When the founding fathers of the USA passed the second amendment to their constitution in 1791 they did do with a specific aim in mind.
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.
In case you don’t already know, I don’t believe in rights. I find the concept of “rights” to be something that causes confusion to stupid people, and instills a culture of dependency. There are no “rights” without obligations, and it is more useful to express the obligation than to express the right.
The obligation in the US constitution is to preserve the Union, to guarantee the freedom of the state from the actions of tyrants or from the threat of foreign invasion. The obligation, clearly stated, is for citizens to enroll in their local militia for the protection of the state.
The founding fathers would weep cups of tears to see how their well meant law has been abused by stupid people and weak politicians. They would rail and scream to see the massacre in Connecticut of small children and their teachers. To know that their constitutional amendment had been abused to permit idiots to own machine guns would shame them. It does shame them, and it shames the great legacy of the constitution given to the American people.
People will call for gun control in the aftermath of the massacre. The local chapter of the NRA will stage a rally in the area to establish clearly their “right” to bear arms. Their “right” which is “enshrined” in the constitution. Stupid people leaning on what was once a smart law to protect the rights of stupid people to do stupid things with dangerous weapons.
The dependency culture intilled by “rights” is insidious. The right to bear arms is pointless without the right to use them. Using them against other people is a short step in the mind of a stupid person who believes somehow that “society owes him”.
In Ireland we have people who believe the same thing. They sometimes commit suicide. Usually by themselves. Sometimes they take their own family first. They don’t have access to assault rifles, so they don’t take a swathe of the population with them as they go out in a blaze of glory.
If you feel like taking your life but you don’t want to do it alone, perhaps you are not yet ready for that particular journey. Read some poetry, and think about it some more before you start buckling on your small arms.
Ode to a Nightingale; by John Keats
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?