Someone shoots people. The country grieves. Liberals call for gun control. Conservatives rebut. By now, we are all familiar with this process. We can recite from memory the arguments that both sides make. And, from all the noise comes a fact. The Second Amendment debate is off track, and righting it can help save humanity.
UNDENIABLE FACTS AND INDEFENSIBLE ARGUMENTS
First, let’s take out some trash. The Second Amendment came at a time when the best gun was a single-shot musket. Yet, the Constitution is a living, breathing document designed to evolve with the times. Every single judge, lawyer, and constitutional scholar recognizes this fact. We only disagree about what degree of departure from the original text and purpose is appropriate, and it is liberals who want this degree to be the greatest. Therefore, to argue that the Second Amendment is all about muskets is not only indefensible, for liberals, it is also downright hypocritical. The Second Amendment protects the rights to keep and bear ground-to-ground firearms—full stop—and these rights extend to the best ground-to-ground firearms available.
Yet, like the rest of the Constitution, the Second Amendment’s protections are not absolute. Rather, they are co-extensive with the amendment’s text and purposes. We turn to the latter soon. For now, suffice it to say that the Second Amendment does not mandate that citizens be able to buy guns the same way they buy groceries, nor does it mandate that violent criminals and the like, be able to buy them at all.
Finally, while we’re taking out the trash, one bag stinks the worst, hands down. There are some who argue that, given modern problems and modern technology and in light of the facts that the amendment is so old and confusingly worded, it’s time to just ignore the Second Amendment entirely. This is stupid and dangerous. Ours is supposed to be a country of laws, not of men. The only way this can be true is if laws are applied consistently and indiscriminately. If we ignore any part of the Constitution—the preeminent law of the land—then we invite ignoring the whole thing, and we may as well just throw up our arms and announce ourselves content to be slaves. In other words, the Constitution is the thing that holds us together and protects us, so to ignore it is to give up.
Now, don’t get me wrong; government officials violate the Constitution every day. Yet, it is another thing entirely for the people to urge the government to violate it. Further, I note that the document itself provides for the means of repealing the Second Amendment, if the country truly wants to do so. How many Democrats have you heard propose that?
With the trash taken out, the fun now begins. To understand how and why the Second Amendment debate is off track—and how and why righting it can help save humanity—you must first understand the reasons the amendment exists.
THE SECOND AMENDMENT’S PURPOSES
In essence, the Second Amendment exists for two purposes. Go back in time. Imagine you’re one of the founders at the Constitutional Convention, and you’re considering the rights to keep and bear arms. What two facts tower above all others?
One. The police forces protecting citizens from criminals and other threats are inadequate at best and nonexistent at worst. And two. You just fought a revolution, freeing yourself from a tyrant’s grip and overthrowing his government.
The first reason the founders included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights was to protect the citizenry’s ability to defend itself. Today, self-defense is no less of a strong justification for protecting the rights to keep and bear arms. The only way to disagree with the previous sentence is (1) to place complete trust in the police’s ability to defend you, (2) to believe that violence—and dare I say evil—does not exist, or (3) to do both.
Yet, when I say that the Second Amendment debate is off track, I’m not really talking about the need for self-defense. This is a familiar component of the current debate, to which gun control advocates reply with assertions like “you don’t need assault weapons to protect yourself from home intruders.” Rather, when I say that the Second Amendment debate is off track, I refer to something that, today, is far less easy to accept—something that is missing entirely from the current discussions about guns.
The second reason the founders included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights was to protect the citizenry’s ability to violently overthrow the government. Like I said, far less easy to accept today.
VIOLENTLY OVERTHROWING THE GOVERNMENT
Is it really so hard to believe that, sometime in the future, we the people are going to need to violently overthrow our government? This government that lies to us routinely. This government that perpetuates unjust and unnecessary wars. This government that kills us without trial—through its police forces and its military both. This government that strips away our human rights. This government that spies on us. This government that ignores our will and bends to special interests and wealthy donors. I can continue, but you get the point.
