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Coffee Conversations

Coffee Conversations with the Anti Side

The Arbalest Quarrel

The Arbalest Quarrel

New York, N.Y. --( SCENARIO:  Two Americans standing in line, one morning, waiting to purchase a cup of coffee at their local coffee shop.

One American is a life member of the NRA and believes strongly in the sanctity of the Bill of Rights: all ten of them. He knows that the Bill of Rights underscores the entire Constitution and that if any one of the ten Amendments of the Bill of Rights falls, they all fall of their own accord.

The other American is a member of and fervent supporter of the “Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.” He, too, at the moment defends the Bill of Rights except for the Second Amendment. For him the Second Amendment is antiquated as is the Third Amendment, but, where the Second Amendment and the Third Amendment had meaning and purpose at the inception of the Republic, that meaning and purpose has all but faded with the passage of time.

Indeed, he might accept the proposition that, for the Second Amendment, in particular, the need for the salient assertion –  that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed – may have had, at one time, in our Nation’s past, some efficacy, as threats posed from outside of the new Nation remained. But, if the Second Amendment once had importance and, indeed, if it once had even been critical to establishing our young Nation, that need long since passed once the Nation gained an equal footing among other dominant Nations and once the Nation became, militarily, the strongest Nation in the World.

Thus, for this antigun zealot, and others like him, the Second Amendment – together with the seemingly archaic Third Amendment has long since lost whatever significance and utility it might have had. For this antigun zealot both Amendments are relics of an earlier time. But, where for him the Third Amendment has no impact on society, good or bad, apparently, this supporter of the “The Brady Campaign” sees the Second Amendment as a clear liability and danger to the social fabric of society and to the offices of Government.

This antigun proponent would most assuredly like to see the Second Amendment repealed outright. But, he and his cohorts know that won’t happen – not in the present political climate. So, he and those like him are willing to bide their time. He as with like-minded fellows accept that Congress and the States won’t repeal the Second Amendment outright. So, he and they are willing to work toward defeating the troubling problem posed by the Second Amendment incrementally. Thus for this antigun zealot and his cohorts the Second Amendment may, they believe, be reduced to a nullity through successive legal measures and effective political action at the Federal and State levels. So, that’s what they want. That’s what they work and strive for.

That’s what they hope and pray for. That’s their endgame. And they will lie, cheat, steal – and play games – to accomplish that end.

For the NRA member, though, the Second Amendment is not only useful to the well-being of the Nation it is essential to the continued existence of the Nation as a democratic Republic. Contrary to the views held by antigun groups such as the Brady Campaign, this NRA supporter believes that the import and purport of all ten Amendments comprising the Bill of Rights are as critical today as at the inception of the Republic. For him, the Nation cannot exist as a democratic republic but for the Bill of Rights. And, the linchpin of the Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment. The NRA supporter knows the Second Amendment must be honored in fact, not merely in name. This means Congress and the States should work together, and must always work toward strengthening the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment – as with the other nine Amendments – must never be weakened, or ignored, let alone repealed, lest the Nation, as a unique Nation, topple into ruin, as surely as did the once mighty Roman Empire.

The NRA member buys his coffee and looks for a table.  Only one is available.  He quickly walks over to it, sits down, takes a sip of coffee and opens the Sunday edition of the NY Times newspaper.

On the front page of the paper he reads of another shooting incident. He finds it most curious that the mainstream media will report every misuse of a gun and every violent act committed with a gun, with disturbing regularity, often giving such incidents front page coverage and, yet, will invariably fail to mention the fact that a law-abiding American and gun owner had successfully protected himself or others with a gun.

He wonders that a newspaper should find a shooting by a lunatic or gang member to be ever newsworthy but that an act of courageous self-defense with a gun warrants nary a footnote on page 10 or 12 of the paper, if that. The mainstream media seems fixated on descriptions of a gun’s misuse, but never on its proper use. The mainstream media sensationalizes stories involving how a lunatic or psychopathic killer took a life with a gun but will not mention that a law-abiding citizen had, with drawn gun, preserved a life. He sees the most recent incident as consistent with that trend.

And he is mildly amused at The New York Times’ editor’s insistence – as apparent through the very title of the news story – that the reader should be drawn to it – sensationalizing the news account with great fanfare and flourish: Deadly Rampage in College Town After Video Rant. The NY Times, appearing less a respectable news source and more a tabloid, is quick to exploit suffering, blowing it up out of all proportion to reality.

He sighs, knowing the antigun crowd will have a field day with this one. Meanwhile, our Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence fellow has just received his coffee and, too, is looking for a free table. He asks a few patrons if he can join them at their table and he is politely refused. He then walks over to the table of our NRA member and asks if he might join him. The NRA member graciously accedes to the request and beckons the Brady Campaign fellow to sit down. A couple of awkward minutes pass. The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence supporter (hereinafter “BCE”) sees the Second Amendment supporter (hereinafter “SAS”) reading about the Santa Barbara incident. They strike up a conversation over their coffee. Neither one, of course, is, at the moment, aware of the other’s position on the Second Amendment or of the other’s position on the import of the Bill of Rights, generally.

But that is about to change as they begin to engage each other in conversation.

Read the rest of the conservation here: and we encourage you to visit our website and respond with your comments.

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