Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Off Message for a Second

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This is a blog about interviewing.  But someone on Twitter asked a very good question, to which I think I have a decent answer.  It is an answer that doesn’t speak to the conflict we as a nation have between our freedom, liberty and violent nature.  And it is certainly not a defense of that conflict.  But I think it gets to the connection between the three pretty cleanly and simply.

I don’t know why the gun lobby doesn’t just say that the reason why it doesn’t oppose assault weapons isn’t so that hunters can shoot whatever they want with whatever they want.  And it’s not because they believe a citizen should be able to defend themselves against their next door neighbor with whatever type of weapon is legal.  I think it’s because the gun lobby believes that the citizenry needs to be at least able to resist a military or a government that has gone rogue.  It is a simple, uncluttered and crystalline mindset that is based on a Constitution that is based on dissidents trying to escape an oppressive government.  If the gun lobby benefits from the sale of guns in the same immoral way that the government benefits from arms sales, it would be fiercely denied.  If you’re a gun lobby, you can’t say the right of people to have guns to kill other people is worth it because it makes us money.  But you can say people have the right to have powerful guns because the government has powerful guns.  Maybe both kinds of people are in the gun lobby, but the former better never make themselves known since the latter may shoot them themselves.

It a weak and pitiful justification that guns solve any problems.  And the fruits of that justification bears names like Columbine and Sandy Elementary and Clackamas Town Center and Trolley Square.  But the gun lobby’s DNA is based on the second amendment and that amendment was all about firearms, citizens and military power.  And to keep this semblance of freedom the gun lobby believes we now have depends, according to it, on a balance of guns, like cold warroirs believed in a balance of bombs.

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Written by Interviewer

December 18, 2012 at 03:41

Posted in Scratchpad

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