Apparently the price of freedom involves wondering if whatever public event you might be attending could be ripped apart with death. Or maybe it does get ripped apart with screaming and dead bodies, and an emptiness in family and friends forever. And that, that is the true price of freedom.
The freedom being protected isn’t that of most people who happen to own guns. Nor is it preventing infringement on hunters. The only “freedom” being protected is the right of the gun fetishist. Those who need guns. Powerful guns. Guns that kill lots of people quickly. Who needs to have guns like that anyway? Self defense isn’t being protected here. This “right” is a right to mass murder. Some people apparently really really need this “right”– which is not a right, but rather a perverted fetish. A snuff fetish. A fetish of control through fear, terror and death.
But there is another freedom being protected.
It is the freedom to make money through death profiteering. The weapons and ammo industry and its associated gun lobby and its official mouthpiece, the NRA, make a lot of money on suffering. Which is worse– the consumer of kiddie porn or the distributor? The freedom to use instruments of mass murder is a guaranteed money maker for those who want freedom to sell tools of death.
But a freedom it is. And we in America go to war to defend our freedoms, as they are absolute. To that end we must defend the veterans of this war. We must honor the fallen in this war like we do the fallen heroes in any war. In the war to preserve a small percentage of the population’s capacity to own instruments of mass murder, we must bestow upon any person who dies from gun violence full Military death benefits. They did not volunteer for this service, but they were certainly drafted into it.
This is the least we can do for anyone who dies to preserve freedoms.
And if we Americans go to war, we pay for that war (as we do always, whether we wish to or not). We pay in the form of SWAT teams, in the form of first responders. We pay in the form of emergency rooms, funeral homes, therapists, and trauma care. We pay as a people living in grief, terror and resentment. The many pay for the fetish of a few, and for the fetish provider.
Looking forward we may decide to reduce what we as a society pay for such freedoms in the form of grief, medical care, lost productivity, lost promise and lost opportunity. We can change an amendment written for eighteenth century conditions and eighteenth century knowledge. In doing so we can create new beneficial freedoms to replace old false ones. We can become a society colored by cooperation and healthy competition rather than a one known for violence. Rather than clinging to our past, we can embrace our promise.