Shoot first, then "stand your ground" and you too can get away with murder (photo:

When it comes to guns, why does insanity trump outrage?

It’s actually fairly simple. Insanity resides with the minority, outrage with the majority. And it’s much easier to organize and voice the views of a minority than it is to get a majority to do anything. Not because the majority of us don’t want to do something, we just can’t find the time outside our busy, busy BMW-driven, Levi-clad, wanna-talk-not-walk social claque. Besides, once we can yammer about our outrage at the golf club, bridge club, legion hall or church social, we feel better. And we just want to feel better, not actually do anything. It’s like giving a dollar to a homeless person, you feel better, it didn’t cost much and you didn’t have to do anything.

The Emperors have no clothes

Political emperors like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Barack Obama, Wannabe Mitt Romney and all the rest are so transparent in their ignoring of the outrage. Because they know it will go away. (photo: Maggie Sutherland sits in front of her painting of Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Central Kingston public library (L.Hagberg/CP)

Most of us are outraged about gun violence. So what? Nobody is doing anything about it. Of course, the police are trying but what about the lawmakers – the political emperors – who have the power to do whatever is necessary and best? Therein lies the rub. Better laws are necessary for a safer society but not best for a political career. To be against guns has been twisted into being against individual freedoms and rights and in the US, certainly counterproductive for political fund raising from the National Rifle Association (NRA), the hunter’s union and the redneck belt that delivers a swath of votes from rural America. Politicians know that victory is measured by the number of votes you can get, which is measured by the amount of money you can raise, which has nothing to do with the number of guns you can get off the street. So they don’t do anything even though every politician with an IQ of a chimpanzee knows that it’s best to have tight, enforceable, sensible gun control laws on the books – today. Hell, yesterday – before a few hundred more people get shot today. The majority of the politicians are the same ones that voted against the Brady Bill and voted for the Florida “Stand-your-ground” law in 2005. The latter has aided and abetted over 90 murders since its inception.

Memorials like this one at the Toronto Eaton Centre express sympathy, and rightly so. But where's the expression of outrage?

A simple question remains unanswered: Isn’t one innocent person’s murder – or a mad shooting spree that kills shoppers in a mall  – worth strengthening the laws?  The obvious answer is “yes,” but in reality it’s a resounding “no.” Stephen Harper whistles about tough on crime while bullets whistle around the Toronto Eaton Centre and Florida’s stand-your-ground law remains an accessory to murder. The political emperors have no clothes to hide the stupidity of their inaction nor can they hide the elephant in the room, the NRA. But they don’t have to because there’s no public outrage. But there sure as hell would be an outrage from the minority if better gun laws were proposed. The NRA, like most lobbies, represents a minority not the majority, and funds the politicians so when a powerful


minority becomes outraged, the emperors jump. When the majority becomes outraged, politicians simply wait for it to pass. And it does, except in places like Egypt and Syria were citizens take to the streets and die because of the outrage of the majority. Sometimes it takes a revolution to change things. But that would tend to soil the Levis, burn the BMWs and postpone the weekly golf match. Better that we ignore the insanity, let the 24 hour news cycle voice our outrage and then, like the tears, wipe things from our mind and let the insanity continue.

Alexander Hamilton vs. Aaron Burr: At least it was a fair duel, far from the maddening crowd and shopping malls. (photo: wikipedia, jmund)

The right to childproof society

Why do we have this insanity in our society? We’re intelligent beings, most of us. Just because there are some good reasons for people to have guns doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep them out of the hands of criminals, kids and idiots. We childproof living rooms from two year olds; why not childproof society from the idiots? Oh yeah … it’s that democracy thing, that says we all have freedoms and rights, including idiots and children who have the right to bear arms (US Second Amendment). But now, 236 years after it was conceived, this archaic amendment has become the right to wreak revenge, the right to hunt neighbors, the right to stand-your-ground … basically, the right to kill fellow human beings whenever we’re pissed-off or afraid or a suicidal coward. I don’t think that is what Thomas Jefferson, the author of the US Constitution, had in mind, nor his Vice President, Aaron Burr, who on July 11, 1804, shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel. At least that shooting was fair-and-square and out in the countryside, not a reckless shootout at the local mall. The world has changed and Jefferson would be the first one to sponsor an amendment to the Second Amendment, despite the die-hard “constitutionalists” on the Supreme Court.

Thomas Jefferson would surely amend the Second Amendment if he knew what was going on in his beloved United States of America. (photo:

This is a world the founding fathers could not have imagined when they wrote the words that would be harbingers of senseless mayhem two centuries later.

 ‘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.’

Yeah, that’s just what we need. Based on today’s laws, George Zimmerman is part of our “well regulated militia … securing our free state.” Any fifth grader can tell the difference between then and now so why can’t the Supreme Court?

A few facts:

It’s freakin’ “freakonomics.” The numbers tell it all. If 60 million people have 270 million guns somebody is gonna get hurt, real bad. With numbers like that you have to ask: what happened to the “well regulated” part in the Second Amendment? No wonder the gun owners of America are holding the rest of us hostage, literally. They represent almost 50% of the number of citizens who vote in a US election (i.e., approximately 120 million) and the gun-toting minority fight a lot harder for their rights than the do-nothing majority do for theirs.

It’s not even about the guns, it’s the laws, stupid. Stupid laws, passed by stupid legislators and allowed by stupid people. Just take the damn guns out of the hands of the idiots. In the US, grind up about 250 million guns and watch the number of killings drop. Change the laws and simply allow guns for hunting animals – under strict controls – instead of arming Neighborhood Watch members who hunt humans in hoodies. Declare “open season” on fire arms and on this farcical “rights” myth propagated under the guise of democracy and skewed to fit political agendas and the sources of political funding. As long as the money count is higher than the body count nothing will change.

Back when "Bang! Bang!" was pretend (photo:

At the very least, some overt outrage would be a signal that there is intelligent life out there in the social universe, that there is a modicum of civilized people in so-called western “civilization” who are prepared to stand-their-ground and fire a few shots at the naked politicians. Or keep pretending we’re living in the wild, wild west, not western civilization.

Remember as kids how we played cowboys and Indians (we called them that back then) and ran around packin’ Lone Ranger and  Roy Rogers’ plastic-handled pistols and gun fights were fun and pretend. If you got shot, you could yell, “Ya’ missed!” And keep on playing. Or quit and go home and have some ice cream. For kids today, it’s not pretend. In the US, eleven kids, under the age of 15, die everyday from handguns. So if you’re a kid having ice cream at the mall (Toronto Eaton Centre) or walking down the street (Sanford, Florida) and some dude is packin’, it really is … “Bang! Bang! You’re dead.”