Apparently Ted Cruz is running on a platform that includes a plank specifying every citizens right to own a gun so they can shoot government officials if they really disagree with them. His comments have been so over the top that even Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has been quoted as saying “we tried that once in South Carolina. I wouldn’t go down that road again.”
I would also point out, as I always do when the conversation veers into States Rights cant, and Neo-Confederate blather, that we do live under the Constitution, NOT under the original Articles of Confederation. They did not work. That was why we had a Constitutional Convention, to fix the broken first draft of the nation. And then we had a Civil War do confirm it.
Of course this immediately triggers discussion on many progressive blogs, such as the one quoted above, trying to parse the second amendment’s grammar in the context of writing at the time to demonstrate that it was just so the new nation could call up a militia to defend itself, and is now outdated.
But however you parse the grammar, the amendment clearly specifies the right of individual citizens to own and keep guns, privately, as private citizens, in their homes, to be available to serve as a militia.
Of course then the argument is, well, that was then, now we have a standing army. Which does not change the fact the Constitution has never been amended to reflect that.
The modern day analog I always point to is Switzerland, which has insisted on maintaining the right, in fact the duty, of citizens to own guns, and resisted efforts to change that. Read up on it, it is really sort of amazing. The Swiss Difference: A Gun Culture That Works
And yet, Switzerland as a society is not full of bat sh*t crazy violent people and subcultures, as America is, and they just don’t go around shooting each other every few seconds, as America does.
The problem with gun violence is our culture and our national psyche. We are a violent, sexually repressed, hateful people, in a society that has historically been blessed with powerful trends of Know-Nothingism and Anti-Intellectualism, we refuse to acknowledge science, we wallow in the militant ignorance of conservative, fundamentalist Christian religion. We drown ourselves in entertainment that is drenched with violence as the only solution to any problem.
And as a result, we get what we pay for.
I console myself every day with the fact that at least we are not as bad as the Middle East, where cultures seem to be descending into a final orgy of self destruction.
Things could be worse.
Still, I would prefer the Swiss model for a country to live in as a human being and as part of a culture.