Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Civil Rights - OR - Why Can't We Just Kill Everybody?

The title isn't really a joke; more and more, with the sheer number of willfully ignorant and hateful people infesting this nation, I think a zombie apocalypse or another giant asteroid might actually make things better.

So what has me pissed off today? I'm glad you asked, disembodied source of inquiry! There are two things that are really making me angry as of this moment. The first is the NRA and the second is the marriage equality debate, and both have to do with equal rights under the Constitution.

First off, the marriage equality debate should not be a debate. At all. The Constitution is pretty clear on this in the 14th Amendment, providing equal rights and protection under the law for all US citizens. Ever since Loving v. State of Virginia, marriage and all the laws/protections provided thereby are counted as rights for anyone willing to make use of them. This isn't quantum physics or an attempt to prove Toni Morrison isn't a repetitive and formulaic writer; things are pretty damn straightforward.

I will illuminate: According to US law, no citizen can be denied equal rights and protections under law. Also according to US law, marriage is a right that provides more than 1,500 protections. Therefore, since even criminals are still permitted to marry, there is quite simply nothing legally preventing homosexuals from getting married and any preventions thereof are demonstrably unConstitutional.

The only things in opposition to the very real legal imperative to permit marriage equality are the religious and right-wing lobbies. For some reason lawmakers are so scared shitless of these groups that they are willing to ignore unConstitutional laws being written into existence and to permit the obliteration of every principle upon which this country was founded.

The nation of the United States of America was founded on the principle of religious freedom. No religion could impose its rule onto the people of the nation. Should "Christian" laws get ratified by the Supreme Court, this nation will have obliterated one of its oldest tenets.

The only thing preventing our Supreme Court from doing the right thing is a combination of personal bias and fear of retaliation. If we had given in to petty squabbles and fear of a violent presence instead of standing as one, this nation would never have been founded. Every moment of hesitation on the part of the Supreme Court is another moment spent shitting on each and every person who died defending this country or who dedicated their lives to ensuring the survival and correct course of our nation.

Now, since I don't really have a segue, let's just take a moment and shift gears. From the legally-ensured right to the Pursuit of Happiness, let's move to the right to Life. Hey, that was a segue after all!

So the NRA have started sending robocalls into Newtown, just three months after the Sandy Hook massacre. Well of course they are; after all, how long do you have to take to get over your children's deaths? They're just noisy little bastards who aren't good for anything. You can't even get 'em to work since those silly child-labor laws got passed. Like any other possession, it should only take a month or two for you to get over it and focus on what's really important, like guns!

The Second Amendment is one of the least-contested of the Constitutional Amendments and for the life of me I can't see why. The entire point of the Second Amendment, as written into the Bill of Rights, was to ensure that the states could protect themselves should another nation invade or a civil war between states stir up. That was the reason for the first phrase in the Amendment: "A well-regulated militia." Well, now we have a well-regulated militia. It's called the National Guard. State militias have been outlawed, since heavily-armed groups with questionable sanity and morals are a threat to everyone else, so there's really no need for all these firearms.

Of course, the Supreme Court spat in the eyes of our Founding Fathers on that one, ruling that the well-regulated militia part of the Second Amendment was outdated and everybody had a right to guns whether they intended to defend their nation from invasion or just planned to kill their governors.

Gun violence in this country should have reached its saturation point last year with the sheer number of mass shootings, but sadly it seems that no number of dead children and loved ones can sway gun-lovers' hearts. Apparently a chunk of metal designed for murder is more important than the life of your spouse or parent or child.

The illegal firearms trade is inextricably linked to the war on drugs. By turning drug possession into a multi-billion-dollar black market, we've made it a requirement for all drug peddlers - from cartel lords to street pushers - to carry guns so they can murder one another and take territory. Basically we established an underground repeat of early-Renaissance mercantilism, and we all know how fucking well that turned out.

Honestly, I foresee that if the underground drug trade were killed through legalization, taxation, recuperation programs and the decriminalization of those users inadvertently hooked, the illegal firearms trade would all but dry up. There just isn't any other major money-earner for gangs that can be hidden and shipped so effectively, so gangs wouldn't have the income to continue buying guns and their rackets would be easier to shatter.

And then, when the illegal gun trade is practically dead, perhaps people's eyes will be opened to the wanton slaughter perpetrated by psychotic alpha-types when they feel their authority is threatened, or by self-styled victims who decide to lash out.

We've created this mess, true, but we can still undo the horrors we've helped to bring into existence. We need to follow the moral compass provided by human empathy and common sense. It's not that hard; it's just inconvenient sometimes, and some people would rather a million innocents die than they be inconvenienced for a minute.

Goodnight, and stay safe.

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