VVAW: Vietnam Veterans Against the War
About VVAW
Contact Us
Image Gallery
Upcoming Events
Vet Resources
VVAW Store


Page 20
Download PDF of this full issue: v43n1.pdf (21.1 MB)

<< 19. "Violence is as American as Cherry Pie!"21. Oxy, the Smart Bomb >>


By Harold Pettus

[Printer-Friendly Version]

I find it interesting that those who like to pack heat go immediately to the second amendment to justify this urge. If you read it carefully, it states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is based on the need for a well regulated militia to provide security for a free state. This was wise and laudable for a country that was still heaving sighs of relief at having used this militia to free itself from an eighteenth century overbearing colonial foreign government. Some observations.

That militia was equal to that cause because that war was fought with muskets against muskets for which such a militia could be and was effective. Such a militia no longer exists for this purpose nor could it serve in that effort in the face of the thermonuclear capability of any major international power. If you think that facing such a assault on our freedom today could be accomplished by a patriotic militia-like gathering of any number of modern hand weapons and conventional explosive devises, you watch way, way too many bad movies. Ten minutes after deciding you were a real and immediate threat, your entire brigade would become radioactive mist. Only our own national army can mount such a defense and, as gun lobbyists are wont to observe, that's not the aforementioned militia. In short, the whole idea of arming the citizens for purposes of mounting a militia for defense has become inappropriate, impractical, irrelevant, and no more than a lame excuse to carry a gun. Watch the news of the Middle East. Tons and tons of killing and dying, a new leader, more killing and dying. Millennia of it and nothing changes.

A quarter of a million years ago, nature pulled off an amazing transformation in the evolution of life on our planet. For millions of years, every species had functioned in the preservation of itself by dint of violent assaults for both food and competition for food. Almost suddenly, in the over all picture of life development, along came humans. Here was a dominant species with an amazingly advanced brain capable of meeting both of those functions without battle on any scale.

Unfortunately, there was one small leftover that has plagued us since that wonderful development. Millions of years of functioning with this need for battle had also equipped all creatures with an attending instinct for it. It was part of everyone's life. It was the first club out of everyone's bag. We did it without consideration. We did it with lust. We even learned to enjoy it. So now, instead of using this fantastic capability to leave violence behind, we used it to enhance our violent capacities in ways we could only imagine even twenty years ago.

After the suicidal notion of mounting some kind of brave and useless anarchist rebellion against the might of our own or any national military, all other reasons to retain personal firearms boil down to one rationale. There are already millions and millions of them out there and I want mine and I want it to be bigger. For a creature with a three-and-a-half pound brain, that is truly pathetic.

Get rid of all of them except police and military. Problem solved. As to your fears of your own police and military. We have a democracy. Stop voting for people who will do that.

Of course there are many details to be argued about beginning with where to begin and I would be glad to debate all of them. The only exception would be for those who want to go out and kill other creatures because, to them, that is fun. You have some serious evolving to do. Actually we all do and after 250,000 or so years, it's about time we got started before it's too damned late. No good comes of this.

Harold Pettus is seventy years old and more a veteran of the "military advisors" war in Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia. Navy Hospital Corpsman Third Class 3rd Class and convinced that every war after WW2 has been for the purpose of war profiteering, period.

<< 19. "Violence is as American as Cherry Pie!"21. Oxy, the Smart Bomb >>