Gun Ownership is a Cherished and Protected Freedom
Now that we have that out of the way, it would be nice to explore an aspect of the American response to the idea that there are limitations to such a freedom.
The much reviled Taliban is an outgrowth of the US sponsored and funded Mujahideen who fought the Soviets during their failed Afghanistan invasion. Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, supported the Taliban and was himself a partial invention of the US. He served us well in our proxy fight against the Soviets.
Perhaps the Taliban are best known for their extremely rigid ideology as well as their very strict interpretation of both Islam and more importantly, Sharia law, the moral code of Islam. The effect of the Taliban’s enforcement has been to destroy cultural plurality. There can be but one position and dissent is neither welcome nor tolerated. It is extremely harsh fundamentalist doctrine.
There is a very marked similarity in the post-Newtown and Webster debates from what can be referred to as the Hard-Core Gun Lobby(HCGL). The notion that any discussion on the issue, much less action, is democratic or American apostasy is forcefully made. In the fashion of the Taliban no debate is possible because no change can be sanctioned. It’s just that simple.
A key point: I am not suggesting that ardent gun rights proponents are terrorists, un-American, or supporters of either Bin Laden or the Taliban. I am suggesting that their zeal has led them down the road of rigid fundamentalism to adopt an extreme approach that is at odds with our democratic system of government where moderation, flexibility, accommodation and creativity allow for problem-solving, even on a national scale.
Professionally, the Webster killings were a tragedy. Newtown, however, was a national holocaust. The HCGL response has been first, to seek to delay public discussion, and second, to suggest that more guns in more places is the answer. The public has rightly balked at such a bizarre position, roughly analogous to public be-headings and limb amputations.
Cooler heads correctly point out that this is a complicated problem because it involves several aspects of liberty, mental health, the Constitution and firearm liability.
But a nation that is immobilized by fundamentalist zeal of Talibanic proportions as innocent children are murdered is, in fact, becoming unworthy of the descriptor of “constitutional democracy.”
We speak scathingly of Taliban fundamentalism and send our soldiers to die defending the concept of rational liberty while it withers in front of us as our children lay lifeless.