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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/22/09

Liberals Have Guns Too, Ya Know...

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Message Stephen Pizzo
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So, the latest way the wing-nut right has found to get everyone's attention is to show up heavy at healthcare town hall meetings. I don't know what loaded guns have to do with healthcare reform, but there they are, AR15's hanging on the shoulders of men in baseball caps, 9mm semi-automatic pistolas strapped, Bruce Willis-style, on their upper thighs. All loaded for " what? Bear? Deer? Muskrats? Dingos?

Dunno. But there they are, loaded for something Ś prancing around with their hardware fully exposed with a, "mine is bigger than yours," swagger. And "I got a honkin' bad, uncircumsized assault rifle." (With flash supressor.)

Right wingers are always fretting about how liberals are on the verge of taking their guns away. Which makes me wonder if they realized how many liberals out here are just as well armed as they are? Because we are. And, take it from me as a life-long liberal, I know liberals far better than right wingers do and taking your guns away is not on the mainstream progessive agenda.

So, we liberal gun owners don't lay awake nights, stroking our guns, waiting for black helicopters to sweep in with storm troopers there to wrench our guns from our "cold dead fingers." We know that's not about to happen, at least as long as we don't abuse our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. (Civics Lesson: Every right in the constitution can only exist as long as those granted those rights don't abuse them... like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater --- or shooting up town hall meetings... just saying.)

Right wingers seem to think that only their kind appreciate the heft of a well-made gun. Wrong. As I already noted, many liberals own guns, often more than one. And, if I could dare to speak for fellow liberal gun-owners, here's how we view our firearm(s):

We view our gun the very same way we view the fire extinguisher we keep in case there's a fire. I'd feel pretty foolish, even irresponsible, if a fire broke out in our kitchen and I didn't have an extinguisher right at hand before it spread and burned our house down. Likewise, I'd feel pretty foolish if someone broke into my house in the middle of the night and I didn't have a way to protect myself and my family. (Knock wood, I've never had a fire or break-in, but both can and do happen, and I'm ready for either.)

That's one difference between liberal gun owners and those guys packing loaded guns at town hall meetings. We don't have their obsessive relationship with firearms, just as we don't don't have obsessive feelings toward our washing machines, or our lawn mowers or our fire extinguishers. Guns are just another household appliance, nothing more. (Imagine how crazy it would it be if I showed up at a healthcare town hall meeting packing a fully-loaded toaster oven? Pretty crazy, dudes.)

Furthermore, liberals tend to be more polite than right wingers, especialing when it comes the handling of firearms. We understand that flashing guns in public places makes other folks nervous. So we keep our guns where they belong, at home, in a secure place. I wouldn't show up with a gun at town hall meeting any more than I'd show up with a chainsaw. Sure, it's perfectly legal to walk around in crowd with a fueled up and ready to go chainsaw, as long as you don't assault anyone with it. But it's also something only a truly stupid, or insane, person would do... or for that matter, even consider doing.

One more thing. Imagine for a moment we libs started showing at these town hall meetings packing heat as well? Just how many nanoseconds do you figure would pass before some armed dimwit decided this was time to live out his personal "showdown at the OK corral" fantasy? Duh.

So, if those on the right are really worried politicians might pass restrictive gun laws, just keep tempting fate like you've been doing the past couple of weeks. Because when you purposely inject loaded guns into an already emotionally-loaded political/social debate, it's only a matter of time before the inevitable happens. Then there will be new gun laws. Because that's how it works in this country. We wait until something terrible happens, or nearly happens, then we pass a law against it.

Which is precisely why we now must take our shoes off at airports, even though everyone knows "shoes don't kill people, people kill people."

Think about it, Rambo.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a Pulitzer.

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