Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's My Right? You're Wrong!

I’ve sussed it! I have long lamented the spelling – either lazy or stupid – of the Americans and now I realize the second amendment of the Bill of Rights contains a spelling mistake. The Second Amendment should secure the good folk of America the ‘right to bare arms’. (This is something Larry the Cable Guy spotted in 2005 and wrote a song about it – according to a search on the tinterweb! I have no idea if it is about the same thing!)  My spelling theory makes complete sense. They had left stuffy old England in the 1700’s and wanted women to feel liberated and feel free to show their arms off – it is, after all, quite hot in various states in the Summer. I think, when someone finally spotted the spelling mistake, they were relieved. Having witnessed far too many saggy bingo wings, the men decided the homophone worked in their favour. They could play with guns all day instead of looking at the flesh revealed by sleeveless women. It was their right!
Just 14 states ratified the amendments in 1791. They happily passed the second amendment, spelling mistake an’ all. They were a lot more careful when it came to their pay. It took them 202 years to ratify the 27th Amendment relating to congress pay!!! That’s men for you. Slap dash unless it affects their pocket (or pants!). You would think that something drawn up when America was a fledgling country would need a serious review at some point. The second Amendment was written in the days of the OK Corral when America was lawless and unfettered. It doesn’t seem civilized to me to carry guns. It certainly doesn’t seem right that I can buy live ammunition along with my weekly shop at Wal-Mart. It reminds me of a joke:  I tried to buy a gun but they said I had to register and come back in 5 days… I screamed ‘But I’m angry now!!!’ It isn’t so funny when it is true.
I checked out the gun laws for where I live – It is OK to carry a gun as long as everyone can see it. You need a special licence to conceal it and you can’t take your gun to public parades, funerals or demonstrations… or to the park. I don’t think you can take them into schools either. If visiting any of those places it is OK to leave it in your car. The police sensibly advise for you to keep them out of sight. Does that make it a concealed weapon?! You can carry your gun but you are not allowed to discharge it! Fairly pointless then! I’ll go out and buy a cross bow instead – they were legalized in this state last year.
I am always disconcerted when shops and restaurants display ‘no gun’ signs. It reminds me of their legal existence. I live in a big forest. The whole state is a big forest – except where they chopped trees down to build big houses. No one told the deer where the forest ends and the gardens begin. Hunting is pretty popular and those pesky little deer get their comeuppance for eating the flowers in Wisteria Lane! The walking trails have signs reminding hunters not to shoot across the trail. Great! Advice for walkers: ‘Stick to the path and beware o’the mooooon!’ sorry – I mean Moron!
I’m worried about Hubby. He said he wanted to have a go at ‘shootin' sum guuuuns’ while he was here. I was told you can go to a range and choose the picture for targets – such as Osama bin Laden or just ‘the regular black guy’. I think the person telling me meant the regular black silhouette. I sent him to a range for the day and paid for him to have a ‘special experience’ which involved shooting with a hand gun, a shot gun and an assault rifle – with private coaching (well I didn’t want him shooting himself in the foot!) from the youngest ever winner of the US Open Nationals (who, according to hubby, was superb and very safety conscious). Hubby said he was nearly sick when he fired the first shot and realized it was live ammunition. While he was there a young 20 something came in to collect his AK47 that was in for repair. What does any God fearing American need one of those for??? Maybe that is why they all pray and go to church if you can bear those legally! Hubby was told the best gun for defence in your house was a pump action shot gun because of the iconic sound it makes. Any intruder would be in no doubt of the meaning… but wouldn’t they just aim their AK47’s right back? ‘Guns save lives’ my arse!
I am a little worried about Hubby since his experience. He has the potential to turn native on this issue. It scared him that ‘ordinary people’ had the guns that he had shot that day, and felt their potential for death, in their homes. I was alarmed when he asked me if we should do a ‘drive by’ our house that we are renting next time we are in England. I immediately thought he meant a drive by shooting but I think he just meant literally ‘drive past’!
Somebody (an ex-pat from India) asked me this morning if I wanted to stay in America for good. They were really shocked when I said, without any hesitation ‘no’. Most people who come here to work do their utmost to stay and get citizenship. Many are from India and Asia. I’m sure the American constitution means a huge amount in terms of liberty and freedom for many people. For me, the fact that I have more right to carry a gun than drive a car is completely incongruous with my understanding of liberty and freedom. I much prefer to bare my arms – even as they begin to sag- then ever consider bearing arms. My fear is that I would begin to feel I needed to if I stayed here too long!


  1. I think that i would be worried as to who owned a gun .I feel safer knowing that no one i know even owns one , but then again people do get hold of them illegally and we know that when. they do its for all the wrong reasons .Glad hubby did not shoot himself in the foot!

  2. Will has his new target rifle and the first thing he did was post pictures of himself holding it like Rambo on Facebook - the first thing I did was tell him to take them off!

  3. Just discovered that a key question to get into Welbeck (the army sixth form college) is would you be prepared to shoot someone. I suspect that would be a harded question for someone in the UK to answer than someone from NC!
    Perhaps in the US they should be asking 'when woudl you not be prepared to shoot someone' that could lead to a whole new approach to foreign policy

  4. He should come to America and 'Shooooot sum guuuns' with hubby! I dont think they allow children to shoot guns officially though!