Yesterday a bunch of people brought guns to the Oregon capitol building. They paraded outside showing off their rifles, handguns, shotguns, and other pseudo-macho paraphenalia.
Some even brought them inside, since Oregon is one of the few states that allow someone with a concealed handgun permit to carry around a military-style assault rifle in the halls of a Capitol.
Now, news of this sort of event should stimulate a reasonable question: "Who the heck would be so crazy as to carry guns around in public like that for no good reason?"
After all, if I was a tourist visiting a state capitol, started to walk in, and saw a crowd brandishing weapons, I'd think What the #$@! are these fools up to?
Reading newspaper reports of yesterday''s anti-gun control rally, I didn't get an answer to that query. There seemed to be no point to the gathering other to give some gun owners an opportunity to show off their toys in public.
What gets me, every time I see black-clad guys and gals strutting around with their weapons, is how little they have to be proud about. It takes zero courage and zero skill to own a gun. All you need is a VISA card. Shooting defenseless animals from long range, or defenseless targets, earns zero "guts points."
I respect people who take risks. For twenty years or so I've been active in various forms of martial arts. People who fight other people skilled in fighting, even in a controlled situation, deserve a big thumbs-up for having the guts to risk getting hurt in the course of developing their skills.
Ditto for combat soldiers who use their guns to fight guys who also have guns. But walking around the Oregon Capitol with an AR-15... that's ridiculously lame.
The whole "look at me with my big guns!" thing would be comical if it wasn't so unfunny. Doonesbury nailed the dark humor of this country's failure to protect our citizens from guns in a February 3 strip.
Several letters to the editor in today's Oregonian mentioned the unfunny comic. Here's one:
The Feb. 3 Doonesbury comic expressed my thoughts far more precisely than I could have written.
To quote: "What are we like as a people? ... Nine years ago we were attacked. 3,000 people died. In response, we started two long, bloody wars and built a vast homeland security apparatus -- all at a cost of trillions. ... During those same nine years, 270,000 Americans were killed by gunfire at home. Our response? We weakened gun laws."
I grew up in eastern Oregon and learned to use a gun for hunting game or for killing predators. A real sportsman/woman does not use a semi-automatic weapon.
I do not believe the majority of Americans, nor Oregonians, believe we need semi-automatic weapons, a gun on every corner or on every person walking down the street, and certainly not in our schools.
Our children are far too precious to grow up in that kind of gun culture.
ROBERTA HUNTER PARSONS-WACHHOLZ
Nicely said, Roberta. You make good sense. Way more than a speaker at the We Want More Killings rally at the capitol made. The Salem Statesman Journal reported:
Republican lawmakers who spoke at the rally Friday said the Constitution is under attack and that they would fight for the Second Amendment rights of Oregonians.
Rep. Tim Freeman, R-Roseburg, is drafting legislation to be introduced next week called the “Second Amendment Preservation Act.” Freeman’s office would not provide any details about the bill Friday, but a speaker during the rally told participants it would make it illegal to enforce any new federal gun control measures that infringed upon Second Amendment rights.
Wow. More unfunny humor.
These supposed defenders of the Constitution have no idea how the Constitution works. Instead of marching around with their guns, they should spend more time learning about what makes our country great -- as ably designed by our founding fathers.
Ever heard of the Supreme Court, Rep. Freeman and unnamed gun rally speaker? This is who gets to ultimately decide what is constitutional and what isn't. Other courts make that determination before a case gets to the Supreme Court.
You can't pass a law that defines what the Second Amendment says, or doesn't say. The Supreme Court gets to do that saying.
Like I said, this sort of ignorance would be comical if it wasn't so unfunny. People who are clueless about the Constitution are pretending that they're the only ones standing between us and tyranny. That's hilarious.
Except, it isn't funny.