I didn’t need Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue to write this; I did need to hear it to give myself permission to publish it, to get loud about what I feel. I felt I needed to rein myself in, knowing that when I get emotionally distraught my words can feel destructive, even to me; they’re angry rants, instead of finding the passages in the darkness where a little light might shine at just the right angle where even the blindest person perceives it and turns towards it and listens to the truth that I believe in my heart must exist in every person out there, no matter their political persuasion. It is difficult to find hope for our society when children continue to be murdered. So the least I can do is get loud.
I’ll start with the common sense things I KNOW.
If I don’t wear a seatbelt I will be fined, even though the only person it hurts is me if I don’t wear it.
If I even touch my cell phone when driving, I can be fined and even imprisoned.
Every driver in this country must have a license to drive a car and will be fined and possibly jailed if they fail to abide that law. And they must renew it regularly.
Every driver must take a test and prove they understand the laws and rules governing their legal right to operate a vehicle on public roads.
Drivers can be fined and lose their licenses and/or be jailed for violations that endanger other members of society.
Every car must have insurance to protect people and property from a car’s inherent ability to kill and maim (yes, it’s not the car that kills; it’s the driver, right?)
Every car must be licensed. And, in most states cars are required to pass safety checks to insure the car is not handicapped (i.e., insanely unsafe) to drive safely on the road.
Those things I know.
At the very least, these same things should apply to gun ownership.
Background checks for the mentally ill? It seems to me that in America, we are in a situation where the fox is guarding the hen house. Why have we come to accept that someone who is obsessed with a sense of fear that others might attack and/or kill them (paranoid delusions), and hence feel the need to arm themselves with weapons of war and other semi-automatic weapons are sane? Why have we accepted the idea that a person with a Personality Disorder of Excessive Power Strivings is also sane? I propose that these people, constituting a growing number of people in our society, are in fact mentally ill, and they themselves should not be allowed to own guns. In other words, the simple “background checks” is not going to weed out 95% of the mentally ill people allowed to purchase and carry weapons of killing.
Negligent homicide. It seems to me that people in government positions that support fewer gun laws are in fact complicit in murders occurring within their jurisdictions. Knowing our laws, and the irony that they control those guns and gun laws, it’s unlikely they will be charged with such crimes. But voters do have the power to remove them from office and replace them with those who will not prostitute themselves to the NRA (or other corporate institutions that cause harm in our society).
Education not prison. I propose that “freedom” is not turning our schools into prisons with armed guards and only one door. But education might avoid such prisons. Anyone who owns a gun should undergo an intensive educational program not just on safe gun handling but an extensive, hours-long education on the evolution of our society’s gun culture, anger-management screening, intensive victims’ panel discussions, and testing on those subjects as well as gun safety. Yearly. The problem is a cultural one which needs to be addressed with education, not more guns or prison walls for our children.
Registry and insurance. Like a vehicle, every gun needs to be registered. Further, no ammunition can be sold to any individual without proof of a registered weapon, and the amount of ammunition and types of ammunition will go into a monitored data base, just like a driver’s record is kept in a data base. Each year, a gun owner must present his gun in person to a designated office, to prove they are still in possession of it. Like automobile insurance, which varies with the make, model, year, and value of a car as well as where that car is primarily driven, a gun owner needs to pay an insurance premium commensurate with the type of gun. For example, their premium would be $1,000 a year for each AR-15; $500 a year for a semi-automatic pistol; $50 a year for a .22 rifle. For the right to own a gun and prove they are being responsible gun owners, their home must be open for inspection to prove that their weapons of murder are locked in safe boxes, and that they have a license and insurance to own it. If they do not prove yearly ownership, and cannot show proof of sale, they will be fined and/or put in prison. Just like uninsured, unlicensed reckless drivers.
But our societal problems are deeper than just gun control.
We need to have a Constitutional Convention to bring the Constitution into the 21st Century and correct its obsolescence, because all these representatives who swear to uphold the Constitution are in fact continuing a status quo that is not in line with modern times.
The 2nd Amendment was written because at that time, there was no government militia. There was no army. If attacked, they wanted the ability of citizens to form a military to protect the country. Further, the southern states wanted a militia so they could protect themselves against a slave rebellion and/or track down slaves that ran away.
There is no longer a need for individuals to form a militia to “secure a free state”; we have a monstrous military complex in place protecting us against foreign attackers for which our tax dollars contribute a disproportionately huge amount. The 2nd Amendment is obsolete in that regard. Though racism is not dead, slavery is, and there is no need to hunt down and re-imprison those human beings who made the slave owner rich and and powerful.
A new look at speech. News took days if not weeks to be disseminated. Now, with our instant social media, in seconds, lies and hate speech are disseminated that incite crimes of hate and insurrection, all of which seem to be leading to anarchy and fascism and a breakdown of the very social mores our Constitution was meant to protect against. We are in dangerous times when there are more weapons than citizens — weapons that can shoot not one bullet every two minutes but hundreds in seconds — while being fueled with lies, disinformation, and hate.
