Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve become something of an expert on the Second Amendment. And somehow I was able to do this despite several strange and curious fits of overindulgence — honestly, I don’t know how that goat got there or why it’s wearing a pink tutu and a Michelle Obama mask.
But despite these handicaps, I have learned absolutely everything there is to know about this much-cherished amendment.
I’ve read Supreme Court rulings — or at least their FindLaw summaries.
I’ve read a mind-blowing paper on the secret origins of the Second Amendment, and evidently, the whole thing was designed to keep the Southern slaves in line.
I’ve read the portion of the Federalist Papers dealing with this very subject, and in it the Father of the Constitution himself, James Madison, declares exactly why the Second Amendment was needed — and evidently, it has nothing to do with keeping African Americans in shackles. (Truth be told, the Second Amendment was designed as a deterrent. Madison reasoned that if the individual citizens of a state were armed, the federal government would never ever invade any one state. Now, I don’t have to tell you that the amendment was a complete and utter fucking failure. See the War of Northern Aggression.)
So know this, ladies and gentlemen, I am a Second Amendment expert.
In fact, I know it better than I know the soul-squeezing pain of a dry heave. The way that vomit echoes off the sides of a toilet bowl. The endless prayers and promises that are uttered on the bathroom floor and promptly forgotten by the end of the day.
And what I’ve learned is this: the Second Amendment doesn’t say jack shit about keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Honestly, it doesn’t.
I’ve checked. I’ve scoured. I’ve printed out the Second Amendment on an 8-and-a-half-by-11 piece of paper and looked at it from all angles, and I can’t find a damn thing about cuckoo birds and Sigmund Freud. And yet for some reason, we have laws on the books denying these American citizens their Second Amendment right to own firearms.
Surprisingly, the strict constitutionalists at the NRA don’t have a problem with this. In fact, the head of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, thinks this is OK. See, Mr. LaPierre is of the opinion that the U.S. government should keep a database of mentally ill people so that gun sellers would never ever sell a gun to a looney ever again. Hopefully, I don’t have to remind you that you won’t find anything about mentally ill databases in the Second Amendment — or anywhere else in the Constitution for that matter — so I simply don’t understand how a strict constitutional conservative like Mr. LaPierre can support such a denial of rights to American citizens.
Now, I’m not even going to bother getting into the fact that mentally ill people are more often the victims of crimes than they are the perpetrators — and, as such, they should be armed for their own protection.
What concerns me is who decides who is mentally ill and what exactly is mental illness. I mean, when it all comes down to it, the debate over insanity is really just a debate about reality. It’s a disagreement between the majority of the population and the individual man and woman about what is real and what is imaginary hoo-ha.
See, you may believe that your pet dog Sam is telling you to strip naked and masturbate into copies of Atlas Shrugged, but I don’t believe that any dog would ever tell you to do that. Their language skills are limited and mostly consist of simple phrases like, “Feed me,” “Rub my belly,” and “Squirrel.”
And you may believe that God speaks directly to you each night before bed, but I tell you, I’ve left a thousand voicemails and he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. What am I, some creepy middle-aged perv trying to pick up a Hooters’ waitress? Do I have bad breath? Dandruff? A bottle of chloroform in my pocket?
And you may believe that President Barack Obama plans to round up every gun owner in America and send them to FEMA death camps, but my name ain’t Ted Nugent. More importantly, I’ve been to the White House sex dungeon and, boy oh boy, am I still sore.
The point is, somebody has to decide what is batshit crazy and what isn’t. And I don’t know about you, but if I was a member of the NRA, I sure as hell wouldn’t want Uncle Sam in charge of that. So how about we ditch all of this mentally ill database talk and get back to fighting for the right for all Americans to be armed. And when I say, “all Americans,” I mean “all Americans.”
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City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.