Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, December 14, 2012 7:55 pm

On today’s Connecticut massacre; or, PARTS of the Constitution are a suicide pact

Commenter Kurt Weldon at Pierce’s place:

When the Patriot Act was thumbing its nose at the First Amendment, we were told “the Constitution is not a suicide pact.” And yet, when the Second Amendment is discussed, the Constitution is very much a suicide pact. The First Amendment is phrased as an absolute. We treat [it] as conditional. The Second is phrased conditionally. We treat it as an absolute.

Words matter, and history’s greatest clusterflocks are, to a one, tagged with the shattered remains of people who believed otherwise, the destruction not distinguishing in many cases between the merely ignorant and the guilty as sin. Are we really going to continue to treat as rational actors the kinds of public figures who argue, in effect, that if we give each kindergartner her own Glock, this crap won’t ever happen again?

However, lest I be accused of looking at the world only through shit-colored glasses, let me pass on, via commenter Patrick Myers on the same thread linked above, an observation — and, perhaps, instructions for you if you’re wondering what to tell your kids about what happened today — from Fred Rogers. Yeah, that Fred Rogers:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.

Among those helpers today were cops, firefighters and public school teachers — the same cops, firefighters and public school teachers the Republican Party and its sponsors, the Koch Brothers and ALEC, have been demonizing so loudly and publicly for so long. Bad as today was, but for some of those teachers it could have been far worse.

My aunt is a retired public school teacher in Connecticut. Her older daughter’s husband is one today.

No, I don’t believe in banning individual gun ownership. But I also don’t believe for a goddamn second that the American people currently constitute a well-regulated militia, and anyone who claims otherwise, including a majority of the current Supreme Court, apparently, is batshit insane. I believe in the Constitution, but I have never signed a suicide pact and I don’t know another soul in America who has. Maybe I just need to get out more.


  1. Great insight into a subject that is prone to some rather crazy views!

    I would appreciate you feedback!

    Best Wishes on the Blogsphere!

    Comment by forlibertysake — Friday, December 14, 2012 10:49 pm @ 10:49 pm

  2. We look at mass shootings in this country and automatically the talk turns to gun control. The right fears loosing their right to bear arms, the left says easy access to guns is the only thing that will stop these senseless killings. But therein lies the answer, senseless killings.

    In every instance the shooters are literally insane and yet nothing is done about their insanity until after people die. Governments in this country have spent the last 30 plus years cutting health care with mental health getting the axe at every turn. And yet even those of us who have tried to check ourselves into mental institutions have too often found it to be impossible to do unless you are in fact well monied and handsomely insured. Never mind that there is no system of mental health screening in place in this country that might catch and rehabilitate these people before they kill or that most of the mentally ill can be successfully treated without being institutionalized.

    Take away the guns and the school shooters will become school suicide bombers with bombs made from under the kitchen sink or the garage. Or the modern air conditioned classroom with fixed windows will become the perfect gas chamber with deadly ammonia-chloride gas easily available from ingredients in mom’s laundry room. It will only take one before others follow suit.

    The problem never was guns and the senseless part is that liberals and conservatives alike will continue to waste time arguing gun control when we need to be talking about mental health.

    Reality is this: if we want this problem to end the left is going to have to stop pointing fingers at guns and the right is going to have to be willing to spend more money on health care– especially mental health care.

    Otherwise you can continue your squabbles while the mentally unstable among us continue to kill our children.

    -Signed, one who has actually considered doing it. -Billy Jones

    Comment by recyclebill — Saturday, December 15, 2012 7:49 pm @ 7:49 pm

  3. Billy, first, my condolences on the death of your son.

    Second, I am absolutely on board with cheaper, more widespread mental-health care (and cheaper, more widely available medical care in general). My wife is entering her final semester of training at Wake Forest to be a clinical MH counselor, btw.

    Third, I support the Second Amendment, including concealed carry. But there’s no reason on Earth any U.S. civilian needs access to some of the kinds of weapons that are now legal. We need better record-keeping on sales. It needs to be at least as hard to buy a gun as it is in some jurisdictions to cast a ballot, including both criminal and mental-health record checks.

    We can’t stop all gun violence (including suicides and accidents). But we can take sane steps to reduce it a LOT without doing violence to the Second Amendment. And we should. Because anyone who wants to argue that the American public, as messed up as it is and with 88 guns for every 100 people, constitutes a well-regulated militia, is nuts.

    Be well, my friend.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, December 16, 2012 12:05 am @ 12:05 am

    • Lex, Thank you. Target shooting was something Jason and I loved doing together. That is, until I made the mistake of introducing him to large calibers that costs $.50 cents to $1.oo a round to fire. He still loved it but my wallet taught me not to love it so much. And it’s really hard to get kids to switch back to .22s after they’ve learned to shoot guns capable of stopping trucks.

      And therein lies part of the problem, as Americans we are addicted to bigger, stronger, faster, more powerful and stronger… overkill at every turn. Be in guns, cars, motorcycles, houses, whatever…

      Even though I probably own 20 or so guns I cannot disagree with you. We both know the far ends are never where the solutions will be found.

      But until going to the doctor for a check-up also includes going to a shrink for a mental health check-up I fear nothing will change. We have placed our mental health in the hands of unqualified clergy for far too long.

      Comment by recyclebill — Sunday, December 16, 2012 9:02 am @ 9:02 am

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