We need a big brother to protect us
by Gary Huerta
Once again, our country has been forced to debate and reflect upon the actions of a mad man armed with an assault weapon. This time, it was in Aurora Colorado. Who knows where it will happen next time?
It is with this uncertainty that we should feel a need to seriously start thinking about how we can minimize the damage that a deranged individual can inflict upon the rest of us.
Like many of you, I’ve involved myself in numerous conversations about the tragic events that took 12 innocent lives and injured dozens more last week. I’ve read and heard the all-too-familiar stock rhetoric responses from people on all sides. But for me the most disturbing are the voices who insist that this is not the time to start talking about gun control.
If this isn’t the time, when is it? Twelve people were just brutally massacred for no reason other than they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Acts like these are random and have no borders or safety zones. We and those we love are all the next potential victims. Frankly, I’m quite tired of hearing gun lobbyists use hyperbole to side step the issue.
So I’ve decided to address some of that rhetoric and agree with it. That’s right. I’m going to agree with gun lobbyists. Although in that agreement, I’ll point out the glaring gaps and manipulative spin that exist in their logic.
First, I agree that, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”
This has been a rallying cry for the National Rifle Association for years. Unfortunately, people kill a lot more people when they have semi automatic weapons that can hold and fire 50 rounds per second.
Second, I agree that gun control laws will not keep assault rifles out of the hands of criminals.
Why would I argue against that? Criminals will do just about anything. They are criminals. As such, we as a society should be doing everything we can to make it difficult for a criminal or mentally ill individual to obtain any weapons of mass destruction. And assault weapons should certainly be classified as such.
Third, I agree that you can kill someone with a knife or a baseball bat.
Aside from merely deflecting the argument away from gun control, this type of debate fails on an apples-to-apples level. I don’t know of a semi automatic baseball bat. I could be wrong, but I don’t know of any instance where someone walked into a public place and killed a dozen people with a Louisville Slugger. Or injured 70 others with cans of Chicken Of The Sea.
Fourth, I wholeheartedly agree that the Second Amendment gives every American the right to bear arms and it should never be taken away.
You want to own various guns for hunting and skeet shooting? Great. You want one to protect your family? Help yourself. What you do not need is the right to own an assault rifle that can kill dozens of people in mere seconds. I do not know a rational hunter or sportsman who uses an assault weapon to hunt game or shoot clay pigeons.
As far as the spirit of the Second Amendment is concerned, let us agree that it was written at a time when society and technology was different? We are debating a Constitutional right that was adopted when guns were loaded one round at a time. There were no high capacity magazine clips for muskets. No one can speculate what our founding fathers might have written into law if there had been such devices. But I’d like to assume, based on the brilliance of our Constitution, that they would have been intelligent enough to put some limitations on the Second Amendment.
To me, it seems to be most un-American for us to seek no improvement to our own laws and to not constantly strive for ways to form a more perfect union. That’s why our ancestors came here in the first place. Or did we forget?
Finally, I agree that taking away the right to choose which guns you own may be a slippery slope to having other freedoms taken away. In fact, I pray this is true.
The notion of imposing limits on free people has been demonized in today’s culture, primarily by those whose wallets would be considerably thinner if such restrictions were acted upon. The ones who stand to lose the most by limiting what is available in the marketplace are the manufacturers. In other words, corporate profits would go down.
In order to keep the cash flowing from your wallet to theirs, it is vital that the corporations be free to produce whatever sells the most regardless of whether it is safe or prudent for the individual and society. This veil is called supply and demand and it is not regulated intelligently.
George Orwell’s notion of “Big Brother” and the oppression of his masterpiece, “1984,” have become the poster children for companies and individuals who know that government limits on dangerous products like assault rifles would put a crimp in their ability to buy that third house in the Hamptons. They’ve masterfully branded themselves as the oppressed and made government the oppressor.
Yes. The depiction of government as master and commander in an Orwellian world is truly something we don’t want, but I think we’re already there. For the most part, we’ve simply got it reversed in our minds. And that’s just the way those with the money want it.
Corporate America is Big Brother and the gun lobby is just a puppet being controlled by one hand of the beast helping to ensure we comply with their agenda. Businesses are running wild killing us and destroying the planet in the name of profit. We face a global crisis of unthinkable proportion because oil companies and car manufacturers continue to produce products that every intelligent person knows will eventually kill everything on earth. They do it knowingly and willfully with only minimal regulation. Gun manufacturers are helping to kill us one by one. Or by the dozen in Aurora, Colorado.
As a remedy, I propose what we need is for our government to be “a big brother.”
A big brother should be the kind of person who stands up for you when you can’t. A big brother should defend you against threats you are unable to fight on your own. A big brother should give you advice based on experience and wisdom when you have none. A big brother is your ally.
We need a big brother to tell the corporate giants they can no longer produce harmful products, like assault rifles, gas guzzling SUVs and fossil fuels without paying an enormous tax – so big that it only allows them to break even from such endeavors.
Take away the manufacturers’ ability to reap huge profits on the harmful products they make and let’s see how long they continue to produce them. I suppose if they themselves were the model of a big brother, they’d continue out of the goodness of their hearts, because that’s what a big brother should do. Maybe we should test my corporate tax on harmful products out. I’m willing to bet corporate America would start looking for ways to manufacture things that won’t kill their little brother so rapidly.
As far as the veil of supply and demand is concerned… just because people demand it, doesn’t mean corporations should be given the freedom to supply it. After all, a big brother is the person who steps in and lets you know when something isn’t good for you, even when you don’t. That is how a big brother protects you.
Right now, we need our government to step up, be a big brother and establish gun control laws. We need a big brother to step in and impose limits and reduce freedoms. Not our freedoms, but those of the companies who should really be working to, “Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” just as our Constitution proclaims.
We are being bullied into compliance and out of existence by corporate America. Putting limits on the types of guns that are available represents the tip of an iceberg — a movement that might empower our government to impose some rational restrictions on manufacture solely for profit. Seriously, why do you think gun lobbyists are fighting so hard to tell us it is our liberty that is at risk?
Yes. Gun control is a slippery slope to losing freedom. But not for us. For corporate America.