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S.C. legislators value paranoia over common sense

Fear and Loathing in South Carolina

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The gun debate in America is boiling over. People are so busy preaching paranoia that we cannot have a true discourse that can result in progress. However, we are fortunate in the United States to have professionally elected politicians whose job is to look past the noise and make common sense decisions for the rest of us.

Take H.5217, for example, which currently sits in the South Carolina Judiciary Committee for consideration. This bill simply allows for the General Assembly to consider seceding from the United States "if the federal government confiscates legally purchased firearms in this state."

This is our government at work: looking past the chaos and addressing the real issues. The issue isn't gun violence or children being murdered in schools. It is the potential tyranny of the United States. South Carolina is pulling the ace from its sleeve for the second time by readying itself for secession.

This is the epitome of paranoia. It is ridiculous.

Consider how far removed we are from logic and humanity. Let's look at how this conversation has evolved. Seventeen children are murdered in a school. This increases the temperature of the gun debate and attempts to shift the focus from gun control to new measures of protection for children in schools. The idea of protecting school children with metal detectors or police officers in schools is absurd, of course, because this concept somehow translates to an attack on gun ownership. The "conversation" devolves into little more than slobbering, barely coherent arguments from the NRA Xanex Zombies who sound like a geeked-out Dr. Gonzo from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Which somehow leads to S.C. legislators talking about secession if the federal government takes guns in this state.

Can we please, if just for this moment, ignore the propaganda from whatever Sith Lord might have your ear and use your own mind? Realize the protection of school children isn't dependent on the elimination of guns. Now ask yourself, "What is evil about wanting to protect children from being murdered in school?"

First of all, there is no need to draft a bill that would allow the General Assembly to convene for the sake of secession in the event the Federal Government started taking guns from citizens. You could address it at that time if this were to ever happen. But if we are going to start preparing the state for secession in response to paranoia, then why stop at the Federal Government taking guns? Introduce bills that will allow the S.C. General Assembly to discuss secession if barbecue is outlawed, the president makes a deal with aliens, or slavery is threatened. Scratch that last one. Been there. Done that. I would personally like to see an entire government office dedicated to the myth of Bigfoot.

There is no need to show your gun at a diner to prove a point. Just wear a shirt that says "Guns don't kill people, I kill people." No one wants to take your gun. Common sense gun laws aren't an attack on the Second Amendment. Most definitely, responding to school shootings with new strategies to protect children is not fascism.

We should be able to discuss school safety or even common sense gun laws without scurrying to the Second Amendment screaming about the right to bear arms. One of the grand ideas of democracy is that laws are evolutionary. They are amended and tweaked to address unforeseen issues and improvement. Laws surrounding guns are not perfect. We cannot allow paranoid delusions of the United States Government repealing the Second Amendment to result in doing nothing to address real issues. Recently, gun enthusiasts point the finger at John Stevens, a retired Supreme Court Justice who talked about repealing the Second Amendment as evidence of the threat on gun ownership. He's just a man with an opinion. Secondly, his main point was about the unholy power which the NRA, along with other lobby organizations, has over legislation. If you want to truly protect the Constitution, turn your energy away from ridiculous concepts like secession over guns and, instead, focus on getting lobbyists out of the government. Money and bribery should not be an accepted factor for government.

How tone deaf do politicians and citizens have to be to introduce the idea of secession as a response to the reality of children being shot to death in schools because of a non-existent threat to gun ownership? Who cares if you need a more thorough background check to obtain an assault rifle whose only real purpose is killing people in battle? Common sense gun laws and protections for school children are not assaults on freedom.

There is no denying that we need to take steps to address modern terrorism. Conservatives flocked to Trump over the threat of Muslims killing Americans. When Americans are killing Americans, the same groups seem bored. Perhaps it is because the enemy looks so much like the person in the mirror.

In conclusion, I must apologize for associating Hunter Thompson with this stupidity earlier, though he was a genius for identifying such. While I advocate for logic, I see no reason the political dichotomy that has bred the monster of ignorance who roams this land to end any time soon. So, an urging from Thompson that will apply to everyone.

"We can't stop here. This is bat country."

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