One Nation under guns with thirty-round clips and ammunition for all.
Our culture, as a nation, was born two hundred and thirty seven years ago by way of an armed revolution. The framers of our constitution went out of their way to ensure the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms. Apparently this right was important to them as they allotted the right to own guns in the number two slot of constitutional amendments.
Following the American Revolution, the United States faced military conflict on the high seas as well as on the western frontier. The United States was a minor military power during that time, having only a modest Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. A traditional distrust of standing armies, combined with faith in the abilities of local militia, precluded the development of well-trained units and a large professional defense corps.
Adherents to Jeffersonian theory preferred a small Army and Navy. They were concerned that a large military would involve the United States in excessive foreign wars, and potentially allow a domestic tyrant to seize power. So, how’s that been working out? Well, we seem to be getting more “war-y” and more “tyrant-y” as time passes.
So, just how bellicose is the United States of Guns? Let’s have a short look at our not-so-peaceful past.
American Armed Conflicts:
- Revolutionary War, 1775-1783
- Northwest Indian War, 1783–1812
- Wabash, 1791
- Battle of Fallen Timbers, 1794
- Quasi War, 1798-1800
- First Barbary War, 1803
- Tecumseh’s War, 1811
- War of 1812, 1812-1814
- Creek War, 1813-1814
- Second Barbary War, 1815
- Texas Revolution, 1835–1836
- Mexican-American War, 1846–1848
- American Civil War, 1861–1865
- Indian Wars, 1865–1891
- Spanish-American War, 1898
- Banana Wars, 1898–1935
- Moro Rebellion, 1899–1913
- Mexican Revolution, 1910–1919
- World War I, 1917–1918
- Russian Revolution, 1918 -1919
- World War II, 1941–1945
- Korean War, 1950–1953
- Lebanon, 1958
- Vietnam War, 1956–1975
- Dominican Republic, 1965
- Grenada, 1983
- Beirut, 1982-1984
- Libya, 1986
- Panama, 1989-1990
- Persian Gulf War, 1990–1991
- Somalia, 1992-1993
- Haiti, 1994-1995
- Yugoslavia, 1999
- Afghanistan, 2001-present
- Philippines, 2003
- Iraq, 2003–2011
- Libyan Revolution, 2011
This Nation seems to be in everybody else’s business, without any concern about the domestic side of things. Why, then, is it any wonder, that in the year 2013, we find ourselves mired in controversy over the proliferation of guns across the entire breadth and width of this Country?
An interesting, and very disturbing, trend is emerging with each mass shooting spree we encounter. Back in the “good old” days, a mass shooting might yield six to eight people killed and, say, twenty to thirty people wounded. It seems that now the numbers are reversing themselves.
Ever since the Columbine High School shooting, there have been more people killed than injured/wounded. This fact alone should make everyone sit up and take notice.
Are the bad guys becoming better shots? I don’t think so. I’ve witnessed professionals who can’t hit the broad side of a barn, with any type of firearm. It has to be that the bad guys simply have more fire-power today than they did in the past.
The availability of semi-automatic assault style weapons with large capacity clips is a glaring example of what should not be allowed in the public sector. Thirty-round clips have been around for quite some time. Now, the mass murderers have figured out that they can’t hit the broad side of a barn either, so more bullets equal’s better (worse) outcomes.
I have had the necessity of using this type of firearm, so I can speak from experience that the ultimate function of an AR-15, or an AK-47, is to kill as many people in the shortest period of time as possible. There is absolutely no other reason to use such a weapon.
The same holds true for hand guns, like the Glock 9-mm, with similar ammunition capacity and firing frequency. It’s not just in the movies anymore; these deadly weapons are also showing up in public with laser guided sights. These are military firearms, and should remain the sole possession of our armed forces.
You can certainly have your pick of many other types of firearms more suited to individual ownership. If it’s personal protection that’s in question, then might not a simple shot-gun suffice? I can tell you, again from experience, that a basic shot-gun has a superior “kill radius” with a single pull of the trigger. It’s easier to handle, easier to aim, easier to keep clean, and a whole lot cheaper than the military style alternatives.
Then there are folks under the impression that the one major problem here is mental health. You must keep the “crazies” off the streets. Well, we’ve had a remarkably large community of people suffering from various mental health problems for hundreds of years. They are not the reason for the spike in gun violence since 1999 and the shooting in Columbine High School.
Perhaps another rock to look under is that of the drug culture in this country; both legal and illegal. It’s the dirty little secret that Mommy and Daddy doesn’t like to talk about. The fact of the matter is very high quality opiates are on the market, and their proliferation has driven the price down dramatically.
Whether in powder form, or pill form, prescription, or street bought, we are raising a generation of “junkies”. What could possibly go wrong when you mix guns and drugs? I hate to harp on my own experiences, but I’ve witnessed, “up close and personal”, what a good dose of opiates does to a normally functioning human being. It’s not a pretty sight.
It’s time to stop this gun phenomena, come to our senses and come up with some answers. The start of any solution to this problem begins with setting national priorities. Perhaps one of the first priorities should include the cessation of hostilities beyond our borders, and the trillions of dollars we are flushing down the toilet.
While our Nation’s Military is off bombing the rest of the planet, the home front is crumbling and dying with bullets in the brain and/or needles in the arm. With the ammunition of our armed forces stored safely in bunkers, maybe we will have the intestinal fortitude to seriously tackle the problems of guns and drugs in our culture. Until such time, there will be more mass-casualty shootings and bombings, and the body counts will rise accordingly on a more frequent basis.