Discussion in 'world politics, current affairs and news' started by Pickman's model, Feb 14, 2018.
Florida Republicans just tried to give guns to cafeteria ladies and librarians
I have spent a little time when I was young, travelling through the USA, and a lot more time on US political boards. I have come away with the impression that Americans are, in general, a friendly, kind, and remarkably generous people.
I have also come away with the impression that their entire history appears to be a series of self-congratulatory, nationalistic myths. Theirs is also very possibly the most nationalistic society on earth (and it wins against some serious competition,) so every American child, from the point at which it understands language, is told that theirs is the best of all possible societies, and in that way, unquestionably exceptional.
One of the persisting national myths is that the particular Puritans who infested the Mayflower and other vessels were escaping religious persecution in Merry Old England. This is a load of cobblers, as any research will show, and their aim was not to escape persecution, but to impose their particular brand of religious mania upon others. Neither the Brits nor the Dutch were having any, so they took themselves of to the New World, where there was more opportunity to impose that at the point of a musket.
Another myth which feeds into the national sense of exceptionalism is the story that a handful of locals, armed only with muskets, defeated the then might of the British Empire on the field of battle. None of their history makes other than passing mention of the French forces, land and naval, which, for example, outnumbered the Continental Army by better than three to one at Yorktown, and was almost solely responsible for the French/American victory. Neither is the Fact that French noblemen and, later, the French Crown bankrolled and supplied the American rebels with arms, uniforms, and the materiel with which to wage war.
All of which brings me to the perceived necessity of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. At that time, the newly formed nation may perhaps have had concerns that the British may attempt to reclaim their lost possession, or that some other powerful European nation, such as the Dutch or the Spanish (or even the French) might take advantage of the situation to expand their respective empires.
To that end, the necessity of 'A well regulated Militia' might have seemed obvious to 'the security of a free State'. A not unreasonable enabling clause to the following 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.' However, the American people, and more recently, the US Supreme Court, has seen the individual bearing of arms to be a God-given right, independent of the enabling clause (which was collective in intent).
The point of all this waffle being - irrespective what controls may be exercised upon the purchase and ownership of various classes of arms, until the 2nd Amendment is recognised as an archaic remnant of a danger long past, and repealed - the 'right to bear arms' will defeat any common sense attempts to rein in the annual carnage from gunshot wounds - currently standing at roughly 33,500. To put it in more dramatic terms - when Americans value the lives of their children more than some mythical 'freedom', there is a chance that US society will attain an acceptable level of civilisation (not to mention safety).
As someone who was born and raised in the US, I'd say you observations are pretty apt. My choice as an adult not to live there puzzled everyone I knew, even the most progressive ones.
One thing though, I don't think the 'right to bear arms' was solely or even mainly granted to protect against foreign invasion. I'd suggest this rationale is another strand of the hagiography surrounding the 'Founding Fathers.'
Genocide of the indigenous population would not have happened, or at least happened so effectively if citizens hadn't been armed, and blessed by the government to expand settlement westward. This was also packaged, at least until recently, as brave settlers defending their pious families from hostile savages.
The ever present threat of slave revolt in the southern states was another driver. As an aside, the roots of police services in the US rest in the slave patrols formed to hunt, punish and return escaped slaves. (They were often called patty or paddy rollers - later morphing into the slang 'paddy wagon' for a police van.)
So, part of the mythology that underpins American identity includes white washing of the white supremacist and genocidal roots of law and traditions.
One of these latter day progressive myths well and truly rumbled here - i remember sharing the Hartmann piece myself on here a few years back:
2nd Amendment Passed to Protect Slavery? No!
I always thought "paddy wagon" arose out of the need to clean the streets of drunk Irishmen. While that's a fascinating article, and proves its point to my satisfaction at least, there's still the wider issue that the whole of the US consitution, and US law, is basically "what we have we hold" - so the militias weren't there directly to hunt escaping slaves, but were there to prop a social order based on slavery. . .
Of course - but getting it as wrong as the original Hartmann piece only helps to hide that fact - and that fact is what much of Finkelman's other work is designed to establish and bring into the light.
And round up all those Irish drunks.
Well yes, acts are often symbolic and don't have to be actual. Just knowing that armed gangs of white supremacists are about ready to hunt you down, torture and/or kill you was probably a deterrent to escaping.
Today, knowing the police are rarely held to account for killing unarmed African American folks also constrains the exercise of civil rights for African Americans.
On another note, I'd never heard Irish people referred to as 'Paddy' when I lived in the US. I always thought it was a UK and Ireland thong. Maybe was used on the East Coast of the US, but I want familiar with it.
I think paddy wagon is to do with the nickname for Irish people, but more about the stereotypical Irish cops than the arrested people.
It can be both.
St Patricks day had turned into St paddys day when I was living there in the 90s green beer and every orish stereotype under the sun.
Teacher accidentally fires gun and injures three students in safety lesson
SEE IT: Oklahoma bail agent fatally shoots client in her office
Stillwater PD: Man arrested in string of business burglaries
On the upside there have been as promised mass walkouts of students today:
Christ she seemed awfully calm about it!
Right now the homeless are being denied their second amendment rights.
Good on this guy for protecting them.
Three students were beaten with a paddle for taking part in the school walkout against violence
Oh, you're being sarcastic
That's sarcastic, isnt it?
Some people seem incapable of detecting sarcasm. You do seem to be one of them.
he's a man with much to be modest about
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