Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

When it comes to guns, there are Two Americas

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Originally published on on Fri, 06/27/2008 – 1:41pm

To blatantly borrow from John Edwards, when it comes to guns, there are two Americas.

In one America, Dick Cheney and Antonin Scalia would feel right at home. Guns are everywhere. Hunting is a nearby experience. I remember living in south central Michigan in the early 1990s in wonder when parents would take their kids out of school for the start of deer hunting season. I also remember the fear of driving the interstate highway at night during deer hunting season. The deer would be flushed out of the woods by the hunters, and the creatures often ended up on or near the highway. I have never seen a deer season where the highways were clear of deer remnants.

This is Ted Nugent’s America.

In the other America, Dick Cheney and Antonin Scalia would be really scared, especially without the protection they normally receive. In Chicago, we hear stories about kids and adults being killed with guns all the time. I keep hearing about how so many Chicago Public Schools kids were killed this past school year. The news is sadly almost delivered matter of factly, as if it wasn’t a big shock.

Those in the first America were thrilled with the 5-4 decision overturning the D.C. handgun ban. Those in the second America were disturbed by the ruling.

We are told in numerous pitches and inflections, especially by the MSM, that we are supposed to understand the rural areas, the working class, the Wal-Mart shopping, recreational hunters.

I confess I do understand them better than most people who live in a big city. I was once assigned to cover a hunting festival. I almost laughed when my boss suggested this. “I don’t know anything about hunting,” I quipped. “Good,” he said. “Then you’ll ask good questions.”

And he was right. I looked out of place, asked some stupid questions, and was treated really well by the people there. My boss loved the story, said I got some good insight.

So I do understand the first America. But what I really want is for the first America and Antonin Scalia to understand the second America. I want them to comprehend the worst sections of 21st Century Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, and New York. I want them to understand that the rules are different in the big city.

Would Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts accept a rule where if a city has a certain number of people living within it, the city could impose a handgun ban? Probably not, perhaps the first America couldn’t accept such a provision.

Us here in the second America, we are Americans, too. And we want the opportunity for reasonable gun laws that apply to our communities, not just yours.


Written by democracysoup

June 27, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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