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Letter: It is time to reconsider our position on firearms

How many countries on this planet include a “right to bear arms” clause in their Constitutions? More than one? No. And why not?

Because no sane society would create the conditions for a possible mass catastrophe by allowing proliferation of personal firearms within its borders.

It is time to stop blindly worshiping and unqualifying respecting this mortally-wrought document as if it were dogma decreed by God’s hand.

Fallible men wrote a fallible treatise, and it should be subject to alteration as social conditions require.

The Second Amendment is the consequence of an 18th century social mentality, with 18th century firearm technology in mind, and a new-born country in fear of a land invasion by the British. This threat obviously no longer exists. Hence the ostensible purpose of the amendment is null and void

As the famous humanist fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut wrote: “…guns should give us the heebie-jeebies;” they should unsettle us, and be kept at arm’s length. It’s time to be a little more honest about the reasons people choose to own firearms.

I’m sorry, but

of the reasons are what I would consider to be mature, wise, cultivated or evolved; the core motivations for gun ownership are rather petty, immature and often sadistic. Shooting a deer is not honorably overwhelming nature; it’s cheating. You want honor? Overwhelm it with your bare hands.

The rest of my logic flows from that first point: why endorse the use of a hunk of man-made artificiality that rends flesh in such an unnatural way? It’s not “tough;” it’s the opposite of tough.

Too many people in this country rely on this Artificial Booster of Manhood, when they should be proving their manhood in more productive (and less violent) ways. And too many innocent civilians have died due to this weakness and immaturity.

Martin Penkala


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