When the Newtown massacre occurred I waited a couple of days until the horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach subsided over the loss of these innocent children. Then I wrote a blog that suggested that meaningful restraints of the use of guns in our society were warranted. I sent this blog to friend and foe alike on the premise that even those who apparently claim the second amendment as the holy grail of their existence might also recognize the concept behind the principled first amendment of our society; that free and open discussion of ideas and issues is an integral part of who and what we are. I received many positive comments and thoughtful replies from the writing and dissemination of this particular blog, but there were several that surprised me given that I only send my work to those who have given me some kind of indication in the past that they are receptive to exchanging thoughts about various issues. To be specific, I received three requests to perform a specific bodily act, the nicest of which was ‘go screw’ myself.
These responses scared me, but allowed me to clarify my own thinking as to the real damage to our country and it’s Bill of Rights that this maniacal and slavish devotion to guns is causing. Let me mention the simple handshake. In the middle ages, the handshake was adopted as a custom to set aside one’s weapon and engage in meaningful discourse without the threat of a weapon overpowering the experience. The hand was symbolically extended to demonstrate a show of good faith to another that meaningful conversation could occur without the threat of violent reaction. In short, the extended hand set aside ’screw you’ thinking and allowed for rational discussions. Coming back the present, the NRA-types don’t get this concept. They want to be able to walk into bars, churches, schools and other events which generically are evidence of civilized behavior and, rather than a handshake, convey an impression that the use of violent force is their substitute expression of an ability to think. Their standing behind the 2nd amendment is indeed the adult equivalent of a young child’s standing behind a woman’s skirts. What they are saying is “I am incapable of an intelligent dialogue, we need more guns not less” approach to human interaction.
Just saying . . .