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Gun Rights in the USA


I was watching the first couple of minutes of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart the other day – Thursday January 22, 2009 – and he had a segment called “Gitmo’s World” where he discussed with an Elmo doll that had a gray beard the recent order by President Obama to begin the closing down of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Gitmo the Elmo doll is supposedly an inmate. Here is a transcript of the relevant parts of their ‘discussion’.

It begins right when Jon tells Gitmo why President Obama is closing down Guantanamo -

JON STEWART: We in America are done sacrificing civil liberties to fight the War on Terror…
GITMO: You know Gitmo and all Gitmo’s friends still want to kill you. We want to destroy your way of life.
JS: Ya, we get it, Gitmo, but with these abuses we’re doing that for you.
G: You’re not saaaafe. Don’t you want to be safe?
JS: Gitmo, there is no safe! No matter what we do there’s no guarantee of our safety. That is the price of a free society. So finally we’re gonna do what’s right!
G: I’m very scaaaaa-ry
JS: Gitmo, this has nothing to do with you! You can’t define us! It’s about not letting fear do that!
- – Fake anthrax (really powdered sugar) filled envelope given to Jon Stewart by Gitmo – -
G: Don’t you want to snoop on everyone’s mail now?
JS: NO! We can safeguard ourselves well using smart and legal tactics.

Now you’re probably wondering to yourself about the title of this post and the first bit of subject matter and how they don’t seem to be talking about the same thing. To that, I say: PATIENCE! I’m getting there!

The Jon Stewart bit got me thinking, if those who are against the holding of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay can justify it as Jon Stewart did above that “[t]hat is the price of a free society” why don’t those same people apply this same theory to gun laws? (And now you can see where I was going! Worth the wait wasn’t it!?!?!) The people on the anti-gun side of the gun debate always say that their reasoning is that guns are made solely for killing or harming people and are therefore inherently not safe and should be banned from being owned by the average citizen (oversimplification, I know, but the point remains the same).

Isn’t the possible danger of having guns in every home and on every hip in America that wants them the price of maintaining our free society and our way of life as set up by the Founding Fathers through the Constitution? Why is it that giving Constitutional rights to people who do not necessarily deserve those rights is more important than to ensure those rights are still being afforded to the people that the Framers 100% intended to benefit from them?

To prove my point I am going to re-imagine the exchange between Gitmo and Jon Stewart only talking about crime fighting, guns and the right to bear arms.

JON STEWART: We in America are done sacrificing civil liberties to fight the War on Crime…
GITMO: You know Gitmo and all Gitmo’s criminal friends still want to harm you and rob you. We want to destroy your way of life.
JS: Ya, we get it, Gitmo, but with these abuses we’re doing that for you.
G: You’re not saaaafe. Don’t you want to be safe?
JS: Gitmo, there is no safe! No matter what we do there’s no guarantee of our safety. That is the price of a free society. So finally we’re gonna do what’s right!
G: I’m very scaaaaa-ry
JS: Gitmo, this has nothing to do with you! You can’t define us! It’s about not letting fear do that!
- – Gitmo pulls out previously hidden, derringer and points it at Jon Stewart then admits it’s a fake – -
G: Don’t you want to snoop in everyone’s pockets and purses now and see what guns they have?
JS: NO! We can safeguard ourselves well using smart and legal tactics.

LNN: True, Jon! Not only that but Gitmo, if you thought that there was a high probability that Jon and more than 50% of the live studio audience had much larger caliber firearms with more than one shot in their magazines on their hips and in their purses don’t you think you would have thought twice before pulling out that pansy little derringer and pointing it at Jon?

Interesting stuff, huh? Especially when you consider that the people who were most against Guantanamo Bay and the Bush Administration’s methods of conducting the War on Terror were the political left (and, for the record, Jon Stewart stated what he considered himself politically to Larry King in 2000 on CNN “I think I would say I’m more of a socialist or an independent”) and the people who are most for limiting the rights guaranteed to the American people by the Second Amendment are on the same end of the political spectrum (the left). I wonder if any of the people who are both anti-gun and anti-Guantanamo (and I do not know if Jon Stewart is anti-gun but this would probably be a much better post if I did) see the amusing disparity in arguing one way for the latter but not applying it to the former.

Please note that with my last paragraph I am NOT saying every single person on the political left end of the spectrum believes the same thing. I am sure there are people who would identify themselves as being on the left who supported the Bush Administration and I am sure there are people who identify themselves as being on the left who do not support attempts to limit Second Amendment rights the same way there are people on the political right who didn’t agree with President Bush and/or are pro-gun control laws.

But that’s just my $0.02, as always your comments are appreciated!

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