Change Happens

The other week, a bill put before the U.S. senate that banned assault rifles wasn’t included in a gun control package. This effectively defeated any chance of this provision going through. Many see this as yet another victory for the NRA, and those who continually hold up the archaic 2nd Amendment as reasoning for owning a rifle that holds 30-plus rounds of ammo, the sole purpose of which is to kill humans.

I could go on ranting about what I think about those who blindly hold up their rifle and repeat ad nauseam Charlton Heston’s favorite line, “From my cold dead hands!” I could mock the small-minded people who live in constant fear, which gives them the right to own numerous guns, of all kinds, solely to protect themselves. Hell, I can even ridicule those supporting the ban on assault rifles that think a few dead kids would change centuries of gun-mentality.

But honestly, I’m tired.

I’m tired of the blindness, the ignorance, the lack of compassion, but most importantly, I’m tired of the rhetoric. From both sides!

One side is so blinded for their love of guns, their individuality, and their 2nd Amendment, that only Lord Jesus himself could change any of their minds… maybe.

On the other, you have people torn up by grief and righteous indignation, who only see one solution, when in fact, the solution is so unattainable, that they will never stop beating that dead horse.

The real problem is the mind-set of America, specifically, those with clout and power. They desperately want to keep hold of that power, so they’ll do whatever it takes to keep that power.

For example, having read a few different articles about the ineffectual Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, it is obvious that someone is making sure this government organization it not doing its job. The ATF has about 5000 employees, with an annual budget of $1.15 billion, neither of which has changed much in the past decade. Meanwhile, other agencies, like the FBI, have seen standard to dramatic budget increases. Without any real teeth, or public acknowledgement, the ATF seems somewhat dated and useless. But who could do this to a branch of the federal government?

Just ask yourself, who would most benefit from the ATF not being able to create a national database for gun ownership? Who benefits from the ATF having to sift through mountains of receipts and microfiche for 597 million gun sale records from 700,000 out-of-business dealers? Who would benefit from ATF agents spending two weeks trying to track down information on a gun using pre-internet, pre-computer technology?

The first thought that comes to mind are criminals. Just because a law-abiding citizen owns a gun, doesn’t mean it could have been used for illegal purposes, or that they didn’t bother to report it missing, especially if there’s no real need to register it. But in truth, it is the NRA, and other pro-gun organizations, that continue to ensure that the ATF have no real teeth or clout to accomplish their job and slow or prevent any illegal activities involving guns. It’s no secret that the NRA has harbored a hatred for the ATF. In 1995, Wayne LaPierre sent then- president George H.W. Bush a letter, calling the agents of the ATF “jack-booted government thugs”.

The next question that comes to mind is why any organization would deter law-enforcement from trying to do what it was created for, to protect people, solve crimes, and bring the guilty to justice? It’d be easy to say that all gun-owners were criminals, or trying to hide something. But that’s a blatant lie, and completely untrue. There are literally millions or people who own guns, whether for hunting, collecting, or whatever, that are good, decent, law-abiding people. But within any group, there are bad elements. The worst kind of elements are the ones who hold high positions of power, and use that power for misguided reasons. The NRA may be such an element.

Sure they are supportive of gun-owner’s rights, but the method with which they accomplish this task seems to be under-handed and questionable, especially since 1977, when they turned their attention to using the 2nd Amendment as a crutch to support their political aspirations. Today, they are one of the most power lobby groups in Washington D.C. They hold a lot of sway and power, and as anyone who knows anything about history and tyrannical rule, those who have power are loath to surrender it. Ergo, they’ll do anything to keep it.

Which brings me to my point. The whole gun control, assault-rifle ban, all comes down to power and mentality.

Those who wish to ban assault rifles don’t have power. No one is willing to stand up for this cause, this change, this evolution in society.

Those opposed to the ban have the power. They will make commercials, criticize leaders who try to make a stand, and use every inch and iota of clout and power to ensure nothing ever changes.

No one will ever dare attempt to make changes to the Bill of Rights to aid in the change the country desperately needs. Those with power don’t want it changed, and fear those who do want change.

Those who fear change will spread that fear to like-minded people, who will buy more guns,  and look at anyone who wants change with suspicion.

While society continues to be placated by iStuff, reality TV, TMZ, UFC bloodsports, Honey Boo Boo, and other pointless and inane things, nothing of great importance with change. The idea of a weapons ban will fade, until the next massacre. Like the tide coming in and going out. Like always. Predictable.

Look at any industry, or all-powerful, international organization, or the U.S. government. Nothing has really changed in decades. New faces come and go. Events happen that effect the people and the nation. Different parties come into, and fall out, of favor. But so long as those in power maintain their power, so long as the uber-rich keep their millions and billions, then the only change that will happen will be when those in power let change happen.

Meanwhile, those that live in fear will cling to whatever makes them feel safe, and think thoughts that protect them from harm.

What they forget, what everyone seems to forget, is that there’s no such thing as a constant. Life is about change. Evolution.

I’m reminded of the Roman Empire. It didn’t fall overnight. It fell apart, piece by piece, taken by other tribes and nations, until its core was virtually deserted and all of its knowledge and wisdom was lost for centuries.

With North Korea rattling it’s saber, and America’s only true commodity being war, it’s only a matter of time before change happens.

Maybe change is needed, cause if we are unwilling to change, then change will be made for us, whether we like it or not.


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