Doing wrong is his right
Making the argument for mass murder
The Kennedy assassination was still an open wound in 1966, the year that an angry New Yorker named Carl Bakal published The Right to Bear Arms. In it (and in his 1968 book No Right to Bear Arms) Bakal argued for gun control, and against the National Rifle Association’s insistence that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteed every American’s right to own as many weapons as he wants. For more than 50 years, the NRA’s lobbyists have successfully beaten back every attempt to enact stricter gun laws, with the result that, today, there are more guns (393.3 million) than people (326.5 million) in the U.S. Living in an “armed madhouse” (in the memorable phrase of investigative journalist Greg Palast), our southern neighbours have accepted gun violence as a fact of life. According to the Mass Shooting Tracker website, there have been 44 such events in the first 78 days of 2019, resulting in 110 dead and 229 wounded. With grim regularity, gunmen (almost always male) open fire in homes, offices, shopping malls, nightclubs, rock concerts and, most notoriously, in schools and houses of worship. So common have such incidents become, that only the most egregious even make the national news. Viewed from the perspective of “free market” advocates, this represents the effective privatization of mass murder, once the exclusive domain of government. One might even note that it was on this day (March 24) in 1944 that a Nazi general asserted the State’s right to kill by ordering the Massacre in Rome, recalled in director George Pan Cosmatos’s 1973 feature film.
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