Posts Tagged ‘ Arizona ’

Arizona Fallout Ramblings

+++Next on my mind is the tragic Arizona shooting and the fallout from it.

It has got me thinking about quite a few different things.

Many on the left want to take issue with the rhetoric the right used prior to this and use it as an example of going too far and possibly inciting this sad violence.  While I completely understand where they come from with this, I don’t think it fair to hold one person’s political speech as the responsible for another person’s action.  There needs to be personal responsibility here.  And while I don’t approve of much of the speech being accused of inciting this tragedy, I don’t think you should place limits on what can be said in a public forum.

 

Despite the fact that I still vehemently opposed flag burning, and I think corporate contributions to election campaigns and political action committees is a horrible idea.  I have become more and more a believer in free speech.  The ability to say whatever you want is one of those things that I think the founding fathers got right, as opposed to the right to own and bear arms.

 

The right to unrestricted free speech is a truly amazing and American thing.  I heard a story recently form the UK where an election was annulled and a candidate suspended from politics for three years because he made false statements about his opponent during a campaign. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11761986) What an amazingly civil thing to have, and quite British when you think about it.  But to quote Penn Jillette “Fuck Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. Marketplace of ideas can not be toned down for the insane.”  I kind of agree with that.  And I think this whole concept of “Blood Libel” is not close to something of an accurate description of what has been going on.  Plus I do not think many people even knew what “Blood Libel” meant before the week started.  I do not agree with much of anything Sarah Palin or other arch-conservatives say, but I do believe in her and their right to do it, no matter how stupid, insane or inerrant.  True freedom of speech unregulated by the government is, I believe, and essential piece of our democracy.

Turning within the issue a little bit though, I have come to be a believer that the right to bear arms while at the time was perhaps a good idea, today I do not quite agree.  While I do not believe in the complete abolition of gun ownership (For then I do truly think the only people who would have guns are the police and the criminals), I do believe it should be as tough as possible to own a gun in the United States.  I do not want to make it an expensive process, but I would like it to be a lengthy and thorough one.  I would like to see people checked for psychological stability and very complete background checks performed (I should say I feel the same way about car drivers, but that is another topic).  Even with all this I myself am not even sure I would want a gun in my house (I do not have one now), simply because when you look at the numbers having a gun in your house makes the possibility of someone being shot in your house go up exponentially, and I do not think that is worth the risk.  If I were to have children I do not think I would be comfortable even having a gun even locked up in a safe in my house.  You just increase your risks too much.  But there are people out there who treat gun ownership like a God given right and I don’t think that is what the founding fathers had in mind.  In fact the right to keep and bear arms is not a concept found in the original articles of confederation.  And our right found in the second amendment was heavily based off the English Bill of Rights in 1689, which was more about shifting power from the monarch to the parliament.  And when Madison was crafting the second amendment we were a bunch of farmers with muzzle loading rifles, Patrick Henry thought a well armed populace was the only way to ensure liberty, and while I see the reasoning behind that, especially when just coming out of a bloody revolution, I don’t think it applies to today.  No group of liberty loving gun nuts will really be able to oppose the power of the U.S. military, plus despite what Glenn Beck says I do not think the threat of gun violence is really what should keep society in order.

Well I said I didn’t want to ramble and I have, I would benefit greatly from an editor, something I am not.  That is all for now…..more mumblings later.

Advertisements