A Dog In The Fight

by Bernard McCormick Tuesday, April 10, 2012 8 Comment(s)

Not long before he retired, Jimmy Breslin went on a dog crusade in New York. He was offended by people walking dogs on busy streets, scooping up their offerings, and then getting on a crowded subway with their fingers wrapped around a pole an inch from his nose. He proposed throwing dogs in front of subways, justifying it on the grounds that dogs have no souls.

He followed up with a column saying that when he attacked the Catholic church for sheltering pedophile priests, nobody cared. When he accused the president of the United States of being a liar and killer of young soldiers, nobody cared. But when he suggested dogs be thrown in front of subways, all hell broke loose. New York went crazy.

A recent blog reminded me of Breslin’s complaint. Normally my blogs get no response. We assumed nobody read them because in a year of almost weekly blogs we might get half a dozen comments. But this particular blog got 11 responses – published last week – all of them negative. Rush Limbaugh never had it so good. The subject of the blog was gun control, relating of course to the shooting of a teenager in Sanford by a neighborhood watch volunteer. The blog was a combination of silly and serious, opening with an absurd few grafs about a traffic confrontation in which I would have hung a guy with piano wire for cutting me off. That’s the reason I keep a piano in the trunk of my 20-year-old sports car. But then I figured a nutty driver might be carrying a loaded pistol, and I went home to bed. People accustomed to my stuff found it amusing. But none of the comments saw it that way. One writer used the word “irony” – that’s a close as anybody came to the spirit of the nonsense I wrote.

I also ridiculed Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for jumping on the civil rights bandwagon, because they had to protect their speaker fees by keeping the publicity going. None of the writers cared about that. What they cared about – their dog in front of subways – was the suggestion that Florida gun laws are insane, with the NRA constantly pushing for anything that sells guns, and against anything that might cut into profits from firearms, resulting in 900,000 people in Florida having permits to carry concealed weapons. Well, that provoked the reaction.

Feeling rejected, I went to a pub where I encountered a stranger, who turned out to be a lawyer. When the subject came up, he told me he had been a member of the NRA, had actually carried a concealed weapon on trips to certain neighborhoods, but never came close to needing it and eventually decided to leave the weapon at home. He now favored gun control, at least handgun control, and even quoted the Second Amendment, which begins: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Not too many people can quote the Constitution with such accuracy.

He said it was clear to him that the Founding Fathers were thinking of the right of a government to have a militia. He pointed out that when the Constitution was written, oppression by England was fresh in mind, and states were much more independent, and were sometimes dominated by religious groups. He felt it was obvious the framers felt a state had a right to protect itself from another state, or another country, which might try to dominate it. He did not think the Second Amendment had anything to do with assault rifles in the hands of anybody who wanted one. He said a good deal more, criticizing legislators who say they favor gun control, then justify voting against it by nitpicking the wording of legislation.

Later, at the same place, I asked a native Irishman if his homeland still had strict gun laws. Yes, he said, even the cops don’t carry guns, except in special situations.

“It’s a good thing, too,” he said. “Otherwise there would be a lot of dead people. This is how we settle things.”

He held up a fist.


Many people disagree with your Irish lawyer's ...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Many people disagree with your Irish lawyer's opinion on the Second Amendment and believe "the right of the people" applies to individuals, not only militias. Including the U.S. Supreme Court, who wrote in its 2008 Heller decision that "The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms." Some regulation is necessary and proper, and should be debated, but claiming the Second Amendment is limited to government-run groups would be like arguing the First Amendment is only applicable to government sponsored news sites.

Oh, yes, we read your blog alright! And we know an...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Oh, yes, we read your blog alright! And we know and enjoy the pub to which you refer, too!
Thanks for the fun and insight.

Thomas Jefferson was Founding Father and a Framer ...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Thomas Jefferson was Founding Father and a Framer of the Constitution, right? He would most likely known what the 2nd Ammendment meant, right? Having established his credence on the subject of citizen gun ownership please explain this quote of Jefferson's -
"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."
That alone should establish what the Founding Fathers meant when they wrote the 2nd Ammendmenat but lets not stop there. You and your attorney friend should educate your selves before making uniformed blanket statements bout what the 2nd Ammendment really means. Check out this website if you dare to confront your ignorance on the subject, http://cap-n-ball.com/father.htm that lists what should familiar names in the Founding Father pantheon like Goerge Mason, Richard Henry Lee, Goerge Washington, Thomas Pain, Zachariah Johnson to name a few and their quotes on their stand on what the 2nd Ammendment meant when they wrote it. Me thinks Sir, you and your attorney friend will have to change your thinking or continue to risk the appearance of the uniformed and uneducated.
By-the-Way, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who make thier money by spewing their demogoguary of white hate and black self loathing, are hardly worth mentioning much less commenting on. Really? They only represent a few vocal few and apparently make for good copy in the press. I took great pleasure in seeing the mere 500-protesters the "Rev" Al attracted to his Treyvon rally in Miame two weeks ago that the press felt compelled to report the attendance of 3,000 whereas Sharpton predicted 75,000 would show up.

I have to agree with the last comment. Thomas Jeff...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

I have to agree with the last comment. Thomas Jefferson a farmer himself and an inventor of an improved plow share design could hardly be a accused of being a wild eyed gun owner but obviosly advocated gun ownership for the sake of keeping the Citizenss of this country free from the tyranny of the Government.

Bernie, I would think you of all Americans of Iris...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Bernie, I would think you of all Americans of Irish decent would know your Irish history better than what you just dispalyed here. When the English took over Ireland they took away and outlawed guns and swords for the simple reason to controll and subjugate the Irish.(As do all Socialist/Marxist/Dictatorial governments) So, for 400-years the Irish lived in a virtual state of serfdom because they couldn't fight or rebel for their freedom or food cause fists and shillelaghs just don't match up against guns. And really, how many Americans "settle things" with guns outside of Gangland America who would ignore gun laws anyway?

"..if you dare to confront your ignorance.......

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

"..if you dare to confront your ignorance...." I love it.

One of the 900,000

Didn't Treyvon bring fists to a gun fight? Tha...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Didn't Treyvon bring fists to a gun fight? That didn't turn out to well either.

Hey! First of all I would like to say that you rea...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Hey! First of all I would like to say that you really succeeded in creating a gorgeous site. In addition to that I want to ask you a question which is so intriguing for me. Do you have an idea to write in a professional way or having a blog is a of yours?

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