA members and gun-rights enthusiasts from all over the country.  You can even get a bumper sticker emblazoned with that slogan.  Of course, it's meant to emphasize ones support for the 2nd Amendment to The Constitution; the so-called Right to Bear Arms amendment.

Look, I get it.  It is open to interpretation, but it is also reasonable to conclude that the 2nd Amendment does guarantee Americans the right to own, and carry a weapon.  My purpose with this entry is NOT to debate that issue.  Rather, I would like to discuss the mind set of people who VIGOROUSLY support gun ownership and the right to bear them.  From my cold dead hands . . . Think about what that statement means, especially to people who use it as mantra of sorts.  The implication is that they would rather die (or, perhaps kill) then give up that right.  We, as Americans, are a fiercely independent lot! We will not give up our inalienable rights easily, if at all.  And we are willing to fight for them.  However, it appears to me that those who fanatically support the 2nd Amendment have created a culture of gun worship that is leading to an increasingly violent society where disputes are settled with guns instead of words.

The latest example (and there have been so MANY) is the shooting at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.  12 are confirmed dead and nearly 40 have been wounded, many critically.  And all this carnage was created by a heavily ARMED young man.  The reason exactly why he did this is yet to be discovered.  But it will be in time.  Of course, in an effort to know exactly how this could happen, it will be essential to know why he did this.  However, again, this is secondary to the point I wish to make here.  How could anyone conceive of executing such a heinous act, do so without some knowledge, if not obsession, with firearms?  He did not enter that theater with a butter knife!!  Early reports are that he was heavily armed and knew how to use the weapons he was carrying.  It is early in the investigation and we should not jump to conclusions.  However, still, it is reasonable to assume that he had exposure to weapons and the culture that surrounds them for some time.  His killing was too efficient to assume otherwise.  Does this make him a gun "fanatic"?  Perhaps not, but, certainly, it is again reasonable to assume that he must have been a BIG supporter of the 2nd Amendment.  How else would he be able to obtain so many weapons if not for the RIGHT to access and own them???

Another popular NRA slogan is: guns don't kill people, people kill people. Well, the truth is crazy people who have easy access to guns, in a gun crazy society, kill people!!  It's time that we rethink our obsession with firearms!!

I am not afraid of guns.  My father was in Law Enforcement and, so, I was around weapons for virtually my entire young life.  My father would even take me the police range to familiarize me with the handling, safety, and use of a handgun.  He began EVERY session with the same admonishment: guns ultimately serve one purpose - to kill.  Therefore, we never brandish a weapon unless will ultimately intend to use it for that purpose.  I have never forgotten that and I've taken it one step further; I have renounced guns and the violence they cause.  For me, there can be no other way.  Something must be done and it must be done now.  From my cold, dead hands . . . How many more will be gunned down before we realize that real freedom comes when we are liberated from our obsession with guns.

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