OUTDATED AMERICAN CONSTITUTION PROVIDES CONTINUED VIOLENCE
COMMENTARY ARCHIVES, 24 Aug 2009
There must be a reason as to why the United States is viewed in the world at large as a violent nation. In the early stages of this nation’s history everything seemed to be fine in many ways. However, as time rolled on, at least one segment of this well written document became obsolete, abusive and dangerous because it was no longer applicable to our times. This segment has become nowadays a liability, a malignant tumor that needs to be surgically removed.
Original Intent of U.S. Constitution
Before we go straight into the heart of this vital issue, we need to learn the circumstances under which such a U.S. Constitution was written. We are focusing here on the phrase: “people’s right to bear Arms.” The said document was drafted in 1787 and became effective two years later in 1789, under completely different circumstances. At the time the U.S. Constitution went into operation, there were no airplanes, no trains, no busses, no cars, no telephones, and no radars. Once people left town mostly on horseback, they were fully on their own.
There would be absolutely no one to protect them in any way whatsoever. Hence, this explains why the founding fathers found it wise to let people become their own protection, their own policemen, and their own militia for all practical purposes. In view of this, we may understand, within the context, the reason for the insertion of the “right to bear arms” in the second amendment, which states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
Nowadays, several irresponsible US government officials continue to advocate the right for Americans to be fully equipped with weapons both unchecked and unlicensed. This explains why in the United States every year there are more civilians killed by guns than in all the nations of the world combined. Such US government officials continue to resist any step that may be taken to bring the proliferation of weapons under control.
At this stage of history, the United States has developed immensely compared to more than 200 years ago when it virtually started. Its population now has exceeded 300 million people who come from virtually every major country from across every continent. Its culture is rich as it has been formed from a fusion of the richest cultures on earth. In the world at large, the United States is viewed as a democratic nation even though its capitalistic system has enabled big corporations to control the entire governmental structure.
Nation of Plutocracy
As a matter of fact, many view this nation as being run by the rich and for exclusive interest of the wealthy. This is verified in time of elections especially when every political candidate to be elected must in the first place reach as many people as possible. To this end, such a candidate needs to have an enormous amount of money to pay the news media — radio, press and television – for needed advertisements to reach the electorate. This means one has to pay from one’s own pocket money, in the event the individual happens to be rich.
If the political candidate happens to have charisma but not much money of his own, then big corporations will find a way to exploit that charisma by financing the campaign of such a candidate for their long-range financial benefit. This explains why so many in the U.S. Congress continue to vote to spend more and more money on the manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of wars, rather than on the health care and education of the native population. It explains why they are opposing President’s Obama health care plan.
It is not in the best interest of insurance and pharmaceutical companies to have competition from the US government. Deep inside they feel they would be fighting a losing battle. So, they lobby with the US Congressmen whose election they helped to finance as to keep for the years to come their financial monopoly unchallenged, even to the detriment of the American people. This, in a way, seems to be a blessing in disguise in the sense that it would be easy now for the American people to make a good value judgment of their elected officials.
In view of this, we may now begin to understand why several US government officials continue to defend that constitutional phrase, “the right to bear arms,” even though nowadays it emerged to become a malignant tumor that is literally destroying the nation from every aspect one can imagine. The manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of wars has become the most lucrative business in the world. Those involved in this industry make big money fast and smooth, which is their ultimate goal. It’s quite interesting for us to find out that the American motto is viewed to be: In God we trust.
Let us keep in mind here that in a capitalistic system the real God is not the heavenly God that Jesus of Nazareth conveyed to us. The nature of the capitalistic God consists merely of wealth and money. This explains why the United States, for this capitalistic God, it is ready to do anything. That would include the proliferation of the manufacture and sales of weapons in the entire world, along with the promotion of wars across virtually every continent. What counts in a capitalistic nation is the making of big money by all means.
