04 August, 2005

Some Ideas Regarding Guns and Gays: Part I, Guns

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Film: Trainspotting (1996). The way this film came to me began with my love for a good zombie flick. A good zombie flick doesn't usually scare me, but I think they're so fun to watch. So, since I had seen the Dead trilogy (true, Land of the Dead has escaped me thus far, but I'll see it soon enough), I decided to give 28 Days Later a try. I was pleasantly surprised regarding the superb quality of this film. The director, Danny Boyle, got his big break from a small film back in the 90s, Trainspotting, so I gave that a try. It blew me away! The acting is superb, the soundtrack is intense and the story absolutely enthralls the viewer. Upon a second viewing I may devote an entire entry to this one, it's that good. But in the mean time, check it out so you know what I'm talking about when I do discuss it in depth.
Tea: Earl Grey. As a self proclaimed man of class, I enjoy engaging in classy things. Drinking the world renowned tea of Earl Grey was one such engagement. It is quite delicious and I recommend it to others. I take mine absolutely plain, just water and a tea bag, but if you must, throw in some milk and sugar and whatnot.

Here is the first part of this two part entry regarding two very hot issues in America today. I'll declare it right now, my leftward leanings will shine through in this entry. However, I just have to get my opinion out there and hear some feedback. This time, it's regarding my thoughts on guns and gays. Both issues remain debated in today's society and one is addressed directly in the Constitution. In other words, these issues are big and many clashing opinions exist regarding both issues. This entry's purpose is to present and argue for my opinions regarding both issues.

First, let's talk about guns. Technically and generally speaking, American citizens have the "right to bear arms" as guaranteed by Amendment II of the Bill of Rights. That document was written about 200 years ago and has been amended 19 times since; thus, it is not a flawless piece of work.

Guns really only serve a few purposes in modern day society: to sit unused for years in suburban homes, only to accidentally shoot a stupid teenager playing with it, to commit crime, and to build comaraderie among rednecks. To be frank, I don't support any of those purposes for guns. Comaraderie is a good thing, but how about you go to a pool party instead to find friends.

I suppose I should have included hunting, but I don't find hunting to be a legitimate form of anything. Most people who can afford guns aren't hunting for their livelihood. I don't buy hunting as a sport, I mean you're just killing defenseless animals. If you enjoy sinking your teeth into meat you just shot or you enjoy watching a weaker organism than yourself die at your disposal, enjoy yourself, but I'll be eating my store bought meat from animals in captivity that wouldn't have otherwise existed had there been no consumer demand for their meet and passing the time doing other things besides ending lives.

Then of course there's the "self-defense" argument. First off, if others didn't use guns, you wouldn't need one to protect yourselves. Guns obviously can be used for defense against non gun-wielding foes, but what is the frequency of break-ins or other things of that nature that require one to keep a gun in their home? Save some money, prevent accidents and don't buy a gun.

Guns will remain legal however, because of groups like the National Rifle Association. This ultra conservative faction holds firearms higher than any God. Additionally, a pick-up truck with a "The South Will Rise Again" bumper sticker must be owned if one wants to be a member. The NRA has recently supported a boycott of Conoco and Phillips 66 gas stations because the parent company ConocoPhillips will not allow employees to have firearms in ConocoPhillips parking lots. That's simply irrational. As a corporation, this company has every right to make policy decisions regarding their employees actions while on the company's grounds.

Lobbying by the NRA is also, at least partially, responsible for the lack of renewal on the Assault Rifle Ban. Why in the world would a private citizen need to own an AK-47? They are not engaging in guerilla warfare or fighting a battle for freedom from the Soviets! Absolutely insane political actions like this should render the NRA as ridiculous of an organization in everyone's mind as it does in mine.

All in all, I think the existence of the Second Amendment is outdated. Its content may have made sense two centuries ago, but it just seems unneccesary in today's world. I don't believe the Constitution is the right place for laws regarding firearms. I believe firearm laws should be placed among the laws concerning drugs, tobacco and alcohol, since firearms are already regulated by the ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Perhaps the removal or alteration of Amendment II would open up the door for some more relevant Amendments for our time, perhaps one regarding marriage and who exactly can get married to who. That argument is another argument completely, and thus will be discussed in the second part of this post.