Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Special Wednesday Night Edition Of Your Friday Clash Song … At A Special Time

Because current events have pushed me to write about Second Amendment issues over and over and over again lately, I give you: A reprise of “Tommy Gun,” the original studio version of which is on Give ’Em Enough Rope (1978). When I featured this song once before, I wrote about the band’s disdain for terrorism despite their fairly radical political views:
You better strip down for the customs run
Tommy Gun
Waiting at the airport till kingdom come
And we can watch you make it
On the nine o’clock news
Standing there in Palestine
Lighting the fuse
Whatever you want, you’re gonna get it!
More generally, though, “Tommy Gun” is about the way the modern world is plagued by violence, and, in that context, it’s every bit as relevant today as it was nearly thirty-five years ago:
You ain’t happy unless you got one

Tommy Gun

Ain’t gonna shoot the place up just for fun
Maybe he wanna die

For the money

Maybe he wants to kill

For his country

Whatever he wants, he’s gonna get it!

Tommy Gun

You’ll be dead when war is won

Tommy Gun

But did you have to gun down everyone?

I can see it’s kill

Or be killed

A national destiny

Has got to be fulfilled

Whatever you want, you’re gonna get it!

Tommy Gun

You can be a hero in an age of none

Tommy Gun

I'm cutting out your picture from page one …
In fact, “Tommy Gun” seems all the more on point right now, when you consider this: In the aftermath of the horrible school murders in Connecticut – which were, after all, committed with .223 caliber Bushmaster assault rifle – Sen. Diane Feinstein announced the other day that she plans to introduce a new assault weapons ban when the newly elected Congress meets after the holidays. Makes some sense, right? After all, the Supreme Court expressly stated in Heller v. District of Columbia that the Second Amendment only protects “the sorts of weapons … [that were] ‘in common use at the time’” of its drafting, quoting United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 179 (1939), and that even after recognizing a personal right to keep and bear arms, “weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned.”
But sadly and predictably, the gun-rights pushback has already begun. Writing on the Washington Times website, Tom Mullen engages in exactly the type of dissembling we can expect to see when the debate over an assault weapons ban heats up:
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has vowed to introduce a bill to ban assault weapons nationwide, similar to existing legislation in California. In doing so, she will effectively abolish yet another of the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
To many, Feinstein’s argument might sound very reasonable. She isn’t looking to ban all guns. “The purpose of this bill is to get just what Mayor Bloomberg said, weapons of war off the streets of our cities,” the senator told Meet the Press.
Having weapons of war on the streets is the whole point of the 2nd Amendment. The amendment wasn’t drafted to ensure that Americans could hunt. It wasn’t drafted so that Americans could protect themselves, although the natural right to defend one’s life was never as compromised as it is in the modern gun control era.
It’s hyperbolic nonsense, of course, when conservatives on the Supreme Court have already effectively ruled that assault weapons – “M-16 rifles and the like” – fall entirely outside the scope of the Second Amendment. But that won’t stop opponents of reasonable gun control from defending their modern-day tommy guns to the death, will it?
The human sacrifice

And if death comes so cheap

Then the same goes for a life!
Meanwhile, here’s a breath of rational fresh air from my Twitter pal Rosanne Cash and some other folks you might recognize:

1 comment:

  1. When you say, "M16" or "Assault Rifle", Dave, teh gunzloonz go apeshit (a very short trip) and gibber about "The M16 is not the same as the AR-15" and "The AR-15 is NOT and 'Assault Rifle because it's not fully automatic and doesn't have a "fire selector" switch.

    They like to ignore that the gun is capable of shooting EXACTLY the same round as the M16 and, even in single pull, single round firing can discharge a magazine of 20-30 rounds in a matter of seconds. To them the distinction seems meaningful. To the relatives and friends of the victims in the Sandy Hook Massacere, the distinction is meaningless.