On Wednesday, the Michigan state legislature cancelled sessions until next week. Why? Because guns are scary. Specifically, guns wielded by angry protesters. And that’s exactly what showed up at Michigan’s capitol building on Thursday. Dozens of conservative protesters descended on the state capitol to protest the governor’s stay-at-home order.
Not surprisingly, the majority of Michigan’s legislators didn’t want to be in the way of the protesters who were exercising their freedoms. Another word for in “the way” is “crosshairs.”
It’s the morning after the Super Bowl and as usual everyone’s talking about the half time show (faux outrage!) and the ads (Groundhog day was my favorite). But as usual, they’re not talking about the ad that I want to talk about.
I want to talk about Mike Bloomberg’s ad. Not about Mike Bloomberg specifically; I don’t have much to say about a Bloomberg candidacy. Except to say that I’m not sure that we need yet another old white man with so much money that he can simply write checks and bypass the entire nominating process. But that’s not why Mike’s ad is on my mind.
In the wake of another mass shooting in America, the same arguments are being trotted out on both sides of the gun debate. Gun rights advocates are using the scare tactic that people who are in favor of limits on gun ownership ultimately want to repeal the Second Amendment.
Without the Sacred Second, they say, you’d have absolutely no right to own a weapon for hunting or for self-protection, and so, if you like to hunt or want to own a handgun for your own peace of mind, you must oppose any attempt at gun regulation.
When other countries are cited as examples of ways we could curtail the number of guns in this country, gun rights defenders tell us that those countries don’t have a constitution like we do, and more relevantly, they don’t have the Second Amendment. And so, it’s concluded, because of our unique legal constraints there’s really nothing we can do about guns in the US.
But we’ve had the Second Amendment since the beginning of our country’s history, and we’ve only had a serious problem with gun violence since about 1980. Coincidentally, that happens to be about the same time as the National Rifle Association began to have major influence on our political process. Do you think the two things are related?Continue reading “A Note on Guns In Our Politics”