Jon and I don’t feel funny today


So this post is going to be a long rant.  And I don’t normally rant.  I’m sorry.  Sort of…

You might want to skip it if you don’t see any problems or have any issues with the racist, terrorist shooting that killed nine church members at a prayer meeting in Charleston, S.C. last week.  Mass murder.  Again.  Or you’re tired of hearing about it – yawn – and want to move on to the latest about Kim and Kanye.

It’s going to be a little bit like Jon Stewart’s monologue last Thursday evening.

Jon Stewart hosts a U.S. faux news show called The Daily Show on the Comedy Central Network.  But really, it’s more informative than the normal, “real” news.  He’s a highly intelligent comedian, well versed on the politics of the U.S. and the world. Somewhat of a prophetic voice, Jon calls his audience to examine the events of the day and the antics of our oh so wacky politicians and culture with a critical eye based on fact and logic rather than emotion, fear mongering and myth.

But he was emotional last Wednesday.  If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it.  It’s incredibly powerful and echo’s the sentiments of many, many Americans despite what those of you outside of the U.S. might think.  We aren’t all gun-toting racist whack jobs…  Really.

Check out Jon’s monologue out here.

I’ve loved my country and been proud to be an American for most of my life.  Now, I’m not so sure what I think or feel.

When I was growing up, the U.S. was the envy of the world.  Post-World War II, we were seen as the savior of Europe and the Pacific at the cost of many precious American lives.  We invested millions of dollars and countless manpower hours into rebuilding Europe out of the ashes of that devastating war.  Until it’s fall, we were the only country with the clout and means to stand up to the Soviet bullies, and protect our allies.  Nothing like being able to match nuke for nuke.

We struggled through the internal trauma of the 60’s and early 70’s – the Vietnam War, the devastating race riots, the assassinations of truly great men, the revolt of the farm workers, Watergate, the sexual revolution, the rise of the drug culture…  Whew. And I believed we emerged from the struggles a better country for it.  Not perfect by any means, but it felt as if we were moving forward on social, economic, racial, cultural and gender issues.

But something has gone terribly, horribly wrong.  Now, instead of being the envy of the world, we’ve become the butt of jokes; the laughing stock of most civilized nations for our parochial ways.  Yet there are people in the U.S. who naively believe we are still the greatest and most powerful country in the world.  And there is no such thing as climate change.  And the Confederate flag should fly above Southern state capitals.  When I travel to Europe, people ask me what in the world is going on in the U.S.  Have we gone crazy?  Yep…

A totally dysfunctional, gridlocked government for sale to the highest bidder. Corporations considered “people” and donating unlimited amounts to puppet candidates.  Lobbyists dictating to our legislators how to vote on virtually all of the issues with the gun lobby being one of the loudest and most influential voice in our local, state and Federal governments.  Fun stuff.

I believe the framers of our Constitution were brilliant men.  They recognized the importance of defending our new nation.  So, the 2nd Amendment, as ratified by Congress in 1790 states:

“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.”

The key words are A WELL REGULATED MILITIA.  I’m not the sharpest needle in the pincushion, but 14 mass shootings since 2009 does not look like a “well regulated militia” to me.  The absence of background checks prior to buying guns in many states doesn’t look like a “well regulated militia” to me.  The lack of laws requiring gun permits or gun registration in many states doesn’t look like “a well regulated militia” to me.  The ease of availability of semi-automatic assault weapons to anybody with the money to buy them doesn’t look like “a well regulated militia” to me.

I’m pretty sure we’d get a great big fail from our Founding Fathers for not regulating our “militia”.  I’m pretty sure they’d scrap the 2nd Amendment and start over.  And I’m pretty sure that I would agree with them.

For those fellow Americans who really don’t mind having mass shootings, on average, every 67 days (since 2011), I just hope you aren’t in the next movie theater or church or 1st grade or college classroom when the “renegade, unregulated militia” comes to call.  Bang bang – they’ll shoot you down too even with your conceal and carry.

Just don’t think America is the best or greatest any more.  Our blatant disregard for the sacredness of the rainbow of human life for the “right” to have semi-automatic assault weapons puts us in the same category as say – oh I don’t know – maybe ISIS and Al Qaeda?  Those rascally fellows…

Mentally ill individual just sounds so much better than domestic terrorist doesn’t it?