2nd Amendment Focus Is Short-sighted

I watched a speech by the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre that was somewhat in response to President Obama’s inauguration speech. It was be very easy to pick the speech apart for it’s factual mistakes, rabble rousing, false equivalencies, and mischaracterizations. Not to mention the classic technique of placing thoughts into his opponents head, as in “and he wants to…” do something the NRA disagrees with.

All this hue and cry is driven by a fear that just isn’t there. For reasons I just don’t understand, for some reason people think that the government wants to come and get the hundreds of millions of weapons that are already in circulation in the country. It’s related to the fear that religious expression is under attack as well.

Neither of these are the case. I’m struck that then candidate Obama said in 2008: “So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or, you know, anti-trade sentiment [as] a way to explain their frustrations.”. Obama took a lot of heat for saying this, but he was right.

But what really amazes me is that those who are truly wedded to their guns don’t really seem to give a rip about the rest of the Constitution. Some of the things that I see as issues are ignoring the 14th Amendment (often in the name of religious belief), suppression of 1st Amendment speech (think the Occupy movement), erosion of 4th Amendment protection against searches, devaluation of the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel punishments and the Constitutional guarantee of Habeas corpus (and the American Gulag at Guantanamo Bay).

So why, in the face of actual threats to Constitutional rights, do so many people go over the edge on the issue of guns and religion, which have no threat?

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