At Cleveland Hopkins airport, in Buckeye Ohio, there are advertisements of a noble looking George Washington standing proudly as he’s rowed across the Delaware by his faithful crew. The caption? “By George we did it.”
Now, as a Brit in Ohio, I’ve made a few observations about the “George” effect over the last three years I’ve been here. And yes, I think it’s fair to say that George has certainly done it. But not George Washington. Rather the memory of the Mad King, George the Third, and the lingering fear of “tyrannical government” unfortunately etched into some of the political DNA of the USA.
The King’s ghost and his red-coat minions are still haunting the nervous system of the US constitutional system of government, per the Second Amendment of the Constitution:
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of a free people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
As I was once told by a very convincing Charlie Chaplin at my first ever American Halloween party: “American farmers had beaten the then mightiest military in the world.” And an armed farmer, an armed citizen, is definitely a better person when it comes to overthrowing eighteenth century English despots. A good argument for then? Sure, maybe. But nearly 250 years later? Not even close.
Also, more than just readily available muskets shaped the victory of the American Revolutionaries. The British struggled with trans-Atlantic supply logistics, European powers joining the fray, a far from and a Westminster fix on the Caribbean being of more economic importance than the 13 colonies.
Here’s the news – the Brits aren’t coming back and the only country on Earth that could now defeat the military power of the United States, is the United States. A thousand pick-up trucks full of “patriots” waving their semi-automatics in the air is of no match for a single Abrams M1A2 or Stealth Bomber. The US military is just too powerful. Thankfully, other complex systems of democratic checks and balances are installed that can keep government over-reach under control. Not just the continual referencing of the most “bangy” part of the Constitution by Second Amendment obsessives.
Still, the Arms bit was way more user-friendly to quote than any other winning factor for the Revolutionaries. And boy-oh-boy do the NRA and its allies like to cling on to that misty-eyed selective-memory based legend.
So here we are now, 2018, and the depressing reality is that the only tyranny stalking contemporary American life, schools in particular, is the ultra-modern semi-automatic, assault rifle. Above the cries of the families of the slain, the NRA and its apologists trot out the same, tired, blood-soaked lines about “the right to defend one-self” and, bizarrely, “the God-given right” to bear arms.
It is just so not the case that having a gun provides a “defense.” I absolutely still hear crickets chirp and watch the tumbleweed trundle by when I beg the question of Second Amendment enthusiasts: When you are shot in the head, even carrying 10 guns, and putting aside for a moment the technical difficulty of you most likely being dead, where is the defensive aspect of all those guns?
School shootings happen predominantly in the US compared to other Western nations. Until common sense and meaningful gun control measures are put in place, tragically they will continue.
- Trump: The Anti-Santa - August 1, 2018
- Trump’s Kruel Komedy Klub - June 22, 2018
- From Russia With Animosity - June 10, 2018
- Phone Gymnastics: How Trump Keeps the GOP So Flexible (VIDEO) - May 24, 2018
- Our China Syndrome President - May 13, 2018
- Twenty Questions, Donald Trump Style - April 29, 2018
- Dreary Donald - April 19, 2018
- The Ghost of Mad King George and the “Militia” Amendment - April 7, 2018
- American-Chinese Tariff War: Fortune Cookies Not Required - April 5, 2018