Help I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far
I haven’t done that in awhile! Remember when I regularly prefaced my Beacon-News columns with the appropriate song lyrics? This certainly seems to be the time to revive that practice.
Because if any of y’all told me, just a scant decade ago, I’d be arguing for reasonable gun control alongside State Senator Jim Oberweis on his Facebook page, I would’ve dismissed you as utterly insane and beyond any kind of help, whatsoever.
But last weekend, that’s exactly what happened, and I’m not sure I’ll ever completely recover. In the words of those great philosophers, Romeo Void, “Never say never!”
Yes! Our own Illinois 25th District State Senator, Jim Oberweis, is co-sponsor of House Bill 1465 which raises the assault gun purchase age to 21. As the likely-to-pass bill stands now, anyone under 21 would have 90 days to divest themselves of such weapons once it’s signed into law.
Jim said he’ll endeavor to modify it so current underage assault rifle owners can keep their weapon. He’s also in favor of House Bill 1457, which bans bump stocks.
But despite the eminently reasonable nature of HB1465, all the Second Amendment loons are going completely nuts over his support of what truly is a very mild measure. So, let’s “shoot” down their arguments one by one!
First, yes! I own a gun and I really enjoy taking it out to the range every now and then. I was trained to shoot by my late Navy Seal father, and though I wouldn’t call myself a marksman, I’ve done alright with a hunting rifle, a Mini 14, a .44 magnum, a 20-gauge shotgun, and my current Glock.
Second, HB1457 doesn’t go nearly far enough, because nobody needs to own an assault rifle – a weapon whose sole intent is to kill people. They should be banned entirely.
“But Jeff, the Second Amendment is absolute!”
No, it’s not! I can’t remember the last time I saw an armored car or an M108A7 self-propelled gun in someone’s driveway, so there are plenty of limitations on “bearing arms.”
And if anyone’s perused the text of that Amendment lately, it opens with, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” So, when you show me your “well-regulated militia paperwork” you can have your AR-15.
In addition to that, back in 1776 when the Constitution was signed, your average minuteman could purchase the same, or a better musket, than the British regulars carried.
Finally, the Supreme Court may have overturned Washington D. C.’s 2008 gun ban, but they were clear that municipalities, states and the federal government have every right to reasonably regulate gun sales and ownership.
I’ll say it again! The Second Amendment is far from absolute.
“But Jeff we have to be ready to strike back against the tyranny of the government!”
Some of y’all have been watching too many black and white movies. When this government comes to get you, an incredibly unlikely occurrence, your pistol – or even your AR-15 – won’t help you. If you’re lucky, you might just hear the cruise missile a second before it hits.
It won’t help when the M1 Abrams tank runs right through your living room, either. I suppose you could try to bat away the cluster bombs or shoot down that drone, but I wouldn’t count on it.
“But Jeff! Guerilla movements like the American Revolution, Viet Nam, and Afghanistan all succeeded against vast military might.”
Not so fast buckaroo!
As previously mentioned, the colonists were armed almost as well as the Redcoats, and those rogue Americans would never have beaten the British had not the French intervened on a number of levels. That included Lafayette and Casimir Pulaski turning that well-regulated militia into a real army.
Similarly, the Viet Cong would’ve gotten nowhere without all the arms and training supplied by the Soviets and Chinese. As it is with most proxy wars, the U.S. fought with one arm tied behind their back for a corrupt regime that didn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the Mujahidin were getting their butts kicked until the U.S. sent them shoulder mounted Stinger missiles. That forced Russian ground support aircraft to fly above 8,000 feet rendering them utterly ineffective.
So, that argument ain’t gonna fly, either.
“But Jeff! If you can’t purchase an assault rifle until you’re 21, shouldn’t we raise the military enlistment and voting age to 21?”
Yes! We should.
Considering what happened in 2016, I really don’t want most of y’all voting anymore, much less folks one-third my age. And we shouldn’t be sending teenagers off to fight in proxy wars, ever!
The irony is, all of you absolutist Second Amendment supporters are just fine with trying to regulate women’s bodies, installing a state sponsored religion, and forbidding certain marriages, all of which are patently unconstitutional. Not that that’s hypocritical or anything.
The bottom line is, sentiment is rapidly shifting away from the NRA. And if they and their supporters don’t offer reasonable compromise, unreasonable compromise will be thrust upon them. Though I’m thrilled to see how Senator Oberweis has evolved, the bill he co-sponsored is literally the least we can do.
Think about it my overzealous Second Amendment friends! You have a vast propensity to be wrong. I’m still waiting for Barack Obama to come and take away my gun.