Some of Nature’s rhythms are eternal, such as the sun rising in the east, the phases of the moon and a high tide running to fill the void of a low tide.
Here’s another eternal rhythm: A Democrat moves into the White House and gun sales go up. Ammunition sales, too. Can’t have one without the other because, here in America, guns and ammo go together like pizza and beer.
It’s surprising there are any guns left after eight years of Barack Obama as president. Weren’t they all ripped from patriots’ hands and sold to Communist China in a blood deal involving cannibals and aborted fetuses?
I don’t know, but that’s what people are saying. I heard they even took Uncle Lester’s squirrel gun.
For those unfamiliar with the customs and culture of conspiracy theories, it’s difficult to comprehend the Rabid Right’s love affair with deadly weapons. Whatever the question, the answer is more guns. Armed college students? A-plus! Armed felons? Freedom is the issue! Armed toddlers? What could go wrong?
Here’s what could go wrong with armed toddlers. Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a threat warning for “ideologically-motivated violent extremists” who may take up arms to avenge “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”
Truth be told, it doesn’t take much to rowel up residents of the fever swamps. Civil rights demonstrations, provably false claims of a stolen presidential election, or merely a dog-at-large citation can mobilize them in a hurry. Then they gather in public to flaunt military-grade rifles, looking bad-ass and aloof, ever vigilant for signs of trouble.
They are the watchers on the wall. The Proud Boys. The last line of defense. The Oathkeepers. The only thing standing between us and tyranny.
In many cases, they are the little kids with matches who light the fire.
Though there wasn’t much gunplay, the rabble that ransacked the U.S. Capitol last month fit that description to a “T.” Eager to paint themselves as concerned patriots, they took their marching orders from a deluded demagogue in the dying embers of his presidency. Then they swept down Pennsylvania Avenue to, um, register their “concern” for the electoral process.
By the time they arrived at the Capitol, they were willing to smash windows, break down doors, and beat policemen to death. And hang the vice president of the United States, if only they could find him.
So the next time you see a platoon of palookas exercising its right to bear arms — resplendent with AR-15s and extra clips of ammunition — ask yourself how quickly things could spiral into a mass shooting. Those rifles can punch a lot of holes in a lot of people in little time, and one of those gun enthusiasts just might be having a bad day. A very, very bad day.
Every American knows the rest of the lyrics by heart: “He was a quiet man,” neighbors said. “He kept to himself, but something in him just snapped.”
Here’s the deeper question: What is the “well-regulated militia” at the heart of the Second Amendment? If you haven’t read it in a while, here is the amendment in full: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
The National Guard is a well-regulated militia. Cletus, and Festus and Rhino brandishing guns in a city park does not meet anyone’s standard of a well-regulated militia.
Keep in mind the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. Back then, 229 years ago, a militiaman was doing well if he could load, aim, and fire a musket once every 20 or 30 seconds.
These days, even the klutziest pool hall patriot can squeeze off several high-powered rounds every second. Times have clearly changed, and unless our latter-day Minutemen wise up, their right to play toy soldier in public may be taken away.
After all, the most persuasive arguments are made with words, not weapons.
After years of collecting passport stamps, William Brock finally ran aground on the Palouse. He has been a Daily News columnist since 2002.