It took me a long time to get it. When I first began studying things like politics, inequality, and global warming, it was easy enough to connect the dots between the in-your-face phenomena. But the element of power was more subtle and elusive to me.
The Power Hierarchy
For instance, it was only two years ago that I figured out sovereign nations do not top the power hierarchy. Not China, not Russia, not the United States, not even the Vatican. Rather, global corporations sit at the pinnacle of worldly power.
Not long after that, I began to understand the incomprehensible. (Didn’t want to, but couldn’t avoid it.) The powerful entities, who run the powerful corporations, do not give a flying fig about the fallout of destroyed lives and/or dead people that their actions cause. In fact, they think they’re innocent of wrong-doing, or at least untouchable. The pursuit of profits is like a license to kill.
For Heaven’s sake, why do I bring up the topic of misused power on this fine Saturday morning? Because there was another tragic school shooting yesterday.
School Deaths from Gun Shootings
The only reason we do not have adequate gun control in the United States is because the weapons industry blocks it. The NRA has become the extremely powerful political lobby of weapons manufacturers. It is no longer a benign club for game hunters, collectors, and gun safety instructors.
Weapons manufacturers are some of the wealthiest global corporations that exist. If you think they bat an eyelash when American school children are shot dead by guns, you are naive.
Please do connect the dots between international war and American children being shot dead in their schools. Warfare kills countless children around the world every year. What are a few lost American kids? Global corporations are loyal to no particular nation.
It is soley about money, and profit is the license to kill.
Obsolescence of the Second Amendment
I have never devoted a single minute to thinking about buying a gun. I’m not against hunting or self-protection, but neither have been a personal concern. So, there are no guns in my world. To me, the 2nd Amendment is the least important part of the U.S. Constitution. In fact, we simply don’t need it anymore.
The 2nd Amendment was about maintaining an organized militia. Farmers, blacksmiths, and candlestick-makers were expected to have a well-tended working gun at the ready — in order to protect their fledgling nation in the event of foreign invasion. Just in case. In those days, it wouldn’t have been fiscally responsible for the newly-minted United States to keep a national standing army during peace time.
The organized civilian militia would have quickly provided first recruits for a national army, if needed. By the way, the militia was not envisioned as a protection from the government, itself, should it go wayward. Rather, the Founding Fathers devised three balancing branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial), and a democratic style of voting, to prevent an accumulation of concentrated governing power and its misuse.
The U.S. did eventually fund a national standing army… navy… air force… coast guard… etc. Maybe today’s National Guard is most comparable to the gun-toting militia of post-colonial America. They keep their day jobs, serve during domestic emergencies and disasters, and if necessary, are prepared to go to war.
Thanks to all our military preparedness, we no longer need the 2nd Amendment; it is obsolete. But know this: if we went to the trouble of creating a constitutional amendment in order to reverse the 2nd Constitutional Amendment, you could still own a gun.
You see, the 2nd Amendment is not about gun ownership. It was about keeping a first line of defense, during peace time, when our nation did not yet maintain a standing army.
Take Action for American Gun Control Now
I happened to open an email from Indivisible this morning. Here’s what they said, verbatim:
As we were writing this email, we got news of another horrific school shooting at Santa Fe High School outside of Houston. Reports confirmed that at least 10 people were killed in this tragedy. Here’s what we know: your members of Congress (MoCs) will inevitably make the rounds this weekend with their NRA-bought thoughts, prayers, and inaction. Not. Good. Enough.
As all of our hearts are with the students, teachers, and families of Santa Fe High School, here are four things you can do right now to say #NeverAgain (you can also check out our one-stop resource with all of these asks in one place):
- Tell your senators to block the NRA’s Top Priority: The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.
- Tell your senators to stop the NRA’s favorite lawyer–Howard Nielson– from becoming a lifelong federal judge.
- Tell Congress you expect real gun safety reform from your elected officials and you expect them to co-sponsor and support these pieces of legislation.
- Advocate for common-sense gun reform in your state.
There will be hundreds of activist groups demanding gun control this weekend, and throughout the coming week. Find one of them and join the action. Only together can we beat the big corporate power mongers who profit from gun sales and death.
Gun Control or Bust!