(Lt. Col. Robert Bateman) We crossed the line some time ago, it has just taken me a while to get around to the topic. Sadly, that topic is now so brutally evident that I feel shame. Shame that I have not spoken out about before now — shame for my country, shame that we have come to this point. One story tripped me.
A woman charged with killing a fellow Alabama fan after the end of last weekend’s Iron Bowl football game was angry that the victim and others didn’t seem upset over the Crimson Tide’s loss to archrival Auburn, said the sister of the slain woman.
People, it is time to talk about guns.
My entire adult life has been dedicated to the deliberate management of violence. There are no two ways around that fact. My job, at the end of the day, is about killing. I orchestrate violence.
I am not proud of that fact. Indeed, I am often torn-up by the realization that not only is this my job, but that I am really good at my job. But my profession is about directed violence on behalf of the nation. What is happening inside our country is random and disgusting, and living here in England I am at a complete loss as to how to explain this at all. In 2011 the number of gun deaths in the United States was 10.3 per 100,000 citizens. In 2010 that statistic in the UK was 0.25. And do not even try to tell me that the British are not as inclined to violence or that their culture is so different from ours that this difference makes sense. I can say nothing when my British officers ask me about these things, because it is the law.
And for that, frankly speaking, I am embarrassed by our Supreme Court.
The people who sit on a nation’s Supreme Court as supposed to be the wisest among us. They are supposed to be the men and women who understand and speak plainly about the most difficult topics confronting our nation. Our Supreme Court, however, has been failing us, as their actions have been almost the exact opposite of this ideal.
You do not have to read this full Supreme Court ruling, it is a supplemental. I can spell it out for you in ten seconds.
Five of the nine members of the Supreme Court agreed that the part in the Second Amendment which talks about “A Well Regulated Militia, Being Necessary To The Security Of A Free State…” did not matter. In other words, they flunked basic high school history.
The lengths to which Justice Scalia had to go in his attempt to rewrite American history and the English language are as stunning as they are egregious. In essence, what he said about the words written by the Founding Fathers was, “Yeah, they didn’t really mean what they said.”
You have got to be fking kidding me. Seriously? You spent nearly 4,000 words to deny the historical reality of thirteen words? That, sir, is an embarrassingly damning indictment not just of you, but of an educational system that failed to teach history.
But just so we are all clear on this, let me spell it out for the rest of you. During the American Civil War, a topic about which I know a little bit, we had a system of state militias. They formed the basis of the army that saved the United States. For most of the first year, and well into the second, many of the units raised by the states were created entirely or in part from militia units that predated the war. But even when partially “regulated,” militias are sloppy things. They do not always work well outside their own home states, and in our own history and in our Revolutionary War, it was not uncommon for militia units to refuse to go out of their own state. In the Spanish-American war the way around this limitation was for “interested volunteers” to resign, en masse, from their militia units and then sign up — again en masse — as a “volunteer” unit. It was a cumbersome solution to a 123-year-old problem.
Which is why, in 1903 Congress passed the Militia Act. Friends, if you have not read it I’ll just tell you: As of 1903, the “militia” has been known as the National Guard.
They are “well regulated,” and when called to do so as they have been these past twelve years, they can fight like demons. I am proud of them. And I am ashamed that Justice Scalia thinks that they do not exist.
Guns are tools. I use these tools in my job. But like all tools one must be trained and educated in their use. Weapons are there for the “well regulated militia.” Their use, therefore, must be in defense of the nation. Shooting and killing somebody because they were not “upset enough” over the loss of a college football team should not be possible in our great nation. Which is why I am adding the following “Gun Plank” to the Bateman-Pierce platform. Here are some suggestions:
1. The only guns permitted will be the following:
- a. Smoothbore or Rifled muzzle-loading blackpowder muskets. No 7-11 in history has ever been held up with one of these.
- b. Double-barrel breech-loading shotguns. Hunting with these is valid.
- c. Bolt-action rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than five rounds. Like I said, hunting is valid. But if you cannot bring down a defenseless deer in under five rounds, then you have no fking reason to be holding a killing tool in the first place.
2. We will pry your gun from your cold, dead, fingers. That is because I am willing to wait until you die, hopefully of natural causes. Guns, except for the three approved categories, cannot be inherited. When you die your weapons must be turned into the local police department, which will then destroy them. (Weapons of historical significance will be de-milled, but may be preserved.)
3. Police departments are no longer allowed to sell or auction weapons used in crimes after the cases have been closed. (That will piss off some cops, since they really need this money. But you know what they need more? Less violence and death. By continuing the process of weapon recirculation, they are only making their jobs — or the jobs of some other cops — harder.)
4. We will submit a new tax on ammunition. In the first two years it will be 400 percent of the current retail cost of that type of ammunition. (Exemptions for the ammo used by the approved weapons.) Thereafter it will increase by 20 percent per year.
5. We will initiate a nationwide “buy-back” program, effective immediately, with the payouts coming from the DoD budget. This buy-back program will start purchasing weapons at 200 percent of their face value the first year, 150 percent the second year, 100 percent the third year. Thereafter there will be a 10 year pause, at which point the guns can be sold to the government at 10 percent of their value for the next 50 years.
6. The major gun manufactures of the United States, less those who create weapons for the federal government and the armed forces, will be bought out by the United States of America, for our own damned good.