Our democracy is dead. This is not an opinion; this is a proven fact. Researchers at Princeton have recently conducted an in-depth study, and they conclude that the United States of America is now an oligarchy masquerading as a republic. Is it really so hard to believe that, sometime in the future, we the people are going to need to violently overthrow this government?
Let’s bring this back to the Second Amendment debate being off track. Gun control advocates are right; short of chaos in the streets—which in and of itself is not an unrealistic possibility—you probably don’t need an assault weapon to defend yourself. You certainly don’t need one for hunting. Yet, it’s time to close the circle. What, again, is missing from the current Second Amendment debate? The fact that one of the two main reasons the amendment exists is to protect our ability to violently overthrow the government. And if, sometime in the future, we have to violently overthrow the government, what are we going to need? Assault weapons. The best line in the awesome movie V for Vendetta is “[p]eople should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Well, an unarmed citizenry is a lot less scary than an armed one.
Now, there’s a few things you might say. Idealists might say that we can right all the wrongs through the ballot box. They say this because they (1) can’t see the fact that our democracy is dead, (2) don’t understand the intricacies of oligarchy, or (3) both. And cynics might say that, today, an attempt to violently overthrow the government is doomed to fail. But look at what was once Iraq. All the might of the American military could not stop this formerly-unified country from devolving into insurgency and splintering along regional and sectarian lines into several different states. Further, if we the people eventually decide that it’s time for violent revolution, do you really think that all of the police officers and all of the men and women in the military are going to fight against us? Of course not; they are us.
Note that, though we’re talking about gun rights—which is traditionally a conservative cause—I above gave us a laundry list of traditionally liberal ones as reasons why we may all need the Second Amendment’s full protection. It’s time we consider the right-left divide.
THE RIGHT-LEFT DIVIDE
The right-left divide is largely a façade perpetuated by the sociopathic elite to divide and conquer us. I’m a lawyer, and I have worked in government and politics. I know the system. It is corrupt at every level and at every turn. And, in learning the system, one lesson was more important than the rest. It is not our beliefs that divide us down political lines. It is the forces that brainwash us that so do.
The differences between conservatives and liberals are, in reality, miniscule. First, we are brainwashed into believing that certain issues are the most important ones. Then we are brainwashed into taking diametrically opposed positions on these issues. And, finally, we are brainwashed into focusing on our minor disagreements, rather than on our common ground. In other words, we are brainwashed into division.
And who benefits? Why, the untouchable elite, of course. While we squabble over minor disagreements on the issues that they’ve brainwashed us into believing are the most important, they continue unchallenged, raping our planet and our economies and turning us into drones. All the while, they satisfy their sociopathic needs for power and control. Make no mistake; you are not a free person. You are a commodity, and you are brainwashed into believing otherwise.
Don’t believe me? That’s fine. I don’t ask you to blindly accept text on a screen. All I ask is that you do your own research. And, if I may suggest a starting point, take a look at Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment. And remember to question everything.
THE REVOLUTION WE NEED
Though the potential need to violently overthrow the government must be part of the Second Amendment debate, I do not personally think that we, at this time, need an armed revolution. Hell, I don’t even think we need a political revolution. What we need is a spiritual revolution.
When I say “spiritual revolution,” I’m not talking about religion. I’m not saying that people need to find Jesus. What I am saying is that we need to focus on our collective consciousness. Really, all that I am saying is that people need to be nice.
That’s it. Be nice. Everybody knows the golden rule. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Yet how many of us actually abide by it? I’m not just talking about mass murderers or sociopathic politicians. I’m talking about the business owners who devalue their employees because they know that the job market is tough. I’m talking about the restaurant patrons who treat the waitress like a servant because they think of her that way. I’m talking about the athletes who bully the honor students because it makes them feel good. I’m talking about the lawyers who file pointless motions to rack up the billable hours because their clients don’t know any better. I’m talking about political activists who demonize the other side because they want to win. I’m talking about every single one of us. Just. Be. Nice. Love everyone—even those who hate you.
