I didn’t have a fully-automatic machine gun with me that day so I did the best I could with what I had at the time.
Running with the empty pump-action riot shotgun in my hands, I fumbled to load the weapon. Taking aim I fired and the target exploded. Charging for cover I ducked behind a wooden door and pulled the .357-caliber Magnum handgun from my hand-made holster crafted from elephant hide by Vietnamese Montagnards and given to me by a Green Beret combat veteran buddy.
I opened fire with the pistol.
Then we went to laugh and drink beer.
I was training with the Wilkes-Barre SWAT team that day, learning and bonding with police officers, most of whom I got along with at the time. One of those cops is now an ex-convict, after pleading guilty and getting locked up in the aftermath of the ongoing federal public corruption scandal. Another officer, a sniper, lost his job with a Luzerne County judge after the judge went to prison for his role in the continuing public corruption.
So does our interpretation of the Constitution. A living, breathing document is what helps keep America strong. Living, breathing people help democracy as well. Without both, America the beautiful will cease to exist.
The U.S. Supreme Court justices have made it clear over many years that interpretation is everything in this land of the free. They add and subtract. They nurture and guide. They interpret law to fit the needs of themselves and others. Even the most conservative justices sometimes see the need to tweak the original principles that the Founding Fathers put forward when they produced and implemented the sacred document that shapes our lives.
Nothing is immune to change in America. Nothing in the Constitution cannot be interpreted and reinterpreted differently if need be. Nothing stands alone in this nation of law.
This means you, Second Amendment. This means you, gun owners. This means you, National Rifle Association despots.
The tyranny for which so many gun fanatics claim to prepare is already here – in the hands of NRA executives who profit handsomely from the death and bloodshed caused by the weapons of mass destruction they hawk and handle without care.
Unless such recklessness is controlled, and I absolutely do mean controlled, guns will continue to help slaughter more men, women and children in this, my land and your land, where justice is promised to all.
I’m talking gun control, of course. We can call it regulation if you like, but control is the point. Strong and disciplined community leaders must do everything in their power to control the shooting massacres that occur daily from sea to shining sea – even if we fail. To do otherwise is to endorse a society that runs amok and is out of control. To welcome anarchy sanctions the very tyranny that gun fanatics claim to abhor.
Hard-working, decent, law-abiding people – particularly gun owners - must publicly support efforts to take back our country from an army of out-of-control profiteers with their itchy fingers on the triggers of the gun lobby.
Too many innocent people have died in our insane embrace of so-called rights that are trivial in the big picture of democracy – that supposedly safe place where we are free to embrace life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
But the NRA brainwashers and their zombie cult members are dead set against progress. They want the pioneer days when frontier justice left bodies stacked outside the saloons and marked the American Way, a free-fire zone of national savagery.
Sane, disciplined thinkers must fight to put those terrible days behind us.
Indeed, we should ban semi-automatic assault rifles. We should take action against the under-the-radar insanity of fully-automatic machine guns as well.
My understanding is that even though possession of full-auto machine guns by civilians was banned in 1986, approximately 200,000 such killing machines are still legally owned by American citizens through the United States. These guns are taxed, approved and regulated by the federal government. But they’re still out there in the hands of people who have no real need to possess such armaments and cannot justify their possession.
Two local machine gun owners called the show yesterday. One man identified himself as a police officer. Both men said they passed detailed background checks in order to gain possession of their machine guns. Even though the guns were outlawed in 1986, the men agreed that those in existence at the time are still in circulation and can be sold to other people through licensed gun dealers. The machine guns are expensive, the men said, and are in great demand.
One machine gun owner said his gun can fire thirty high-velocity rounds in a second. The magazine holds 30 rounds, he said, and he can unload the whole package in a single second. Experts suggest learning to shoot a fully-automatic machine gun like his in two or three bursts, he said, because the gun has a tendency to rise when the shooter unleashes the barrage all at once.
Should a responsible citizen, even a cop, be allowed to own such a machine gun?
Not in a sane society. But we’re not sane. We’re America.
And that should mean something far better than the burning smell of machine gun grease and funeral flowers in the morning.