There is a sense of world weary cynicism that envelopes the news coming out of
The second Amendment types will roll out the argument that this proves even more people need to have guns. Never mind that statically speaking the only people not packing in the
The central myth here is of privatization. It is assumed that individual private citizens can best provide their own protection. It has been tried; the idea has always degenerated into the lynch mob and rampant lawlessness. We have police forces because collective security has always ended up being the better way to go. Unfortunately that means submitting to the bug-bear of the conservative movement- Government. Conservatives hate Government; they hate the commons. Most of all they hate the idea of “We”; as in We the people. They support them selves and no one else. Cut though the rhetoric and what you here at its core is “Me.”
This is not to say that individual do not have a fundamental right to protect themselves and their loved ones. It is to say that such protection is best done as a shared responsibility. It is to say a community has the right to set standards of gun ownership. At the very least a community has the right to bar firearms ownership to mentally unstable individuals and others who present a clear and present danger to that community.
Unfortunately we as a culture are stuck in a John Wayne movie. We are still carrying the myth of the cowboy in our collective head. We forget that in the old west most shootings were done by ambush. Most cowboys got shot in the back or otherwise surprised. The shoot out at the O.K. Corral was atypical, Wild Bill Hickok’s end was a much more normal occurrence. The Old West gun culture ultimately failed because allowing each man to be a law unto himself did not work. It is passing strange that we have failed to learn that particular piece of history. But then we do seem to prefer myth to reality; we voted for Ronald Regan- Twice.