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The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as ratified, states: “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.”

I can read, and if you are reading this, so can you.

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms,” is qualified by the stipulation that: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.”

So, members of the militia can keep and bear arms. Nothing is said about the general population being allowed to keep and bear arms. So where did the modern Supreme Court get the idea that the right to bear arms is not limited to the militia?

More Americans have died as a result of gun violence at home than in all our foreign wars. At least in part, we can thank the stupid Supreme Court for “interpreting” our Constitution in a way that any literate, fair-minded American would not.

Yes, we need reasonable gun safety laws, but if we and the Supreme Court were to just read the U.S. Constitution, and act accordingly, all the fuss might not be needed.

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Everyone, everywhere in this country and around the globe, knows of the high level of political acrimony in America — the right and the left are more viciously opposed than ever, as evidenced by the rude rhetoric heard on the street, in social and mass media, and right up to scathing Tweets from the U.S. President himself.

Add that acrimony to a weaponized America, in which a majority of countrymen are armed to the teeth, with few checks on who may purchase, own and carry guns, including military-type weaponry. We are a country with no will among elected politicians to restrict or repeal this mass weaponization of the public, despite one tragic incident after another.

What happens next? A Congressman in the line of succession to the Presidency is shot, along with several his teammates, by a heavily-armed radicalized civilian, while doing nothing more provocative than practicing for a Congressional baseball game between Republicans and Democrats.

This tragic incident will inevitably lead to increased security and separation from the public of elected officials. It will provoke increased political discord among opportunistic individuals and media. There will be a brief period in which some leaders call for reform.

But, the chances of this cruel incident leading to real and positive change, either in quelling the fruitless heat of political discord rampant across this land, or in prompting much-needed reform of our gun laws, remains predictably remote. Our political leadership and civilians are collectively our own worst enemies in both issues unless people of goodwill and common sense finally raise their voices and say “ENOUGH!”

Is this an educatable moment leading to constructive social change, or will this odd confluence of political acrimony and negligent gun laws drive even more wedges between the people and their leadership? We must do more than hope.

Fareed Zakaria on his news analysis program GPS this morning juxtaposed two statistics:

  1. Global terrorist related deaths over the past year totaled just over 36,000.
  2. U.S. gun deaths over the same period totaled around 33,000.

I offer some observations about these grim statistics: The public seems to be more traumatized about the overseas terrorist-related deaths, yet the U.S. gun deaths of almost the same scope are so much closer to home, in every sense.

Our current and prospective U.S. political leaders seem more inclined to take global action (air strikes, ground troops, even open war) over the offshore terrorist threats than to take domestic legislative and other actions to curtail gun deaths right here inside U.S. borders.

While both issues turn around violence, and represent threats to living peaceful lives, the odd weighting of attitudes begs the question: Are Americans reacting more to the sensationalist scare of terrorism abroad or the very real threat of violent death in our own backyards?

What the hell is wrong with our people, from the highest in leadership to our friends down the street? While terrorist threats from abroad are real, the proximate terrorist threat is from fellow Americans, and our society and leadership seem incapable of dealing with it, though other countries around the world have long since done so.

We have so much to learn…

Last I heard, our military doesn’t arm persons with mental health problems and criminal records. But the “Civilian Division” of the Military Industrial Complex certainly does allow arms into the hands of those who would be censored by our own military. By the “Civilian Division,” I mean the gun industry that manufactures for the private U.S. market, and the lawmakers and law enforcement people who decide who can get guns and who can’t. Soldiers have every reason to be armed, and receive the screening, qualification, training and leadership needed to do so safely and responsibility. And some soldiers have good reason to carry rapid fire and heavy gauge weapons. Civilians do not.

Thus, the “Civilian Division” of the Military Industrial Complex is falling down on the job, and letting America down, while tens of thousands are needlessly slaughtered by incompetent, irresponsible, and often over-armed people in schools, theaters, churches, homes, on city streets and other public places. The “Civilian Division” is letting qualified, responsible gun owners down, letting innocent children and adult victims of gun crimes down, letting America down. The gun industry should be the strongest supporters of safe and responsible gun ownership. Legislators, state and federal, should be champions of safe and responsible gun ownership. If we can’t manage to effectively control safe and responsible civilian ownership of situationally appropriate guns, then we don’t deserve to privately own guns at all.

Make a choice. Assert responsible gun ownership. Stop letting America down.

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