Tag Archives: gun control

Forced to Bear Arms

Ran across an interesting article digging into Congressional history to defend Obamacare. The current argument before the Supreme Court (as I probably inaccurately understand it) is whether or not the government can issue an individual mandate, i.e., can the government force an individual to buy something.

The article points to a 1790 law that mandated health insurance. Interesting example. But I’m so not interested in arguing about the validity of Obamacare (so not interested).

The interesting part of the article is when they point to a 1792 law that made gun ownership not just a right but a requirement:

In 1792, a Congress with 17 framers passed another statute that required all able-bodied men to buy firearms. Yes, we used to have not only a right to bear arms, but a federal duty to buy them.

That’s hilarious.

According to Wikipedia it was part of a Uniform Militia law, which raised up state militias as opposed to a federal army. White men were required to register with the militia and have a gun ready to go. It was never fully enforced and there was never widespread compliance.

Oh so wacky. I wonder how that’d go over today?

Sidebar: It’s funny what we expect out of our political system. Sometimes we act like certain things are anathema to our way of life, but it turns out it’s all shifting and moving, depending on the issue, the era and who’s in charge. Sometimes an idea seems historic and foundational (like “under God” in the pledge, added in the 1950s), but it’s not.

Sidebar II: We can’t talk about the right to bear arms without mentioning the awesome T-shirt (or pick your favorite permeation).

Shooting in a Church

Take another drag from your cigarette, spew your venomous hate. Your loaded guns empty into the bright shining stars, silencing them. Precious life snuffed out with your single action. Lives tossed into chaos. You take the lives of seven, then raise the gun to your own head. Mixed emotions, spinning thoughts. You’ve come this far. Hatred. Rage. Clenched fists. People screaming. People bleeding. People dying. People watching. Fear. What will you do next? Squeeze the trigger and end their horror. You wait. Momentarily. Then you overcome the brink of madness. Now you see the demons that fueled your spree.

Tears fall to the blood stained carpet. A church, shattered by gunshots. What have we become? I used to watch this on TV, and laugh. Now I watch it on the 6 o’clock news, and stop. When will the madness end?

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love. Then they’ll shoot us. Why doesn’t the love pierce the cold and bitter hearts? A question we can hardly throw in the face of a God who weeps over his slain lambs. Our only response is to grimly swallow and reply, if this is what it takes.

As the question of gun control came up at a news conference, [Texas Gov. George W.] Bush said, “I believe we ought to have laws like instant background checks to prevent people from buying guns who shouldn’t have guns. I don’t know the law, the governmental law, that will put love in people’s hearts,” he said. (CNN, emphasis mine)

At least someone has realized you can’t legislate morality. It’s come to this, we can’t save ourselves.

God help us.