Disregard for Human Life
To this end, the life of the American people as well as the life of people everywhere becomes secondary. We may begin to realize with clarity why so many members of the US government continue to defend the “constitutional right” for all Americans to purchase all kinds of weapons without the need of any permission or approval. Some time ago a group of teen agers in California were asked the question: Do you find it difficult to secure guns? The answer was quick: “All we need is $45 dollars; we can buy guns as easy as we buy candy!”
Those that are heavily involved in the business of the manufacture and sales of weapons are generally characterized by paranoia. They are so afraid of governmental restrictions dealing with the purchase and sales of weapons that they are openly opposed even to the requirement of a license. Ironically, while no one objects to the fact that to drive a car one must have a license, those that deal with the weapons industry do object for anyone to use a gun must first have a license. Now, in recent times they went a step further.
The promoters of the gun industry are encouraging Americans to carry loaded guns wherever they go, even in political meetings where the US President happens to be giving a speech. What is amazing is not that such promoters are doing their best to have as many Americans as possible carry loaded guns everywhere but that the US government just stays there looking while saying and doing nothing. Confronted with this reality, many foreigners are beginning to become increasingly suspicious of the US government.
Many have raised the question saying: “If the US government, for any reason, cannot assume the responsibility to prevent needless fatalities among its civilians by bringing guns under full control, how can we expect such a government to help prevent needless fatalities among our people?” Others have expressed surprise and disgust at the same time when seeing this “cancerous” phrase, referring to the “right to bear arms,” is still not yet abrogated from the US Constitution. They feel that the continued presence of such “cancerous” phrase may end up doing more harm for the American nation in the long range.
In some institutions of learning, students tried to use logic to prove the futility of the retention of such a malignant phrase. At one time, a few students said they would like to ask every single member of the US government who supports the continued existence of this dangerous constitutional phrase the following question: “Suppose you are in the midst of an auditorium watching a stage show with five 5,000 spectators in it. What would make you feel safer if you and every single spectator there with you carry a loaded gun, or if neither you nor anyone there sitting in the auditorium with you is carrying no gun at all?”
Total Elimination of Guns
Needless to say, will not people everywhere feel safer when they are shopping in a mall, attending service in a church, walking in parks or strolling on the beaches where absolutely no one there is carrying a loaded gun? Will really people feel at ease when they know that there is always the possibility of someone coming out to shoot them for any reason whatsoever? From a variety of studies made over the years in the USA, those that want to carry with them a loaded gun are generally those who feel insecure in some way or another.
When Barack Obama was campaigning to become the U.S. President he promised that he would bring lobbyists in Washington DC under control. As to whether he would succeed to do so remains to be seen. The lobbyists, on the whole, are characterized by selfishness whose only goal is to get what they want even to the detriment of the American people. To this end, US government officials who allow themselves to be controlled by lobbyists should be viewed as traitors of the American people.
We need to train a group of lawyers to be conscientious and patriotic as to take the initiative to bring to justice all US government officials who succumb to such vicious lobbyists. Here we are faced with methodical corruption that cannot be tolerated any longer. To turn insult into injury, quite a good number of U.S. Senators and Congressmen have prided themselves in the past as being owners of guns. They also pointed out that the fact that all Americans can carry loaded guns with them reveals a freedom that everyone enjoys!
This is far from freedom. It is permissiveness which always leads to lawlessness, and which explains why children in U.S. schools have shot and killed other children along with their teachers. It also explains why we have had some entering malls shooting and killing everyone they come across. If everyone in the USA can carry loaded weapons, then what are the policemen doing? What are the members of the military doing since people have been allowed by the US constitution to become their own policemen and their own militia?
Let us assume that in a town everyone is born and raised healthy. There is no sickness, no disease around. Everyone enjoys doing daily physical exercise and eating right. Now let us assume that after several years an epidemic sweeps this town and for people to survive they must have medical attention. Such people are now confronted with a choice: They may either choose to take needed medication to regain back their health and keep on living for a long time, or they may choose to refuse their needed medication and simply keep on living through this epidemic, which eventually will, sooner or later, prove fatal.
