ethel’s words

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GUNS OR EDUCATION--A CHOICE?

I recently read an article by a gun owner--an educated and articulate guy--who defended gun owners as thoughtful and responsible, as no doubt most are. He recounted the history of gun use in North America and correctly (in my view) described the purpose of the Second Amendment.

He included in his need for having a gun, his personal (and family) security. Many of us share his apprehension that police could not come quickly enough to save a threatened life. Threats are everywhere. Must each little child (the most vulnerable victim) and each old woman, keep a gun at hand?

My disagreement with his stance regarding outlaw government--certainly a fearful possibility if our eyes are open today--is, I guess, indirect. I cannot visualize, as he does, fighting off, say, a military-coup dictatorship throned in Washington, DC, using GUNS, handguns, rifles, bazookas. (Do I remember that word correctly?) Our government, our military, our CIA, our Secret Service, our FBI, our Alcohol, Tobacco, whatever it is--have an assortment of destructive devices that would sneer at individual guns and grenades-sorts-of-things. Right? (Yes, it is actually “their” not “our” government.)

So what are we to do? Is my thinking rendered ridiculous by hope?

But wouldn’t political activism, political study, political empowerment of ordinary decent folks--wouldn’t that make more sense than guns? Wouldn’t political education, skirting the government-pleasing mainstream media, make a difference? Can’t we secure our votes if only we would try? The last time there were fearful violations of people’s rights to vote, there was no “uprising” from the unhampered citizens of this nation. No gun-owners came to the rescue of the right to have government by the will of the governed!

And if we didn’t squander our billions on “wars” we could find and treat the out-of-control type criminal. We could prevent absolute impoverishment. We could have ten times as many police officers and pay them super-well. That way, EVERYONE would be more protected.

All power flows from the barrel of a gun, indeed, but these days, I think, power flows from destructive weapons of stupendous proportions; the bigger the weapon the bigger the power. The bigger the power, the bigger the arrogance.

Ethel C. Hale