City councilman tries to disarm citizen (Have Americans become weak?)
The video at the end of this post is worth watching, in spite of the fact that it is nine minutes (you can skip to about the two-minute mark to get the the heart of things). The gist is this:
- A city council meeting in Oak Harbor, WA, at first intended for comment about another subject, turns into a discussion of gun rights and gun control.
- A combat-injured veteran of Afghanistan rises to comment. During his remarks, he says that he regularly carries a concealed weapon for the protection of himself and others.
- One of the city councilmen asks if the citizen is carrying concealed at that time. The citizen says that he is.
- The city councilman then attempts to pass a motion that all citizens must surrender their weapons before being allowed to comment to the city council. The motion is seconded, but receives only one other vote and is defeated.
- The city councilman’s reaction upon defeat of his motion is to walk out of the chamber.
A lot of others are commenting about this from the gun control and citizen rights angles—and to learn more about the subject from that standpoint, this piece is a good place to start. But I want to use this to make a different point . . .
This morning, when I first woke up, the following question was beating in my brain: Have Americans grown weak?
There is no American ethnicity, as you well know. Yes, there are more people of northern European descent—Anglo, Teutonic, Scandinavian, etc.—than other groups, but no matter what your ethnic background, if you’re an American, you’re an American. What matters is YOU, not your clan or group.
But some believe that there is an American gene: It’s called DRD4, and it’s the risk-taking gene. Surveys have shown that Americans seem to possess this gene in greater numbers than other groups. The reason is simple: It was the risk-takers who emigrated to America. Leaving behind your ancestral home, your family, and everything you know and setting out across the ocean for a foreign land, with no money and everything you own in a single suitcase, is a huge risk. Giving up a life of known quantities to start a new life from scratch in an alien land is a huge risk. Logically, it would be the risk-takers who did so and the non-risk-takers who stayed home. These risk-takers settled in their new land and passed their risk-taking gene on, creating at least one genetic characteristic that a lot of Americans have in common . . . or so the DRD4 theory goes.
I coupled this thought with another. I recently read that exit polls showed that voters sided with Mitt Romney on most issues, but when it came to the question of “cares about people like me,” Obama beat him 85 to 15. The voters preferred Romney on substance, but overwhelmingly preferred Obama on an abstract, airy-fairy, emotional platitude . . . and Obama won. Excuse the all-caps, but WHAT IS THAT?
Have we really become so weakened as a people that lazy dependence on handouts and a desire to have someone “care” about us now trump a rigorous, thoughtful understanding of what is actually best for us? Again, issue, by issue, Romney WON on the merits. But he got clobbered on the issue of who more closely resembled this:
It makes one wonder if the American character has changed.
These thoughts were amplified upon watching the city councilman petulantly storm out in the face of—gasp!—a citizen with a gun. Is the era of the rugged, individualistic pioneer, taking care of himself and his family . . . and the risk-taking immigrant adding his moxie to the American tapestry finally over? Has it now been replaced by a massive dependency class, effete city councilmen who run away from law-abiding veterans with guns, and voters who want to be ruled by caring purple dinosaurs?
Perhaps it’s not a fair accompli yet, but we’re certainly on the road to a weaker place.
Thank goodness the rest of the city council showed the kind of common sense that we’d like to hope is still a defining characteristic of many Americans:
Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including AnyStreet.org (now a part of Western Free Press) and Liberatchik.com. He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to WesternFreePress.com.