News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Thursday, February 26, 2009

O, give me a home where the AK-47's roam

The Mexican drug cartels have modeled themselves after the U.S. Constitution Second Amendment and have established a well-regulated militia that killed 6,000 fellow-Mexicans last year.

Perhaps they might have been acting as sportsmen just out bagging their favorite trophies. But they found weapons that do a really great job, and they had to avail themselves of U.S. freedoms in order to obtain them. The Mexican government regulates assault weapons, but there are 6,600 dealers along the border who are more than willing to sell the cartels arms and help them smuggle them across the border. `

As a gun owner and user, I have never found the need for an assault rifle. After a number of experiences involving sportsmen who wielded their armor with all the competence of Dick Cheney, I have greatly reduced my hunting excursions. Although I am a bit of a folklorist, I have never believed the stories that sportsmen are good clean cut competent gun handlers. I won't quibble with that description except for the competent part. When it comes to handling firearms, all men are not created equal--physically or mentally. I have spent too many hours hunkering in improvised bunkers trying to avoid their fire and ire. One of the wisest quips ever uttered was by comedian Red Blanchard when he said that the old International Livestock Show was invented so that farmers had a safe place to bring their cattle during hunting season.

And so I have thought that limiting assault rifles had more than a smidgen of good reasoning behind it. I am fully aware of the constant danger that bunny rabbits might form unions and launch a jihad against all the upstanding Christians, and if they have assault rifles an equivalent firepower is needed to combat them. I am also aware of what an aggressive menace road signs pose to our democracy, and I am always heartened to see them lying limply in the ditches filled with bullet holes.

It is probably a real mistake not to put a gun on the hip of every college student. Pulling out a gun and taking target practice at flies on the wall or ventilating dorm rooms and each other can divert their attention from binge drinking, and that's a healthy thing. They need assault rifles to really capture the moment.

The Second Amendment has even established an official grammar for the U.S. When the Supreme Court took on a gun control law in Washington, D.C., it parsed the Second Amendment, which prefaces the edict against infringing the right to bear arms with the clause "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state." Justice Scalia has officially declared that the clause is a dangling modifier. It is not a conditional clause, as many grammarians have insisted, that states a condition under which the granting of the right to bear arms is extended. So, strike the bad grammar and the right to bear arms is unlimited.

As The New York Times reports, Mexican laws stand in the way of the drug cartels carrying out their predations, so they come to the U.S. to enjoy true liberty and then spread it to 6,000 people in their homeland. Those 6,000 are really enjoying the benefits of a well-regulated militia tending to the security of a free state.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States