Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Conversation About Guns

link to an animation using this script: 
Gun Lover: It's terrible the way the left-wing media is trying to say the latest rampage by a crazy shooter is because of my right wing political heroes and talk show hosts. Words don't make people use guns to kill other people. Only people kill. If everyone had a gun, we'd all be safe.

Concerned Citizen: That sounds wrong to me. I think we need laws to protect us from people who want to use guns to kill. Not everyone can be allowed to own guns that are made as people killing machines.

Gun Lover: Everyone in our country has a right to own any weapon they want. It's in the Constitution.

Concerned Citizen: Semi-automatic hand guns are dangerous in the hands of certain people. It should not be so easy for people to own them or carry them around concealed. I would like them to be banned for private ownership.

Gun Lover: You are trying to take away my freedom under the 2nd amendment which says all Americans have a right to bear arms.

Concerned Citizen: Perhaps you are a sane and responsible citizen and should be allowed to use or even own such a weapon. If there were a licensed required, or limitations on where they can be carried, perhaps you would qualify for a license.

Gun Lover: The government cannot be trusted to decide who should carry a gun or not. The government is trying to take away our rights. Americans have a right to bear arms and serve in a militia and the government cannot take away that right. It says so in the Constitution.

Concerned Citizen: The government also has a responsibility to protect its citizens. The second amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This was written before the U.S. had standing armies or states with National Guards. Citizen soldiers had to have their weapons available in their homes in case they were called out to defend the community.

Gun Lover: It says the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. If the government tries to infringe my right to bear arms, it is taking away my constitutional rights.

Concerned Citizen: Since we have standing armies and our states have National Guards, we no longer need citizen soldiers to keep weapons in their homes. The Supreme Court has ruled that the rights of some citizens can be infringed if they represent a danger to the community, such as the mentally ill and convicted felons.

Gun Lover: If the government tries to infringe my right to bear arms, it is taking away my constitutional rights.

Concerned Citizen: Communities and states can also pass laws to restrict where guns can be carried. If the government lets every citizen own and carry any weapon he wants to, some people might want to own a nuclear weapon or a tank. Lines must be drawn about what kinds of weapons people should be allowed to own and where they can use them. Do you think every citizen should be allowed to have a tank or rocket launcher or machine guns?

 Gun Lover: If the government tries to infringe my right to bear arms, it is taking away my constitutional rights. You will have to pry my gun from my cold dead fingers. It is the right of the people to alter or abolish the government if it infringes on our rights. This is called a 2nd Amendment remedy.

Concerned Citizen: That language is from the Declaration of Independence not the Constitution. It said the people have the right to overthrow a government that is trying to deprive them of unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and that governments derive power from the consent of the governed. Our government is a representative democracy. We elect our representatives, so they have our consent to pass laws. Some of the laws we have elected them to pass are to protect us from being shot on the street by machine gun wielding idiots.

Gun Lover: If the government tries to infringe my right to bear arms, it is taking away my constitutional rights. If the government does not follow the Constitution I have the right to form a militia to fight the government.

Concerned Citizen: That is treason. The Constitution does not give you that right. If you use your weapons to fight the government you are breaking the law.

Gun Lover: I have the right to free speech and I will kill you if you don’t shut up. You’re confusing me. I have the right to own this semi-automatic weapon and you can’t take away my rights.

Concerned Citizen: You do not have the right to make threats to kill me. That’s against the law. If you threaten to kill me or point that weapon at me you could have it taken away by the government and not be allowed to own weapons. Americans have the right to be protected from people like you.

Gun Lover: You are a socialist, anti-American, elitist who is ruining our country. People like you are making true-blue Americans who own guns mad and you deserve it if they use their 2nd amendment rights to kill you.

Concerned Citizen: That is an example of the kind of legal, but uncivil speech that right wing radio and TV talk show hosts and some politicians have been using. Unfortunately, some crazies interpret that as an excuse to go out and kill law-abiding Americans or attack the government or its representatives. We must pass laws to protect us from the insanity of unregulated gun ownership. People should have to have a license to own certain weapons and the license should have to be renewed periodically. We should either figure out how to keep these weapons out of the hands of unstable people or ban them for private ownership.

Gun Lover: I’m going home to watch Fox News and listen to Rush while I read right-wing blogs that will tell me what I want to believe is true.