Founding fathers failed to see future
A column here two weeks ago described the historic meeting just after his election between George Washington and John Adams, the patriots entertaining a cub reporter who pestered Mr. Washington about Martha’s preferred hairstyle.
Several readers took strong objection to the column’s implication that perhaps it would not kill us to give up our right to weapons capable of mowing down scores of people without stopping to reload.
I welcome such criticism. What I don’t welcome, and will not tolerate, are insinuations my basic research is flawed, my scholarship warped. Some even suggest the Washington-Adams meeting never took place.
To quote every president since the beginning of time, “let me make this perfectly clear.” The meeting at the Erstwhile Inn on the outskirts of Hoboken took place just as surely as the Statue of Liberty is the bedrock of our rights as it towers over the landscape of the capital.
Today I take column inspiration from Abraham Lincoln who said, “you can offend a whole bunch of the people half of the time, but you can’t offend most of the people all the time.” We’ll see about that, Abe.
Much of my email was from those who fear even the slightest infringement on our right to stock up on weapons of any type will surely undermine our freedom and when the bad guys march down the street to take us captive, we will be at their mercy.
One could certainly buy into that argument if he did not suspect that, in the unlikely case of this happening, the bad guys will have tanks supported by attack jets streaking low over his house. But, OK, point made and understood. Rack one up for the National Rifle Association.
Rio Rancho reader Harry Blodgett gave gun control advocates something more to think about, and I appreciate his logic. A retired career police officer, Harry writes:
“… President Washington I am sure did not expect rap singers to go public with millions of copies of their songs discussing how women are whores, cops are bad, advocating violence to our young children …
“I am sure he also did not foresee video games in which prostitutes are sought out and killed, cops have to be killed to ‘get to the next level’ … Those actions have all been repeatedly upheld by our courts as First Amendment rights. Are we willing to give up the First Amendment too? I kind of doubt that.”
Harry makes sense to me. So how about it, readers? Let’s take this flight of fancy.
The NRA fights to the last penny of its overflowing coffers for the right of every American to own any gun he wants for hunting, target shooting, and defending his home from burglars and other intruders. The NRA will not fight, but will encourage, thorough background checks. Most importantly, the NRA will use its strong arm lobbying to achieve legislation banning battle type weapons for all but those who can demonstrate need.
On the other side of the tee totter, the American Psychiatric Association will appoint a panel that will be congressionally authorized to determine which videos and games are causing mental turbulence among our citizens, especially the young. The government will ban such games and videos.
This would be bitter medicine to swallow for the American Civil Liberties Union. It is bitter medicine for the gun crowd to swallow as well.
Mom never said the castor oil was going to taste good.
The writer – firstname.lastname@example.org – is unfortunately stuck at this level.