January 2009

Why the furor over guns?

By Galen Larson

Since Obama was elected president on Nov. 4, gun stores have been flooded with folks stocking up on all types of arms. Apparently they think Obama will be coming in the night to steal their handguns and AK-47s. But why all the hysteria about guns? Corporations and losing my right to vote scare me more than the chance of losing my Second Amendment rights. (Obama can’t do that anyway with a stroke of the pen.)

People carry on about their gun rights, but I don’t see these proud arms-bearers volunteering to go to Iraq to relieve those who are serving there. I’m sure our soldiers would welcome some relief.

The last three wars we lost (and we will lose this one) have been fought for the benefit of our corporations, which have no allegiance to country or flag. They pay few if any taxes and have no respect for the working class (serfs, in their minds).

Yet without the working class they could not exist or prosper. They point their fingers at socialism and communism, but don’t mind taking the hardworking people’s money to bail out the money-lenders and Wall Street who through greed brought down the economy of this country.

Please read some history, You Second Amenders, and see what happens when you get up enough nerve to point your weapon at the corporate gods. They will smite you with your own tax-paid protectors. Their hired, well-trained guns will out-shoot and out-man you. (Remember the Pinkertons, the National Guard shootings at Kent State in Ohio, the Army turning on the veterans demanding their $15-a-month promised pension after World War I? And how about Ludlow, right here in Colorado, with the police dynamiting families out of their hovels whose only crime was asking for decent wages and working conditions?)

The Second Amenders are fond of saying there could be no First Amendment rights without the Second Amendment. But the reverse is true as well. If we didn’t have the right to say what we think, to protest, and to assemble, we wouldn’t be able to retain our other rights. The precious freedoms we hold because of the Constitution and specifically the Bill of Rights all hang together. You can’t excise one and say it’s more important than the rest.

Because we didn’t pay attention to whom we sent to Congress, Bush got us into this Iraq mess with a stroke of the pen and our lily-livered Congress on both sides gave him the OK. They are not afraid of people who keep guns in their bedroom. They are afraid of a well-informed people and that is what we are not.

How to overcome this is a rough task. We have few reporters that will seek out and give us a small vestige of truth. Just Ken and Barbie reading from the teleprompter and not even doing a decent job of that.

But there are things we can do. Think think, think. Read, read and read some more.

Question your legislators, representatives and senators, and demand that when they step out of bounds they get punished, as would you.

If they get caught hiding cash in the freezer, lying about house repairs, using their office to get someone fired or backstabbing state attorney generals, we can’t let them ignore the law. We condemn people who are on welfare but never give a thought to the largest welfare recipients, the corporations.

We complain about the farmers when all along it is not the small farmer who benefits from subsidies, it is the corporate agriconglomerates who get the lion’s share, using that money to genetically alter seeds so our only seed source will be the companies. Control is what they are after. Energy, guns, abortion, gay marriage — they’re all a smokescreen to divert our attention while the movers and shakers get control of food and water.

When we lose control of those, all else is a moot subject. One can’t pull the trigger on a weapon when one is dying of hunger or thirst.

Galen Larson, a combat veteran from the Korean War, writes from rural Montezuma County, Colo.