There is a scene in a ‘The West Wing’ episode, an episode dealing with the Death Penalty in America; which has always struck me as demonstrating the simple truth about America: which is that The People speak, and have spoken, and the Law in America usually gets it right!
When watching or examining American television series or films, one has to remember that most of the scripts and writers, most of the production and direction personnel; and of course many of the actors: are all from the liberal side of the aisle. So when an imaginary Democrat President is seen struggling with the very idea of the Federal Government carrying out the wishes of a jury and a Judge, and is preparing to execute a criminal for his heinous crimes, Americans are in fact being lectured; if not actually hectored with an almost messianic zeal: by some pretty sophisticated people. The President is seen as he attempts to find any legal excuse, any possibility that he can stop the execution, and (because Martin Sheen is a pretty good actor, and a deeply-committed liberal into the bargain) is visibly challenged by his inability to halt a duly legal process. He wants to stop that death, because he does not believe in Capital Punishment: but fails because the Law is, as he finally accepts, is against him!
America’s history has revolved around guns, weapons, for the entire time it has existed, both as a number of British Colonies, and after the War of Independence, as a Sovereign State. It’s founders, men who had taken up, and urged others to take up; arms against a Foreign King whose Governing decrees stated no understanding of the Colonial mindset, nor of arguments against what the Colonials thought to be unjust decrees from London: were both shrewd, and understanding of their fellow men. They understood above all that America was still a dangerous country to live in; a large land with few defensible borders; and if a military presence threatened those borders, there could be a fatal delay before an Army, or a Militia, could be formed, trained and sent forth to battle the invaders. So they determined that citizens should be able to hold their own weapons at home, and if called upon, to do some rudimentary training, and thus they would be able to present a reasonably well-trained force to fight against an invading army. The need for such armed civilians, trained and ready to defend their own has diminished; with the rise of both the American Military, and the establishment of a regular States and local Police forces across that giant land. But, and it is still a huge “But”, it would be a very, very foolish set of politicians, and even more foolish Judges; to attempt to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment ‘Right to Bear Arms’.
The Las Vegas massacre occurred on October 1st, 2017; and it happened because some guy seemingly went loco, hauled a small armoury of semi-automatic rifles of varying manufacture; along with a huge amount of bullets, and a significant number of large-capacity magazines. He also brought an number of ‘bump-stock’ fittings, which; through manipulation of the rifle’s mechanism: alters the semi-automatic rifle to be a fully-fledged automatic machine-gun, similar to military equipment. Because he dies from a self-inflicted wound, after firing some eleven hundred rounds from his 32nd floor eyrie into the crowds who were attending a music event; no-one knows his motives: but he left 58 dead, and 851 injured.
Five months after the shooting, it is only now that we see and hear of the first moves to regulate and ban the ‘bump-stock’ fittings which produced the awesome firepower which poured down from that tall hotel, to ‘regulate’; even with so-called ‘grandfather’ clauses which will require all those in possession of these items to hand them in for either destruction or safe storage. President Trump has indicated that he has instructed the Attorney General to commence the regulatory process, to remove even the possibility that such awesome firepower never be loosed in the hands of a madman, ever again. But the Florida students who are protesting so vigorously that all semi-automatics be banned should learn and face reality: the People want to be armed, for self-defence, for personal protection; for whatever reason under the sun. Trump might get a longer period for mental health checks, he will certainly get a helping hand for those who are banned from holding guns to be better identified; but as for anything else? Forget it!
It isn’t just the N.R.A. who lobbies and protests so vigorously; it is ‘We; the People’ who have spoken, and the American People, under the Law and the Constitution, must be the final arbiters!