By Gene Twaronite
I have always believed in the right to bear arms, though legs, brains, and hearts are no less important.
Arms go rather handily on humans. A uniquely hominid evolutionary invention, they just don’t make it on any other creature. Even our primate relatives, while sometimes pretending to have arms, still treat them more as legs. And those people who twist the saying to “the right to arm bears” make no sense at all. A bear has forelimbs, not arms. Oh, some will try to be cute and say that a starfish has arms. As for those who refer to the “spiral arms” of a galaxy, they’re just too far out for comment.
It is hard to figure why this basic biological right had to be spelled out in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Except for those who, through heredity or misfortune, do not have arms, keeping and bearing these appendages seems like the perfectly natural thing to do. While those of us who have arms should be grateful, we certainly don’t need to be told this by the federal or any other government. Bearing arms is a God-given right.
The writers of this Amendment were just trying to be careful, I guess. Without arms, “a well-regulated militia” to protect our liberties would hardly be possible.
I am proud to say that in the event of a true national emergency, there are four arms in our household. Some of our neighbors have even more arms on hand—10, 20 or 30 in some cases. Talk about armed fortresses! We can all rest peacefully tonight, knowing that such vast arm-ies exist out here in the hinterlands.
Just think of all the arms in households across America—over 300 million pairs and growing. No enemy would dare to threaten such armed might, not unless they wish for Armageddon.
I for one am grateful for the NRA—the National Right to Arms—and its continuing efforts to weaken or undo any arms control legislation in this country. There are those among us who would whittle away at our traditional right to have arms on our persons and in our homes. They would make it hard to transport arms across state lines: What would they have us do—cut them off?
I also thank God every day that this country resists the international siren call of arms control in the name of peace. It’s bad enough that we have some nuts here who want to take our arms away. Just think what might happen if whole countries got into this business. Pretty soon, no one in the world would have arms—a real armistice. No arm wrestling even. And what, pray tell, would the arms merchants do?
Perhaps we need to add some more amendments to the Constitution to protect our rights to bear other things. The right to bear sturdy legs and brave hearts. And the right to bear and cultivate a good working brain—all too rare a thing nowadays. To bear in mind anything worth bearing becomes increasingly hard to do.
We need to bear other things as well. We need to bear witness to the truth, regardless of the cost. We need to bear tidings of peace to one another on this increasingly hostile, shrinking planet. Indeed, perhaps these things are even more important to bear than arms.
Gene Twaronite’s short stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines. He is the author of “The Family That Wasn’t” and “My Vacation in Hell,” as well as “Dragon Daily News,” a forthcoming collection of children’s stories. Follow Gene at TheTwaroniteZone.Com. © Gene Twaronite