Saturday, January 15, 2011

Freedom



"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, The Right to Bear Arms was passed on December 15, 1791. Passed before the Wild West was explored and exploited; before film cameras were invented, before the Titanic was built. Before women were given ballots to vote and children books to read. At a time when the white man still feared Native American tribes, still enslaved Africans and still hung homosexuals.




Now, in the year 2011 when we, Americans, are not given the justice we think we deserve, we walk to Washington; we refuse to work and carry picket lines; we sue for millions and we holler for lawyers from the backseat of police cruisers.  

Before zippers, telephones and modern automobiles, before revolvers evolved into semiautomatic machine guns, our wig wearing Caucasian forefathers drafted The Constitution of the United States. These men, who fought off the red-coats and tossed their taxed tea into the Boston Harbor, declared that freedom was obtained through a strong defense. Only when we are safe can we be free. With muskets in hand, these men defended their farmland, cattle, children, wives and mothers. But today are we expecting to find that same freedom wedged beside the bullets of .50 caliber machine guns? Sure, when the American Revolutionary War decorated the colonies with pillaging soldiers and years later when cowboys road throughout the countryside, picking off banks and pirating railroads, would packing one's pockets with pistols be imperative to survival. But today? In a time of well trained police forces where detectives with plaid vests, tobacco pipes and monocles crack cases? I don't know. Honestly, I don't really know what the amendment or amendment to the amendment should be. I know I fear people who trade their souls in dark alleyways and at the open trunks of Grand Marquis for weapons of brash destruction. I know that this black market will exist until man shoots himself dead. I know that strangers with erratic violent histories can obtain these death certificate distributors legally. I know this makes me feel less free. 


I mean this out of no disrespect to my forefathers, for it was they who gave me this free speech I am so fond of, but out of fear that I will one day live in a country where I am expected to strap knives to my thighs and sling semiautomatic uzies over my shoulders for survival. Have we learned nothing from our dirt kicking westerns where paces were counted and men with handlebar mustaches and leather rimmed hats were mercilessly murdered by merciless murderers? Just imagine if these men of the wild west had machine guns, fast cars, crowded shopping malls and interstate highways? Oh. I suppose that would just be today's action movie. I am one for wanting the olden days of simplicity, of the plague, pennies and long cotton skirts, but times have changed. We live with minds and technologies that are far more advanced than those of the 18th, 19th and even 20th centuries, yet still ingrained in our inherited skin follicles and stomach linings are the same human instincts of our forefathers and forecowboys: to fight for self importance, freedom and survival. Almost everything has advanced faster than man. Sure, our baby toes are disappearing, but not our commonality to use violence as a means for settling disagreements. Between the killing machines we mass manufacture and our correlation between freedom and fighting, I fear our country will soon metamorphose into the video games we still allow our children to play.


"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people (including the crack abusers, the undiagnosed mentally ill, the desperate, hopeless, the vengeful and the tragic) to keep and bear Arms (revolvers, assault rifles, and semiautomatic machine guns), shall not be infringed (unless the whole country goes to shit)." 




Can we at least add this last bit? As a backup?