A Modest Neighborhood Proposal

Copyright © by Len Holman, 7/23/10


  Remember those old Hollywood Westerns where the townspeople finally get fed up with that same band of marauding bandits which has been raiding their farms and ranches and periodically shooting up the town?  They get word that the bad guys are coming back, get their weapons, climb up on the roofs and balconies of their town, weapons at the ready.  The gang comes roaring in and is cut down in a hail of bullets.  The townspeople suffer some casualties, but realize it’s a small price to pay for freeing their community from the clutches of evil, and the viewing audience knows that what they did was just and right—to survive, to protect themselves and serve their children.

  Why don’t we do the same thing here, in the real, crime-ridden, gang-infested world?  We could arm entire neighborhoods and let them do what the out-numbered and sometimes outgunned cops can’t—protect themselves and serve their communities.  Here’s how it would work:  Any state could empower individual police jurisdictions to rent out guns—there are certainly enough weapons to do this, given the confiscations from drug runners, gang members, and various crazies who want to get back at their bosses for not getting enough overtime.  The police would grid the district of each particular division, then issue a weapon to each head of household in a particular grid, no matter what the gender of the householder is. There are other possible ownership combinations, but this is just an exemplar of this plan.  Once a weapon, and its recipient, are registered, the length of time for the gun to be out of police custody would vary, according to the crime rate, incidence of drive-bys, etc. for that particular grid.  When the rate of gang violence or other some other measures of crime go down past a pre-determined level, the guns would be collected.  If a gun is NOT returned, the registered renter gets a reprimand and that grid gets no more weapons for a certain (long) period of time—an approach used in various military organizations, where the majority is punished for the failings of a few, and thus is an internal and effective policing effort.

  This method will accomplish several things—as the Tea Party and many of its conservative fellow-travelers have long advocated.  It gets rid of the restrictive federal regulation now in place—and the ones surely coming—with a state-by-state application of individual rights.  It reminds the government who is really in charge and who will not be bullied into compliance with structures and policies which are not implemented and/or do not work.  And it keeps in the foreground the issue of the government’s position:  it is hired by US, to do OUR bidding. 

  It protects citizens from rapacious criminals by arming Americans with enough firepower to teach criminals a valuable lesson, and to prevent further incursions into neighborhoods—for what says “stay away” better than automatic weapons fire from the bungalows on a residential street?  And such a program will allow the federal agencies and local police to do the really important work of monitoring cell phone use by drivers, searching infants for explosives at airports, arresting Russian spies who have been here 20 years and who have stolen nothing but Snicker bars from drugstores, allowing our financial institutions to flourish at the expense of the system and the people on whom they depend for their existence, and making sure public demonstrations are not too public.

  Of course, there may be circumstances which flow from the state’s rights application of the Second Amendment  which may not be pleasing to some.  For instance, money.  If this policy of states being allowed to formulate policies which suit them goes into effect as some demand, then a state might decide to issue its own currency and that may cause some problems.  Say, for example, a traveler from California is headed for Phoenix, where California money is no good. She must exchange her money for Arizona currency and the exchange rate may be against her.  Not to mention that California may not redeem any of the left-over money she brings back.  Messy, but part of the conservative New World Order.

  Or take natural disasters.  If a major wildfire breaks out, California may not want other states to butt in to help—state pride and rights being what they are.  Or they MAY ask for help, but be rebuffed, or they may swallow their pride and ask the feds for help, but the feds may not be able to do that, since they have let their fire-fighting capabilities whither because of the new political reality.  Most of the states may not care if California burns down, since their economies might grow with less competition.

  Then there is the issue of civil rights.  Could a state revoke federal civil rights laws?  Could it quarantine gays and lesbians and transsexuals, as God has repeatedly demanded through His representatives?  Perhaps this might happen, but some issues will need to shake out over the long haul and perhaps cooler head will prevail.  The Tea Party has not sent out memos on these issues, even though I’m sure they DO have a plan to cover these effects of their passionately-held beliefs.

  Meanwhile, just in case, I’m shopping around for a nice little M-16.


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