Keep your family
Safe from harm;
Buy another

Many fantasies plague the five-member majority of our out-of-control Supreme Court. One is that law enforcement in most of the United States has pretty well collapsed.

Such a nightmare plainly calls for armed citizens to be unleashed to defend themselves and the republic. And that idea requires, in turn, the virtually unlimited ownership of and right to carry personal firearms. Federal, state, and local laws to the contrary have now been ruled unconstitutional.

No doubt you’ll be startled to hear that the manufacturers and marketers of such firearms agree with the judges, as do plenty of lawmakers whose campaigns are nurtured by contributions from the gun lobby. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is their point man in Congress, but there are plenty more.

However, dissident voices have emerged from our nation’s mayors. They’re the ones who have to deal with gang wars and raise taxes to pay for increased law enforcement. Governors are often stuck, too. They have to impose taxes to run the prisons.

In Mexico, drug thugs shoot everyone with American weapons. The cartels smuggle down products obtained from our gun shows and from our shady dealers. Meanwhile, the Mexican police and army get their arms directly from our government.

Up here, gun lovers are getting more brazen all the time. You can now pack heat aboard Amtrak trains.

And in Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, you may once again carry a loaded pistol into a bar, just like in the frontier days. Now that’s a piece of progressive social policy. You just never know when some drunk is going to insult you, and he or she may be armed. One can’t be too prepared. Gun policy is one of the greatest causes of tension at normally placid National Governors Association meetings.

Surprise, surprise, the Violence Policy Center found that states with low gun ownership rates also have lower rates of gun deaths. Who would have guessed? Perhaps they should tell the Supreme Court.

There’s obviously no point telling the gun lobby. They don’t care. They are fueled by greed on the one hand and machismo on the other. There would be no gun violence if everyone simply handled their weapon responsibly, they say.

Well, let them start teaching gun safety in Louisiana. In the Bayou state, 45 percent of households own weapons, and folks get killed by them at the rate of 20 per 100,000 each year. The national average is 10 per 100,000. Here in my dear wimpy Connecticut, only four in 100,000 die every year from gun violence. Is there a lesson here? You betcha.

But our trigger-happy nation and its highest court haven’t figured it out yet.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
William A. Collins

OtherWords columnist William A. Collins is a former state representative and a former mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut.

OtherWords commentaries are free to re-publish in print and online — all it takes is a simple attribution to To get a roundup of our work each Wednesday, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.

(Note: Images credited to Getty or Shutterstock are not covered by our Creative Commons license. Please license these separately if you wish to use them.)