What political issues are you passionate about? Do you consider yourself a “single-issue” voter? Is it Employment that moves you to support a candidate? Does the topic of Women’s Rights drive you to get behind a Political Party? Do Civil Rights motivate you to cast your vote one way or another? Whatever and whoever you want to protect, you might be surprised to realize that all roads and all votes lead to the Second Amendment.
Encapsulated in one sentence the Second Amendment reads: “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.” And any one of the key issues that have seemingly divided American Citizens can find a common bond in this single sentence that was penned by our Founding Fathers as an Amendment to the Constitution within the Bill Of Rights.
A quick Google search shows that the most talked about issues, as related to the 2016 Presidential Election, are the Economy, the Environment, Healthcare, and Social Issues and Equality. Each of these is highly contentious hot-button topics that separate families into factions of “them” and “us”. However, if we pull back from the politically driven rhetoric, we will actually see that we all agree on much more than we thought. We will see how interconnected the issues really are, and many of us will be shocked to find out that something we have been told is taboo, like the Second Amendment, is really something we necessarily must support.
First, let’s examine the way topics are presented and discussed. In the digital age much of our information comes to us in soundbites, talking points, and easily digestible rhetoric. Rhetoric is defined as “pretentious words, empty talk and persuasive speech that may not be honest or reasonable”. Now let’s look at who uses these tools of persuasion. Politicians engage in persuasive speech, talk show pundits use the same type of tactics to express their opinions, and even our modern news sources persuade rather than report. So, who benefits by dividing the public into warring segments and pitting one neighbor against another? The answer is: those who hope to be The Source of Information, The Source of Influence, and The Source of Solutions to the problems of our daily lives. And the more these industries, these entities and these people can keep citizens from being self-reliant and connected to community the more our eyes will gaze upon The Solutions for, well solutions.
Rather than treating American Citizens like the multi-dimensional human beings we are the politicians, the pundits, and the media speak to us as though we are incapable of determining for ourselves how we think or feel about any given news story. For example, rather than simply reporting the results of the vote-count of an election, activist journalism, that passes as news, tells us what to think and how to feel with added descriptive and emotionally charged words, such as “Candidate suffers humiliating defeat”. It is subtle, but the distinction is important, and it benefits those who hope to persuade and manipulate the masses if we will believe in absolutes. They want us to be either Liberal or Conservative. It profits them for us to be either Democrat or Republican. And they can more easily pre-package their messages if we will just obediently buy into their line that we are either Pro-This or Anti-That.
What would happen if you were free to decide for yourself how you feel about the news events of each day? Do we even know how to separate out our unique view of the world from the way we are “supposed” to view the world? And are we teaching our children to be free thinkers, critical thinkers, and individuals who live in community rather than communal folks who can no longer individuate?
Let’s take some examples. If you are passionate about the Economy then you care about our country’s ability to pay the bills, balance the budget, and prepare for the future. In a nutshell, you care about security. Security is at the very heart of the Second Amendment.
Suppose the Environment is what moves you to vote. Environmentalists care about saving our precious resources and preserving nature is close to the heart. This is about preservation of life. Protection and preservation of life is at the core of the Second Amendment.
Healthcare is another topic that compels people to get behind a movement or a candidate. People who want good healthcare are concerned with being able afford a skilled physician should illness strike. It comes down to hope and freedom. A desire for freedom is the central aspect of the Second Amendment.
And, finally, if you are an avid supporter of Social Issues and Equality, it goes without saying that you would necessarily stand up for every syllable of every word in the Constitution. You, at your core, would be a staunch Constitutionalist. You are a defender of any group who has ever been marginalized or disparaged or discriminated against. You would likely agree that our Equality Rights are not given by man, but by our Creator, and the Constitution is our written contract with our fellow man and woman to clarify and bring agreement about those rights. And the right to self-defense is God-given, Constitutionally-protected, and inseparable from the Second Amendment.
Each of these Political Issues has traditionally been touted as the “Liberal” platform or falling under the umbrella of the party of the Democrats. The politicians, the pundits and the activist journalists would like you to believe that if you care about the Environment, Healthcare, and Social Equality that you belong exclusively to their Club. Further, as a member of their Club you are expected to express your loyalty to their Club by outwardly communicating disdain, dislike and mistrust the Second Amendment. And failure to do so is viewed as disloyalty that will not be tolerated within the ranks of the Club. Every tactic imaginable, of from fear-mongering to shaming, has been employed to convince people in this Club that no intelligent, thoughtful, caring person would ever support something as wrong-headed as the Second Amendment.
And sometimes it almost works. But, then we feel that little gut-check. That cognitive dissonance that tells us we are being asked to believe something that is not right. That part of us that seeks to be intellectually honest and fully integrated calls out to examine the disjointed messaging that the Powers-That-Be keep pumping out.
How can I be against the Second Amendment but be for security? How can I care about preservation of life and not support the Second Amendment? If I desire freedom how can I say that the Second Amendment is wrong-headed? And if I want to protect the downtrodden and discriminated what would compel me to disparage the very Amendment that protects each man and woman’s right to self-protection from bullies, whether they are bullies who wear sheets or bullies who wear suits?
It turns out that once we fully examine the facts, and set aside the rhetoric and the divisive political talking points all roads really do lead to the Second Amendment. You and I can care about the Economy and also the “security of a free state”. We can be passionate about the Environment and our right to “keep and bear arms”. Much to the dismay of the pundits both you and I can be concerned about Healthcare at the same time that we protect ourselves and our families. And the politicians and activist journalists will be shocked that even through their manipulative words and phrases we discovered that in the exact same ways that we work to prevent infringement of Social Equality, we are equally devoted to protecting the one and only Amendment that our Founding Fathers insisted “shall not be infringed”.