As the two sides of this argument gather their ammo, global and national statistics are being pulled and molded like taffy. Statistics are chatter: the meat’s in the subtexts; human nature, mental illness and the 2nd Amendment.
Pulitzer Prize winning book ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’ covers 13,000 years of human history to explain how Western Europe came out on top. The more sophisticated the weaponry became the higher the number died in combat vs. disease. The good news was, as weaponry advanced, so did the culture and technology. This end product was launched by the male of our species whose testosterone causes the strongest males to survive and multiply and and females, assisted by pheromones and common sense choosing males who will protect their young. We’re just like goats, just a little smarter.
21st century males no longer duke it out. Non sports-minded young men lean toward hours of Xbox games, pit bull puppies and collecting knives and/or guns. On the sunset side, older men substitute testosterone with flashy cars, fat wallets, guns and political heft. Some men are driven to scrimmaging in the woods with conspiracy theories in their imagination because they must be fighting against something in order to achieve hormonal balance. Guns have the same testosterone driven draw as a well honed spear once did.
In the middle of the testosterone fray are the mentally ill and adolescent males (“Poster Children for Risky Compulsiveness”) and non-Alpha males. They’re all looking for a bitch, just like any other goat which will bring out and up their testosterone. Which brings me to the allure of the holding a hard cold gun in ones hand.
While the original intent of the 2nd Amendment was in response to England’s aggression against its colonists (keeping people “in their place” is an Alpha Goat kind of response), its text and context has been manhandled. If we are purists of the law, if I have the right to bear arms to protect myself from the government, I have the right to own the newest, best arms. I can’t protect myself with a semiautomatic if my government has cooler, better weapons, right? How about nuclear warheads? How about drones? That’s what the 2nd amendment means, right? Either you give everyone, and by everyone I mean the mentally ill and the testosterone-challenged the right to have lethal weapons of mass destruction – or you don’t.
Semi-automatics are a gateway drug to nuclear warheads. The irony is that the hormone protecting and promoting our survival can lead to its last chapter, making the goats smarter species in the long run.
*Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Jared M. Diamond 1997 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California’s Gold Medal.