Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Orlando Massacre

Over the weekend a U.S. citizen of Afghan heritage and Islamic religion, Omar Mateen, committed the worst single gunman mass shooting in US history, killing at least 49 people. That number may rise. I can't write much on this now because the Day Job requirements have become more pressing while my Day Job overseer has become more demanding. That's how it goes when you work for other people. The thing I did find intriguing and yet unsurprising is how quickly everyone framed this atrocity according to their favored narrative or tribe. Some people on the left, who would have otherwise pontificated at length about the evils of homophobic heteronormative patriarchal Christian Republicanism had the gunman been of European Christian heritage, ignored the gunman's personal demons or religious motivations to focus on the gunman's ability to purchase an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Some people on the right were downright gleeful that the Orlando gunman wasn't a man of European Christian heritage. They only wished to discuss the wisdom of bringing in numerous immigrants from countries whose cultures are not as advanced as ours in terms of women's rights, gay rights or tolerance of different religions and lifestyles. Some of these immigrants or their 2nd generation children have proven to be problematic to say the least. Some people, including one Presidential candidate, would say this shows that members of group A are dangerous and should all be prevented from entering this country. Other Americans think that a different group is dangerous and should be prevented from owning weapons. I don't have a lot to say about this not only because I have supervisors who've made it clear that my attention is better spent elsewhere during the day (LOL) but also because I think almost everything has already been said. 

There are some people who do not like the 2nd Amendment and/or do not like the current interpretation of same. They do not think anyone who is not a police officer or in the military needs a semi-automatic rifle. They are quite willing to nibble away at or throw out protections when it comes to private civilian ownership of weapons. Other people venerate the 2nd amendment but have deep hostility towards the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments. They would love to have more government review and censorship of emails and social media, secret trials, incarceration without trial, preventive detention, stop-n-frisk and a general shift away from individual rights towards government control. The two sides really only differ in the details of which individual rights they find troublesome.  All I can say is have at it. There is a process for changing the Constitution. It's difficult for a reason. If you really want to get rid of private gun ownership, eliminate the 2nd Amendment. But you should bring a lot of friends because that's going to be a fight. There is simply no way that we can tell ahead of time who is going to be a responsible gun owner and who is not. There is no psychological test that will allow us to consistently say "Aha, this person will crack up." Short of outlawing semi-automatic weapons for everyone nothing could have prevented the gunman from legally purchasing his gun--at least nothing that I would find congruent with current civil liberties. But that's neither here nor there. Time is fleeting and back to the salt mines I must go. Bottom line is no matter how much you may dislike the fact that people can purchase an AR-15 or any other semi-automatic weapon, roughly a third to half of this country's population feels differently. And they vote too. This is going to happen again. Saying that people who think differently than you are nasty people with small private parts and warped sex drives or from the opposite POV are wimpy effeminate types who couldn't defend themselves against an aggressive fruit fly may make you feel better but it won't change a damn thing. Like it or not private gun ownership isn't going away. And neither is gun regulation.
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