Editor’s note: The opinions represented here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of MorristownGreen.com. And…
…we welcome comments from readers with diverse opinions. We insist that the discussion remains civil and respectful. Name-calling does not advance the debate, and won’t be tolerated. All sides, we believe, agree on this: The murder of schoolchildren is unacceptable. Reasonable people can disagree on how to prevent this from recurring. But prevent it, we must. Please proceed from there. Thanks very much.
By Paul M. Bangiola
About thirty years ago I saw Jerry Rubin, one of the “Chicago Seven” defendants, debate Abbie Hoffman, also one of the Chicago Seven, about the meaning of the “Sixties Revolution.”
Abbie was an un-reconstructed radical, then recently emerged from years underground. Jerry Rubin was a young capitalist, declaring an end to the revolution. It was, according to Jerry, time to make money.
“We won! It’s over!” he said. Abbie called him a sellout.
My takeaway from their debate was a good one-liner by Jerry to Abbie: “It’s OK to be against authority, unless it’s your authority.”
Now, this comes to mind when it comes to gun control. I hear many gun rights activists say they might need a gun for self-defense:
“What if somebody breaks into my house!”
No quarrel with me, buddy. You can just get yourself a handgun, a shotgun, a rifle, maybe a moat with alligators in it, and I hope the bad guy falls in !
Oh, one thing, by the way: Please keep those guns away from kids, particularly your own unhappy adolescent.
“But now,” I say, “tell me again about why you need a Bushmaster assault rifle with a 30-bullet clip filled with armor- piercing cop-killer bullets?”
“Well,” they say, “the Second Amendment is supposed to protect me from the Government in case we need an armed revolt. After all I might need to ‘get revolutionary’ and assert my ‘Second Amendment remedies’ (to quote a failed US Senate candidate of the R-Tea Party-persuasion).
And then I say: “Whoa, partner! It’s okay to be against the Government unless it’s your government. Treason is a crime in this constitutional republic of ours, and there is nothing in the Second Amendment that requires, say, that just because our military has F-18s jet fighters, you can get one too–just to keep the battle even when you decide you don’t like the way a vote on the town council went, and persuade yourself that a revolution of one is required.
Maybe our government needs an edge against a guy who is listening to voices and maybe even the guy who just can’ t quite get his mind around losing, or being powerless, rejected, or the recipient of one of fate’s thousand slings and arrows. I think so.
Paul M. Bangiola, Esq., is a Morristown lawyer, former municipal prosecutor, former Morris County Democratic Chairman, a 2000 New Jersey Presidential Elector, and a campaign adviser.