I’m not sure if I should be amused or troubled by the conclusion of your July 24 article entitled “Despite Colorado killings, there is little debate on guns” that “most analysts agree that politicians are unlikely to support additional gun control legislation, particularly ahead of this year’s national elections, even in the wake of the recent shooting in Colorado.”
On the one hand we have a society in the United States in which a large number of citizens become apoplectic when anyone even suggests that the Second Amendment needs to be reinterpreted in the context of the modern world.
At the same time, an even larger number of American citizens seem to be completely unaware that the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth amendments have been essentially eviscerated over the last decade. Authorization of the military to indefinitely detain American citizens without charges, evidence, or trial if the citizen is suspected of terrorist activity (as determined solely by the executive branch of the government), extrajudicial assassination of American citizens at the discretion of the President and warrantless wiretaps, searches and seizures are now the new legal standard in the United States.
Where is the outrage? Where is the resistance to the loss of civil liberties?
That we experience so much passionate debate concerning the sanctity of gun ownership yet hear almost nothing regarding the virtual destruction of the fundamental principles on which the country was founded speaks volumes about the values and character of the American people. Clearly for most, the Second Amendment is being interpreted in terms of how it affects “me” while the other, now irrelevant parts of the Bill of Rights are about “them.”
Perhaps this is a good time to recall the prescient words of pastor Martin Niemöller who chastised the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power when he said:
“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
San Antonio de Belén