NOT THEIR COUNTRY
In his recent opinion column (“Guns, guns, guns, guns,” Aug. 15) Bruce Rushton correctly wrote, “The Second Amendment needs to go.” It shouldn’t have come to that, however. It should have been enough to have more correctly applied the amendment and not to have allowed what retired Chief Justice Warren Burger described as “a fraud on the American public” to be perpetrated by the NRA and the conservative court. Had the Supreme Court done as Justice John Paul Stevens urged and not attempted to be amateur historians, we’d all understand today that the Second Amendment didn’t entitle anyone to have a gun at any time and in any place.
Rushton also linked the “atom bomb drills from the Eisenhower era” to the current trend of active shooter drills. Bemused or traumatized from the former we may have been – depending upon our relative maturity – but if an enemy would have dropped an atom bomb on my hometown of Clinton, all of the students there in all of the town’s schools would have been toast, in spite of whatever degree of ducking and covering we had hurriedly managed to do. Similarly, regardless of the impact of active shooter drills on students today, should someone enter their school armed with an assault rifle and a store of magazines, the situation isn’t likely to end well. As a society, we should really face up to this and not continue with the fallacy that in such a situation there are happier outcomes.
Rushton asked a teacher of just such an active shooter class what he would do if the Second Amendment were to be repealed. The quoted response: “Honestly, I would leave – this would not be my country anymore.” To that, I would point out it’s already no longer the country of Noah Pozner or Allison Wyatt (Dec. 14, 2012). It is also no longer the country of Luke Hoyer or Alaina Petty (Feb. 14, 2018). For that matter, it is no longer the country of Jessica Ghawi or Alex Sullivan (July 20, 2012), nor of Gayle Dubowski or Dan Parmenter (Feb. 14, 2008).
Go to a Facebook page entitled Gun Violence Victims. Simply click on “Timeline Photos” and scroll down the seemingly interminable rows of faces of people to whom the U.S. is no longer their country. If forced to choose, I would much prefer that this nation still belonged to these people, to whom it is forever lost, rather than to one who claims he would leave it upon repeal of the Second Amendment.
STRIVE FOR HIGHER IDEALS
“Give me your well-attired, your secure, your upper classes, yearning to eat brie” is not the right sentiment at all. Still, it scans better, poetically and politically, than Ken Cuccinelli’s rude bowdlerization of Emma Lazarus’ inspirational lines. Cuccinelli, acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, is no poet laureate, and apparently not much of a human being either. He assumes the ability, and the right, to sort out people according to socioeconomic status, predict their future and reject those deemed most likely to struggle in a nation becoming hostile to extraneous ethnicities.
But we are all one race; we just come in different colors. This is the reality of life, and we need to embrace it without reservation or compromise. We need to pull for each other, not push against each other.
Wouldn’t it be nice, if instead of Cuccinelli’s jingoistic doggerel, we could have a government that reflected our nation’s highest ideals?