Wednesday, May 28, 2008

2nd Amendment

The 2nd Amendment.

If you believe in the 2nd Amendment as a right for the commonwealth, rather than the sole of the military, you've never been on the receiving end of a gun - if you had, your views would change from the wanton need to kill if a gun was handy via means of "protection", to savoring life when it is about to be shot out from underneath. The Constitution was written under the pretense of war, at a time where wartime measures required guns to fight a gun-toting invading force. In my faith and beliefs, killing is not necessary EVER.

What benefit is there to give everyone a gun? If no one had a gun, what reason would there be for protection? It is ONLY through escalation that guns are needed. If weaponry didn't exist, what would fuel the fervent warrior? The fact that there is EASY access to harmful machines, only fuels those bent on harm. Take away the access, and there will be a decrease in harmful situations penned on an outside source, being guns. There will always be something else to take its place, but shouldn’t there also be a choice of whether or not to take up such a violent act?

If one is given a gun, there is no choice - only one action. If one were to say "I have a gun, but choose not to use it - except only in defence..."; defence of what? Shooting or be shot? The choice becomes kill or be killed? There is death on someone's hands no matter how you view it. Why would anyone choose death, over life? There is always another underlying factor involved, for the use of a weapon. Root out the evil beneath the folds of weaponry, and one will find solace in knowing that there even lies a choice without guns and subsequent killing.

I’ve been mugged because someone wanted my coat. And because I chose to use my mind as a means to fend off the attacker, I was shot because of it. I regret nothing - I have no blood on my hands.

I’ve seen someone shoot themselves, with alcohol and other drugs involved. Had there not been a gun around, he’d still be with us today. Maybe he would have died from a drug overdose, but at least his brains wouldn’t be on the wall of his basement. His nickname was “Brooklyn”.

Thomas Jefferson, one of the greatest minds ever to grace American soil, was pro-gun. He is quoted in his Commonplace Book as saying the following:

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

Except Jefferson only copied it from an Italian man named Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria-Bonesana, who is considered one of the founding pioneers in the field of criminology, and a philosphical/politician contempory of Jefferson, and author of a treatise of one of the basis of our Constitution, “On Crimes and Punishments”. There is one great difference between the two men: Jefferson used the quote as an end to the means, meaning he was for everyone having a gun so that everyone would be equal in the face of danger. Bonesana actually meant it as a means to and end, as he was fervently opposed to torture and an advocate of criminal reform.

I, much like Bonesana, tend to side with humanism on this subject in that there is now more than ever a sense of urgency at unjust suffering. Utilitarianism works to a point, then the argument begins on which state of moral happiness is best for the greater good – I tend to side with the happiness that is not blowing someone’s brains out, simply because one has access to a gun and is happy about using it at any given point, for any given reason.

I can only say that you will value life to the fullest, knowing that it can be taken in an instant. Diseases can leave a person withering years after diagnosed. Even though I've had my share of medical unfortunates, I cannot speak of that. However, I can speak of being on the receiving end of cowardice ...

Respect is taken, when respect is given ...

Namaste and Slainte

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