George Orwell may have invented “Newspeak,” an imaginary language created to prevent any alternative thinking, but the National Rifle Association is trying to perfect it.
Consider the words “assault” and “defense.” They are opposites.
Even when used as parts of other terms, such as “self-defense” or “assault weapon,” they’re still at odds.
In the real world of guns and self-defense, assault weapons may be the least desirable choice for personal protection. Still, the NRA public-relations machine is working feverishly on behalf of the gun industry to obscure this by promoting the idea that a weapon designed to kill dozens of people in seconds is really a good choice.
The NRA’s Orwellian message could be summarized as, “Assault is the best defense.”
This harkens back to the B-52s of the old Strategic Air Command carrying the most lethal weapons ever made in their bellies. The command’s motto was, “Peace is our Profession.”
When Orwell wrote that “War is peace!,” he had the decency to present it as fiction.
Assault weapons are made for killing lots of people very quickly. For self-defense, hunting or target shooting, they’re mostly useless. As such, we need a ban on firearms designed for mayhem.
The Supreme Court ruled in the District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm. And yet, the court said: “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
The Heller ruling simultaneously established an individual right to own a firearm and established the legitimacy of gun control. In so doing, Heller also established once and for all that gun control and gun prohibition are not the same.
This should help quiet the gun absolutists who continue to propagandize as if the government is going to be taking their guns away.
If you’re one of the gun manufacturers paying the NRA to say otherwise, a ban on these assault weapons makes no sense. But for everyone else, it is a reasonable law prohibiting an unreasonable weapon
Mark Ira Kaufman
Reality short of the dream
I was disturbed by the Jan. 13 article about the difference in how disciplinary practices are applied to minorities and whites in the Akron Public Schools (“Discipline disparity in Akron classrooms”). It saddens me that in 2013 this is still taking place in schools here and, probably, across the nation.
I am an African-American female and 1980 graduate of a predominately white high school in Summit County. The story brought back memories of an incident in high school when I and two white, female friends were late to psychology class.
The instructor was a white male. We all came in at the same time, but I was the only one who was “scolded” for being late. I did not give it much thought at the time, but that has stuck in my mind for 32 years.
What reason was there for my feet to be held to the fire in front of the class and not my white girlfriends?
Yes, we have an African-American president, but we still have a long way to go. Until I can shop in stores and not be followed or pulled over for DWB (“driving while black”) in “certain areas,” I and many other minorities will feel that Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is still a dream, when it should be a reality.
Example set by former presidents
This great nation of ours is about to endure the second term of our second consecutive barely competent president, while many members of Congress with record-low approval ratings pat themselves on the back for keeping their jobs and districts safe from serious competition.
Four years from now, I can imagine former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush forming a friendship much like Ford and Carter did, not to mention Clinton and George H.W. Bush. This can probably be best explained by an old Native American saying, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.”
How I wish current members of Congress could get along as well as former presidents have in the recent past. The divisiveness on both sides is getting too intense, but the right seems more likely to take pride in it.
Whenever I hear someone say that we live in a republic, not a democracy, several questions come to mind, such as: “How long have these two terms been exclusive?” and “Are you aware that the U.S.S.R. was also a republic?”
Why should one term be praised and the other snubbed? Why not be proud of both terms and describe us as a constitutional republic based upon the principles of representative democracy?
After all, that would be a more complete and accurate description that unites us despite our differences.
Why give our enemies the satisfaction of watching us argue about how a real American should think or vote?
Finally, the National Rifle Association was once a fine organization, but its hard-line interpretation of the Second Amendment caused former President George H.W. Bush to rescind his membership in the 1990s.
I believe that our children should grow up in a world where the norm is “the fewer guns the better.” The NRA believes “the more guns the better.” Which would you rather be the norm for your children?
Please encourage them to work hard in order to succeed, not secede. Promote caution, not paranoia, for there is no such thing as a “civil” war.
Michael J. Walzer