Abrogation of the Malignant Tumor
At this stage of history, the U.S. Constitutional phrase “the right to bear arms” has proven to have become fatal, a detriment for the continued survival of this nation in the long range. It has become abusive for it has already threatened in numerous ways the very life, serenity, security and peace of the American people. Ironically, the USA is viewed as a predominantly Christian country who professes belief in Jesus of Nazareth as being the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. This Master Teacher spent His lifetime preaching against violence.
In fact, Jesus warned the Pharisees saying: “The God you preach is not the God I know. You preach a God that advocates the ’eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth.’ The God I know is a God of love and mercy… a God that when you strike Him on the cheek He would rather turn His face to let you strike Him on the other cheek than to retaliate.” In other words, in the Old Testament God was presented as one who advocated the ‘eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth.’ While in the New Testament God was presented a one who advocated ‘love and mercy.’
The two nations in the world that have been viewed as being violent because of their continued reliance on the manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of wars have been singled out as the USA and Israel. When it comes to the Old Testament both of these countries stand firmly together. They believe in a God that advocates the ‘eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth,” a God of hatred and revenge. They differ somewhat from each other when it comes to the New Testament.
Israel rejects it since the Jews in general refuse to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. The USA accepts the New Testament but only in theory. In practice, the USA rejects it also. This explains why in U.S. Churches you hardly ever hear one church minister preaching on the words Jesus said to Peter: “Put the sword away for he who kills by the sword will die by the sword.” You never hear one church minister condemning the violence the U.S. Military brought in both Iraq and Afghanistan, under the guise of “bringing freedom and democracy!”
To go back to where we started, the United States is a capitalistic nation whose ultimate objective is the never-ending building of a capital. Because of this, the American government is more business-oriented than people-oriented. This means that the primary concern of the U.S. government lies with the boosting of the interests of big corporations, even to the detriment of the nation’s people. The adamant resistance to the abrogation of the stated malignant tumor “the right to bear arms” that developed in the U.S. Constitution proves the case that is being made in a tangible way.
Still Bright Hope in U.S. Congress
Fortunately, we do have quite a few members of the U.S. congress who would be ready to do something substantial about the nation’s proliferation of guns and all kinds of weapons. There are many things that they could do. They may introduce a constitutional amendment to abolish the second amendment that gives all Americans the “right to bear arms” unchecked and unsupervised. They may also take the initiative to pass a national referendum asking Americans two simple questions:
1.“Do you feel more secure if you and everyone you come across in the nation is carrying a loaded gun… or do you feel more secure if neither you nor anyone you come across in the country is carrying no gun at all?”
2. “In view of this, do you want to see the U.S. constitutional phrase “the right to bear arms” that was inserted at a time when there were no trains, no airplanes, no busses, no cars, no telephones and no radars, to be abolished?
Let us keep in mind that in the United States, the American people and not the government, big corporations and the wealthy, are constitutionally the supreme rulers of the nation. If the U.S. government is more interested in serving the interests of big corporations and the wealthy, such a government cannot constitutionally have the last say if it contradicts that of the American people. This explains why it is important that we have as many humanitarians, lawyers and judges as we can to work on having the involved constitutional cancer gone.
In conclusion, we would like to see in the United States the abolition of all kind of domestic violence that comes through easily available guns and all kinds of weapons. Spiritual leaders from every walk of life and profession and from every religion and culture should start advocating in the open with constant persistence the end of violence that takes place continuously through the proliferation of these lethal elements. The greatest task facing schools and churches lies in bringing domestic violence to an end the sooner the better.
Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.:
President, International Association of Educators for World Peace – Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education, Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament.
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 24 Aug 2009.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: OUTDATED AMERICAN CONSTITUTION PROVIDES CONTINUED VIOLENCE, is included. Thank you.
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