Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We Look, But Do Not See

Most everyone loves to take sides in discussions and arguments, and I discovered something about them that no one else has spotted.

People assume there is one side or another, and that's where everyone stands.

King Solomon may have discovered something revealing about that, however.

There may be another side, one that may grab the topic by the ears and shake it, if only everyone saw it.

I have an example.

The second amendment refers to "... the right to bear arms...".

Take a breath, and think about that last word. "Arms."

Many discussions have taken place over what our founders meant by word choices and phrases in our founding documents.

"Arms", however, by all measures, means exactly what it meant back then.

Not "firearms", specifically, but any arms.

In their days, it may have been scythes or knives or whips or clubs.

To the Frankenstein monster, it was pitchforks and torches,

Nowadays, this may be pepper spray, laser pointers or Louisville Sluggers.

All along, it could refer to chairs, or the requisite weapon in corny murder mysteries: fireplace pokers.

Prisoners could be armed with broken glass, or even a ballpoint pen. Or, shoelace.

I saw a fairly recent police report referring to the weapon in a battery case as being a "shod foot". A foot with a shoe on it. The shoe may have been a Nike, or a Birkenstock, or one of those Crocs things. Scary or not, painful or not, a foot with a shoe on it just became an "arm". If nothing else, a foot as an arm is ironic.

An unarmed person has no arms whatever, nothing that could or could not fire a projectile. Certainly there are no guns at a knife fight, but there sure are arms at one.

Let that concept percolate, if you will, and keep that thought at the handy when you hear reference to "arms" "unarmed" and armament.

Also note that many objects can be considered tools or harmless accessories or arms, depending on their use or potential threat of use.

Just to kick the wheels in high gear: Do you think our founders meant something far larger when they wrote of "the right to bear arms"? Was their concern above and beyond the mere possession of only firearms?

Mulling that concept, I'm personally finding it impossible to imagine anyone being against the Second Amendment, when regarding defense against violent aggression.

I'm also disturbed by what their reason was for including this as any amendment, never mind the second one. Was this necessary to state as the second-most important amendment? If so, what was going on so that they felt they had to do this?

Maybe it was the second one they addressed, or it was raised at that time by one of them and the rest failed to argue that it perhaps was less important than others to follow? Was there a conscious pecking order to the amendments?

The factual story behind why the Second Amendment is as it is may be lost to history.

Most telling, however, is the fact that so many discussions of the Second Amendment get heated and political and wobbling off-track because those on both sides of the fray always assume "firearms".

We may have a brand-new argument going. Perhaps this will trigger a larger discussion regarding personal safety, crime prevention and punishment, outside the bounds of what the Second Amendment states, and encompassing arms of all types, the firing kind or not.

Therefore, those involved in the discussion may find more common ground and agreement, because now none of the argument can involve firearms as the sole subject of the Second Amendment.

The argument now will become: How can we all be safer and more secure and trust one another so we will all stay out of harm?