Kristine Kaiser: Recognize the rule of law, not guns
I grew up with the NRA. My parents were members when gun ownership was still about hunting and self-defense. There was a sticker on our front door’s window that read: “Nothing in this house is worth your life.” It was meant to warn intruders that my father had a gun and would not hesitate to use it. He would protect his home and family.
Now the NRA has gone a step further. The National Rifle Association is touting the idea that people need guns to fight tyranny. That’s right, the fight is against tyrants.
I’m an American. I was raised in a democracy. People come to power in our country through a solid electoral process. They are voted into office. Citizens give them a public nod. Officials do not serve unlawfully. The people install them. Lawmakers are in office because people want them to work in government. Elections bring folks to power.
Sometimes elections bring people with contrary views. Difference can be suspect. I remember being deeply opposed to the policies of George W. Bush. In the back of my mind, I thought he had the potential to be a dictator. I thought he would never leave office; that somehow he would manage to stay on against the people’s will.
My suspicions were unfounded. The day came for Bush to leave office, and he left, handing over the reins of power.
Today, many people disagree with the president. But he is not a tyrant nor does he have designs on tyranny. He does not exceed the powers given to him. He will not harm the American people. The NRA’s contention that we need to arm against tyranny is false. As long as we have democracy, we are safe.
The NRA connects freedom to guns. The group supposes that armed people assure our liberties. I say the NRA is wrong. Our society needs a greater belief in our laws. It needs to affirm the products of duly elected lawmakers. It needs to celebrate law enforcement. I link freedom to law. A society that follows its laws will be free. It is simple.
Recently, we follow laws if we agree with them. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Yet, we still have people who would ignore it. The U.S. House still talks of repealing it. Also, numerous states have moved to make abortion illegal when it is still a legal procedure. Anti-government sentiment lends itself to lawlessness; law is not the law. The trend of bucking laws must be reversed; our attitudes must change.
The NRA contributes to a sense of lawlessness. Arm against the government. The NRA is no longer positive, an advocate of Second Amendment rights. It borders on being a militant organization that offers no good to society. It preys on our people’s fears. It rides political discontent and polls. It is currently fundraising on suspicions.
It is the tool of gun manufacturers and others who stand to make a profit from gun sales.
America does not have tyrants, cruel dictators. As long as we have democracy and a belief in law, knaves eventually leave; their terms expire or they are voted out. Let us curb our imaginations and live in a country that has electoral safeguards against bad political players. We do not need to stockpile weapons. We do not need to arm.
We only need to vote them out. That is the American way of dealing with bad guys.
Kristine Kaiser is a writer living in Kernersville. Contact her for comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.