I’m literally on a flight back to Los Angeles from Phoenix , Arizona as I write this post. Being a native son of the state, I’m conflicted about the states position state’s position on a lot of controversial social and political issues. In light of the recent tragedy in Tucson, I was motivated to deal with the issue of gun control or the lack thereof. As a liberal republican and Obama republican, I felt it was my duty to address this issue.
As I transversed the streets of Phoenix, I couldn’t help but notice the ubiquitous bumper stickers that read, “Guns save lives.” Are you kidding – really? It’s sad that the gun control issue always seems to lie dormant in the background until there is another tragedy with a high body count – thanks to high capacity ammunition clips!
The crux of this argument really gets my goat. Let’s face it, whenever we hear the argument of those in favor of guns, the second amendment and the right to bear arms, we are talking about white men! Yes, I said it, white men. Gun ownership to this right-wing crowd is right up their there with God and apple pie.
Armed black men have always struck fear in most people. This goes back to the early days of emancipation after slavery. Strict “black codes” prohibited blacks from owing owning firearms of any kind. To add insult to injury, they were not allowed to own a dog to protect their homes and families. I’m sure this fact probably comes as a shock to most readers. nonetheless, it’s true!
Towards the end of the civil war blacks were mustered into the Union Army at a very high rate. They were allowed to bear arms and defend the Union during the war. The same can’t be said for the Confederacy. General Robert E. Lee was in favor of doing so, however, his generals and much of the the citizenry of the Old South were dead set against it. The thought of Armed negroes running around plantations with white women – some recently widowed – was just too much for the sons of the Confederacy to bear. Let’s not forget the potential for armed insurrection by newly freed slaves. This was the southerners’ biggest fear; hence strict “black codes.” This relegated unarmed confederate soldiers to perform menial tasks such as cooking and burying confederate war dead.
Here is my solution to the problem. The United States government should do a media blitz showing black men armed to the teeth with a caption that reads in bold print “we believe in the second amendment too!” Of course we would have black men that represent all social strata from Leroy in the mail room to CEOs of major corporations. Oh yes, we do have a lot of them these days! I guarantee you we would have gun control enacted as fast as you can say, “I’m voting for Sarah Palin in 2012!”
As the old adage goes anybody can be a big man and pack heat, the question is, what will you do when the other guy pulls his gun? Food for thought isn’t it? We as American’s have been up and down on the gun control issue for years now. Going back to the attempted assasination on Ronald Reagan. (There was plenty of gun control discussion with JFK’s assassination and especially when Martin and Bobby were assassinated in 1968. Rep. Peter Rodino of New Jersey and others tried to enact the toughest gun laws before or since, but were defeated–you might want to review that) Under his administration gun control laws were inacted limiting high capacity ammunition clips and assualt weapons.
This was continued under George Bush and the ban was allowed to expire as he caved in to the powerful gun lobby and right wing Republicans who see this as their God given right to bear arms, no matter how devastating the weapon. The gun lobby is one of the most powerful lobby’s in America. They wield unprecedented power in Congress and hold their representatives accountable on how they vote on crucial gun laws or reform.
Casually firing a weapon at a firing range is one thing. Having to shoot in a high stress, life or death situation is another. As a liberal Republican, I say let’s get real and at least have honest dialogue about gun control. Or are we willing to sit idly by until the next tragic shooting, only to repeat the process all over again?
Write your congressman or congresswoman and let’s deal with this issue once and for all. How many people have to die before we wake up and “get it?” As the electorate we have the power is in our hands. Whether you’re Republican or Democrat or even a liberal Republican, speak up and get counted. We can make a difference on this pressing issue.