I propose the Electoral College needs to be excised from the Constitution because it perpetuates a multitude of continuing injustices in our society. It was installed for purely racist reasons: Before the South would join the union, slave owners insisted that 3/5th of their slaves constitute one vote in elections. A slave owner with 100 slaves would be allowed 60 votes, and the Electoral College was established to favor those white male slave owners.
We no longer have slaves. There is absolutely no bias to anybody to have one person, one vote. The number of electoral votes is equal to the number of members of Congress: senators and congressmen. But there is incredible bias when a slight majority of delegates in a state can vote against the will of the majority of the people, hence instilling a president who did not win the popular vote, and who does not represent the will of the people. Instead, the archaic and discriminatory Electoral College continues to represent the interests of a smaller group of the wealthiest people with their own personal interests, biases and prejudices, their own ignorance, and influenced by the controlling corporations and monied individuals, who do not have the interest of the average American citizen in mind.
The Constitution is obsolete because, to this day, women do not have constitutional equal rights.
We need a constitutional convention to correct these deep societal and cultural wrongs that exist in the Constitution. It was a document created by wealthy male landowners in a time so different than ours is today. We need a governing document that aligns with the wiser and more just society that the majority of the people of the United States aspire to have. We are wiser than our “founding fathers,” and the world is a different place. Until then…
We are not a great nation when there are more guns than citizens and our government allows their free use to murder children, women, people of color (something perpetrated by continuing to have the Electoral College in place).
We are not a great nation when we have institutionalized racism and sexism and gender discrimination and the white male conservative majority prevents correcting these wrongs so they can maintain the status quo (something perpetrated by continuing to have the Electoral College in place).
We are not a great nation when women, who have brought forth every one of us from their wombs — through a process called labor, a labor no man could endure — do not have the equal rights of their male counterparts in our society, and whose right to make decisions about their bodies is taken from them by those same men who hold power over them (something perpetrated by continuing to have the Electoral College in place).
We are not a great nation when our government officials are nothing more than prostitutes to corporate lobbyists, an ill-disguised form of deep-pocketed corruption in our system of governance (something perpetrated by continuing to have the Electoral College in place).
We are not a great nation when one body of Congress prevents the legitimate selection of a Supreme Court Justice in order to pack a court that is no longer an independent overseer of the laws and no longer that third arm of our democracy, but are mere puppets of corporate interests and prostituted legislators.
We are not a great nation when our representatives in Congress “can’t figure out why people are gunning down children” and shoppers and movie goers daily in our country (think a little harder, Lindsey) (perpetuated by ignorance and their chosen career as prostitutes).
We are not a great nation when we our freedom of speech and our right to read and educate ourselves is being curtailed by a few power-hungry, corrupt individuals who feel threatened by those who might hear the truth and learn of a different point of view than their biased, bigoted, discriminatory proselytizing.
We are not a great nation when we put billionaires’ interests ahead of the poorest and most needy.
We are not a great nation when we do not provide paid maternity leave but instead put capitalistic interests ahead of the ability to nurture our children for their formative years so that — just maybe? — they won’t feel abandoned and unloved and decide they will deal with their hurt by killing others. We are not a great nation when we refuse to substitute or subsidize free day care for our children in a nurturing environment but instead have X-Box shoot-em-up videos babysit latchkey children after school (something perpetrated by continuing to have the Electoral College in place).
We are not a great nation that puts the GDP over the existential environmental degradation from which we are less than three years away from passing the point of no return, and we are not a great nation when the almighty dollar is greater than our trust in God (something perpetrated by continuing to have the Electoral College in place).
We are not a great nation if we are hypocrites.
But we are fucked ….. if we can’t immediately address the gun laws and the inequality, and the lies, and the corporate corruption, and all the other problems that this not-great country suffers from.
BUT, we can be a great nation if we put our trust in God, in whatever way one believes in that invisible force that breathes us into life, that hums us with love when we’re quiet enough to shut out all the bullshit of the gun-totin’, woman-hatin’, racist, corrupt politicians and those who support them.
We can be a great nation when we put the love of our children ahead of the almighty dollar.
We can be a great nation when we stand up to the corporate interests of the NRA (and other greedy corporations) and renounce the culture of male supremacy, bias, fear and other power-hungry people.
We will be a great society when we choose to melt the fucking guns down with which we will build a monstrous monument to peace and love with equality and social justice for all.
So get LOUD.
Get LOUD and get out and VOTE.
Vote the hypocritical murderers, political prostitutes, conspiracy nutcases, wimps and liars out of office.
Embrace the human values we all aspire to: equality, peace, love, inclusiveness because otherwise, it will be Ted Cruz’s world of Texas bacon: One door with a couple paranoid power-crazed jailers who make the decisions as to who gets in or out.