On Religion, Guns, and the Accumulation of Power

by Bill Formby

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away (at least it seems that way) there was was once a great nation that stood proudly for good things. It may have started off on the wrong foot but after about a hundred years or so had started righting itself. It had all the right ideas but has found it far more difficult to put those ideas into practice.

It had established certain principles peculiar to great nations wherein each person has equal value.  It now seems odd that a nation could proclaim that all people are equal but still hold thousands in slavery. It begs the question: Did they really mean that all people should be treated equally, or did they simply play around with the definition of who was included in the term “all people”?

Viewing this nation in its newest version probably would lead one to accept the latter answer instead of the former one. It seems that those who founded this nation of which I speak to be an orderly, stable organization but everyone should know where they fit and stay in their own lane. On the other hand, this nation wanted to rid itself of its “class” system and proclaimed that anyone could become anything they chose to be if they would only work hard enough. But, alas, it seems that it was a good idea that just was not going to work in a practical world.

I believe that the Founders meant well with their idealistic proposals but they thought they could change human nature and they were wrong. It is likely that they understood their past history and naively thought that they could anticipate what might go wrong and cope with that with a strongly designed structure.

Related: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us

What they did not anticipate was similar to prison correctional staff trying to control inmates in prison. All the inmates have to occupy their time is how to beat the system and given enough time they will find a loophole in anything any other human creates. And therein lies the problem.

So as time marched on this nation tried to cope with its problems. The majority of the people agreed with the designed structure and basically tried to make it work. Except that, for every law that was passed, there was a mass of people who began to figure out how to undo it or beat it. Or, as the case might be, pass laws that seemed to benefit only a small portion of the people. And, again, therein lies the problem.

In this country, the majority of the people who want to have fairness in government are those who are not particularly high on the economic scale. They are largely in the middle or lower economic group. Those in the upper economic group have a different view of fairness. It is more like, “I have mine and I intend to keep it so screw you.” Or something to that effect. So, the efforts of those early founders to avoid a class system obviously has failed.

A sad part of this system is that capitalism and the free market system depends on having a large group of people in the under or lower economic class. It must be this way in order to have an adequate supply of workers for companies established by those of the upper-class people.

While it would have seemed logical to me that these founders could have simply looked at their past and they would have seen their future completely unbridled. This once great nation has been careening down this road toward destruction since day one. Every day we think we are taking one step forward we backslide two.

I am sure that many here will disagree with this but let’s look at a few things and compare them to the ideals of the founders. First, are all people created equal as things have played out to date. Well, no not really. After being a free nation there was a divide on that issue so big it divided the country into two parts that went to war with each other. Well over a half million people died in that war just trying to keep that one principle intact. Now, 150 years after that war we are still fighting that same war, just fighting it somewhat differently.

Another issue which tends to depict where this nation stands in the world is its life with religious beliefs. In the beginning, the founders seemed to suggest that the best road here was to allow each person to select his or her own beliefs without any interference from any governmental entity. It sounds good on paper, but when viewed in the harsh light of today’s world it is lost in the wind. Right off the bat, they began having a prayer at the opening of some of the legislatures, and people are judged on a daily basis by their religious beliefs.

Now as most all of you know there was an effort early on to escape from government controlled and sanctioned religions. And, in theory, one is not persecuted, a la the Spanish Inquisition, today. But if anyone really wants to have a hand in government here they best be able to thump the Bible with the best of them.

Living in Alabama I can attest to the fact that being religious minded, or at least claiming that, means very little in the actions of politicians. We have had one governor, one Chief justice, and one Speaker of the House, all booted from office for wrongdoing in the space of a year. Each one of them was, dare I say, good solid Christian men.

Related: Living In a Cult Called Alabama

So, moving on, these same founders who had just fought for their freedom from England still had no standing army of any size and were vulnerable as a nation. They still had their local militia that it could call upon if attacked again. During the late 18th century most people living in this country also hunted to put meat on their tables so ensuring that people would always have the means to hunt their food, as well as the right to rise up against an illegitimate government the founders installed the right to bear arms.

I have serious doubts that they could have ever conceived that the populace would ever be in an arms race such as what we have now in this country. As a people, we are so far removed from having to fight for our country that most people cannot even think straight. Less than one percent of this nation’s people ever do anything to protect it. Even our so-called leader was too much of a coward to step up and serve his time protecting the country. But, there are far too many people able to get guns that have no business getting even in the same room with a gun much less owning one.

I heard a former police chief mention on television a couple of days ago, something I think is unique, but a pretty good proposal. Every person who would like to own or possess a firearm must first be licensed to do so. So, instead of having to register a particular gun when one buys it the person submits an application and becomes licensed to purchase and possess firearms. Once licensed that person can buy any legal weapon by just showing his or her license. When the police stop someone who has a weapon and they do not have a license the weapon is seized immediately and the person is either cited or arrested.

While I have just tried to point out a few things here that need to be addressed, I am under no illusion that they will be addressed in my lifetime, if ever. The real problem with all of these things come down to the fact that too many people in this country worship at the feet of the almighty dollar. Of course, that is pretty much the same problem in all countries because humans will never learn how much is enough or too much.

The desire to have power over others is simply too great to turn away from for any human.

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Posted by on March 7, 2018. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION,Political,Social Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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7 Responses to On Religion, Guns, and the Accumulation of Power

  1. Michael John Scott Reply

    March 7, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    No, they won’t be addressed in our lifetimes I’m afraid Bill, but on the upside, we won’t be around for the horror that climate change is about to wreak on the world. I feel for my grandchildren.

  2. Bill Formby Reply

    March 7, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    You are absolutely right my friend and as much as I hate know what my kids and grandkids will go through, I glad I don’t have to be around to watch everything crumble.

  3. Neil Bamforth Reply

    March 8, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Stand for Prez Bill!….you never know…if Trump can do it you could be a cert!!!

    Oh…yeah…sorry….forgot…common sense and politics don’t mix…

  4. Glenn R. Geist Reply

    March 8, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I know I can be tedious, but Illinois adopted that licensing plan decades ago and it’s been hard to show that it’s had any effect at all. The standard explanation is that the guns are coming from elsewhere – like Indiana, but in a country with 300,000,000 firearms elsewhere is everywhere.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      March 8, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      That’s true Glenn but it seems that no one is interested in looking at anything but the outer extremes. Chicago should not be compared with the rest of the country. It built it self on lawlessness, corruption, and gang warfare for far too long. Back in the day when the “mob” was trying to keep a low profile elsewhere in the country the Chicago folks were still shooting up the streets and the cops were turning their heads. Although New York always gets the rap for city government corruption it has never been able to hold a candle to Chicago or the State of Illinois for that matter. They go through governors faster than Trump goes through White House staff. When Chicago and Illinois decide to get serious about stopping the gun violence there then I will buy into them really wanting to to have strict gun control. Actually, the laws were passed there with a wink and a nod at the fact that they knew they were not going to stop the problem because of indiana.

  5. Rae Bliss Reply

    March 8, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Good article.

    • Bill Formby Reply

      March 9, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      Thank You Rae.

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