April 20, 2014

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POLITICS & PREJUDICES

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License to Kill

In the interest of fairness and balance in the gun control debate, it’s time to take a moment to honor our city, state and nation’s newest Second Amendment hero.

Sadly, we haven’t been told the man’s name, though we do know he lives in the 12000 block of Asbury Park, on Detroit’s west side.

On Tuesday afternoon, he showed all the courage and wisdom our Founding Fathers could have hoped for when they wrote those words about our right to keep and bear arms.

A little neighbor girl of Our Hero let her tiny Chihuahua, JoJo, outside without a leash.  He barked at Our Hero.

Accounts differ after that point. Either the puppy stayed on his own lawn or ran on the sidewalk to yap at Our Hero.

Our Hero then did the patriotic American thing — something that would undoubtedly have made George Washington’s breast swell with pride.

He pulled out a concealed pistol and blew JoJo away.

Now, back to reality, or at least sanity. This guy is no hero; he is nothing but a trigger-happy creep.

Now, in any civilized society that creep would be in jail today, awaiting trial and, what would hopefully be a hefty prison sentence. 

Instead, in today’s cuckoo gun-happy world, police did come, but once they established that he had a license to carry a concealed weapon, hey, no sweat.

Newspaper accounts say the cops agreed he had every right to murder a 5-pound puppy that probably had about as much capacity as a mouse to hurt him.

The nonprofit animal welfare group, Detroit Dog Rescue, was called and conducted an investigation. Incredibly, they seemed to blame the owner, Audrejuanna Tucker, for not having JoJo on a leash.

David Rudolph, a spokesman for DDR, did apparently think it curious that the creep shot “a little Chihuahua, a Taco Bell dog,” and asked “at what point could it have aggressed in such a way that you felt you had to go out and shoot it?”

But, interestingly, he didn’t question his right to do so.

Welcome to our incredibly fucked-up world, one in which fanatic, paranoid gun owners have saddled us with crazy laws and wild misinterpretations of the Second Amendment.

Things could have been far worse out there on Asbury Park. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, Audrejuanna’s daddy was standing out there when the creep blew away the puppy. Let’s further imagine that he also had a legal concealed weapon. 

If I had been him and that had happened, I would have unhesitatingly drilled the creep through the heart. Why? Simple: If he were psychotic enough to kill a tiny dog like that, it would be reasonable to think my little daughter might be next.

They probably would have hauled me off to jail, but my guess is they would have let me go, once I explained it was self-defense. And indeed, the shooter was a lot scarier than JoJo — except for that this is all nuts!

First of all, crazy behavior like this is not protected by the U.S. Constitution, regardless of whatever lies you’ve read or been told about.

Yes, the Second Amendment does say, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

But for most of this nation’s history, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, essentially, that it didn’t mean we had the right to arm ourselves; only that states had the right to form militia units like the Michigan National Guard. (See, for example, the court’s ruling in U.S. v Cruikshank, 1875

Finally, five years ago, in District of Columbiav Heller, the court did say the Second Amendment does protect an individual’s right to possess a firearm … and to use it “for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” That settled that, at least for the foreseeable future. 

Those who hate guns — including me — and who wish they all were illegal, have to accept that this is the law of the land. But that’s not all the highest court said in that ruling.

The justices added that this right “is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

They also said many existing laws limiting gun ownership and possession are entirely consistent with the Constitution.

That means Michigan doesn’t have to let every drugstore cowboy carry a concealed hand cannon, or that we should have the right to blow away a puppy that might nip us.

But we are being held hostage by the gun lobby.

Forget JoJo.

Thousands of us are dying. Less than four months ago, a maniac with an assault rifle pumped bullet after bullet into the tiny heads of 20 five-and-six year olds in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

President Obama, who previously showed no interest whatsoever in gun control, was shaken to his senses by Newtown. He pledged to do everything in his power to actually get some meaningful gun control legislation enacted.

Unfortunately, it now seems all but certain he will fail. The one meaningful thing that might have been possible was some restrictions on assault weapons. But Democrats have already thrown in the towel and given up on that.

Connecticut, to its credit, did enact some meaningful legislation that their governor signed into law last week. But the only thing still before Congress is a bill requiring meaningful background checks before guns are sold.

Yet it seems increasingly likely even that won’t happen. That is thanks, in part, to creatures like Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who thinks keeping records of gun sales would be an outrageous government intrusion. So, no, we won’t have any meaningful limit on mayhem in this country unless — and until the day comes — we have several more Newtowns.

Maybe, just maybe, if there’s ever a case where several Republican senators see their kids’ heads torn apart by cop-killer bullets, something will happen.

In the meantime, we will go on seeing a few hundred kids killed by gun violence every year. But hey, if you really believe that a country where the crazies can get assault rifles is a small price to pay for being secure from those black helicopters the United Nations wants to send …

Then the voices in your head will tell you that our dead children are a very small price to pay.

 

Gay Hatred Update: Do Snyder and Schostak agree with Dave Agema?

Last week, I wrote about Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema’s rabidly anti-gay Facebook post denouncing gay peoples’ “filthy lifestyles.”

Since then, a little helpful digging on the part of former GOP staffer Ken Braun revealed that much of the article Agema posted, “Everyone Should Know These Statistics on Homosexuals,” is based on a pamphlet written by a white supremacist, anti-Semitic holocaust denier.

Agema refuses to repudiate his hate-filled screed, which isn’t surprising. He may have been a bit embarrassed last week, however, when it turned out some of the signers of an online petition supporting him wrote “Goat Killer,” “Kim Jong-Un,”  “I Spit Upon Thee,” and, of course, “Adolf Hitler.”

Everyone with a brain has long known what Dave Agema was. The real question, however, is where are Gov. Rick Snyder and GOP State Chairman Bobby Schostak? Neither man has said a word to distance himself from Agema’s poison.

Why are they not repudiating this peddler of hate? Are they happy he is the national representative of their party?

Their silence would seem to indicate the answer is yes.  

 

Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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