If, when making decisions, more of us asked “what’s best for humanity?” instead of “what’s best for me?” then our problems would fade. Though we may disagree about what is best for humanity, it is the act of approaching decisions through this collective lens that makes all the difference. Greed would evaporate, and violence would be unthinkable. And, most importantly, sociopaths would become outcasts, rather than the political and economic leaders they currently are.
So how do we do this? How do we bring about this spiritual revolution? Well, I could write about this for pages and pages. Instead, I’ll confine myself to the broad strokes.
Ten percent is the threshold for any revolution. Ten percent of people is critical mass. Ten percent is all we need. And ten percent is not so large a number.
Start with yourself. In other words, be the change you want to see in the world. Then move outwards by encouraging the people immediately around you to follow suit. The spiritual revolution is a grass roots one, indeed.
Further, there are things you can do that make it easier to be nice. Choose happiness every single morning—it’s really as simple as making the choice. Focus on what you have, not on what you want; on the change you want to see, not on what needs changing; and on the common ground, not on the disagreements. Meditate, as both Harvard scientists and the Buddha agree that it’s really good for you. Eat healthier, and get more magnesium and vitamin B-12 in particular. Exercise. Unplug from electronics for a period every day, and spend some time in nature. Please, please, please stop watching or reading the news. It’s mostly lies, and it’s designed to tap into your base instincts and brainwash you. Hell, stop watching TV entirely, especially the commercials, and stop paying attention to what celebrities are doing. Read books, and keep a journal.
Though I could go on and on here, the underlying theme is easy to understand. Do things that improve the connection between mind, body, and consciousness, for doing them makes it easier to be nice.
This piece is supposed to be about the Second Amendment, yet here I am talking about the phony right-left divide and the need for a spiritual revolution. Though it’s true that I’ve arrived at those topics by examining the reasons why the amendment exists, the connection between the three feels tangential at best. I promise, they’re all part of the same discussion. Allow me to tie it all together.
The Second Amendment debate provides us with a rare opportunity to truly evolve—to expose the phoniness of the purported right-left divide and to spur on a spiritual revolution, doing both in striking fashion. How, you ask?
Simple. Consider the full context. The elite uses the Second Amendment debate to divide us, just as it does with so many others. Yet, there is something unique about this debate: a piece that the elite need to hide, for it scares the hell out of them. This piece? The fact that one of the reasons the amendment exists is to protect the citizenry’s ability to violently overthrow the government. This simple fact sets the Second Amendment debate apart from all other tools of division. This simple fact is what deserves our focus.
Stop talking about hunting. Stop treating the rights to keep and bear arms as absolute. Stop thinking that easy access to guns is the root of gun violence. Stop trying to ignore the Constitution. And note that, though the first two sentences are directed at gun rights advocates and the second two are directed at gun control ones, all four are in the same paragraph.
Gun rights advocates, stop treating the gun control crowd as smug liberals who want to trample on your rights because of a few psychopathic mass-murderers. Recognize that they have legitimate worries about violence. Gun control advocates, stop treating the gun rights crowd as stupid conservatives who love their weapons so much that they think dead people are a small price to pay for them. Recognize that they believe regulation only worsens the violence.
And, to both sides, re-center the debate around the Second Amendment’s real purpose: there is an undeniable need to protect ourselves from each other and from our government. Only when we make this our focus will we be able to eliminate the reasons that this need even exists.
To do all this is to tell the elite to go fuck themselves. To tell them that we will not allow them to divide us, that we will not allow them to brainwash us, that we will not allow them to hide the facts from us. The time is now, and we have a real opportunity before us. We can either rise above and evolve—using a discussion about guns as our vehicle—or we can let the elite put one more crucial nail in our collective coffin. Make no mistake. The Second Amendment debate is off track, and righting it can help save humanity. Let’s tell the elite that, though we prefer to overthrow them spiritually, we haven’t forgotten our ability to do so violently.