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Wild-Wild West

By Jay Thomas Willis

Senior Columnist and Political Analyst

Mid-South Tribune and Black Information Highway

            If we don’t do something about the issue of gun control it could bring down society. We want to allow guns to flourish in society, and to maintain control at the same time. People hold diverse perspectives on what should be done about gun control, and the various factions find it hard to compromise. Politicians are again divided along party lines.

Some people apparently want to return to the days of the old-wild-wild west, where everyone carried a gun, and it was the one with the quickest draw and the smartest that survived the longest. It was truly a situation where the fittest and the strongest survived. You can see examples of this in some of the old-cowboy movies (this era took place during the early 1800s until the early 1900s), or some of the old-gangster movies. If we’re smart we don’t want to return to those days, they were exciting, but definitely not good times. It seems that this is what we’re moving toward.

            In reality, there’re many sides of the gun-control issue: some are for regulation of the different types of guns it’s possible to carry, others want no regulations at all, and some want everyone to be able to carry a gun except the mentally ill and criminals—with some restrictions on the number of rounds. Some want more regulation while others want less. We are faced with so many issues before the public on gun control that they’re hard to keep track of. At times I think even the lawmakers get confused.

            President Obama wants tighter control on who can own guns, and the type of guns one can own. He advocates tougher restrictions on gun control. If people are allowed to own whatever type guns they want, and as many as they want, we’re definitely headed for a disordered society.

            In the first place, the Second Amendment is out of date. The men who wrote the Second Amendment existed in a society of agrarian farmers that lived far apart from one another, and had no protection except their guns. They had no choice but to uphold the sanctity of gun ownership. Such a time has passed. It’s felt that both Republicans and Democrats would agree that when something in the Constitution becomes an anachronism it should be amended. The Constitution was meant to be a flexible document. We shouldn’t need guns in our homes to protect ourselves. If guns didn’t flourish in society this would be unnecessary. We certainly don’t need to carry guns in public places. The only people who need guns are policeman, and it’s questionable if they need them. The police don’t carry guns in England. When did we become such a pro-gun society?

            The Second Amendment was written at a time when there were wild animals capable of attacking men, roaming the forests; they had push the Indians so far off their land that they were afraid they would retaliate in some way; they also used guns to put food on the table; and they sometimes needed their guns to protect themselves against each other, because it was a young and lawless society—and functioned by the laws of the jungle. In those times guns were absolutely necessary.

            We no longer hunt for our food, there are no Indians to kill, we shouldn’t need protection from our neighbors, and we don’t need to protect ourselves from wild animals. We need to make the adjustment to a more civilized society. How can we call ourselves civilized when we consider ourselves naked unless we walk around carrying guns? We no longer live in an unrefined society. We must begin to make the society better for all concerned.

            We feel that without our guns we’re vulnerable to attack by others in society, or by others outside society. We know what superior force and technology can do. Americans have gone into other countries and taken power by force. They have taken control of other people’s land and resources by having superior weapons. This is why we refuse to give up our multiple–round weapons. We’re afraid we’ll lose everything we have if push comes to shove, and we’re caught in a vulnerable position. Could we have a need for these powerful weapons because we’re afraid our chicken will soon come home to roost? If we give up our guns we’re afraid someone will take advantage of our weakness, because we have so frequently taken advantage of other’s weakness.

            What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six teachers were killed; in Tucson, Arizona, where U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords   and eighteen others were shot, six people died; and in Columbine High school in Colorado,  where 14 students and one teacher was killed; should not be allowed to repeat itself. The list of shootings is long and continuous. 

            Such incidents are bound to happen when we allow guns to flow freely throughout the society. Instead of arming everybody, we should be confiscating guns from everybody. We forget that guns are only good for killing; they have no other functional purpose. Guns are only useful in a society where there’s extreme alienation. We need to focus on rebuilding our relationships and lessening our alienation from one another.

            The problem now is that criminals and others can get any type and any number of guns on the streets. We need to get guns out of the hands of criminals and the unstable. The only ones carrying guns should be the ones with a license or permit to carry one. It’s time to amend the Second Amendment.   

            We can’t go back to shoot-outs at the OK Corral, where one of us has to be out of town by sundown, or face the consequences.


The above is on the Black Paper lane on the Black Information Highway and The Mid-South Tribune ONLINE. Mr. Willis is the author of twenty-three books, fifteen professional journal articles, a number of magazine articles, and over 300 newspaper articles. His books can be reviewed at www.jaythomaswillis.com .  Email him at jaytwillis@gmail.com  or MSTnews@prodigy.net or BlackInfoHwy@prodigy.net



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