The Fate of the 2nd Amendment is Not for Politicians to Decide: Mental health is a function of society and must be established by culture itself

Like a clock of utmost dependability, you could hear the political cries for more gun control after the terrible synagogue shooting in Pittsburg. Liberals and the politically disengaged point to all this gun violence such as the shooting that happened recently at a Kroger in Louisville, or the attack of the innocent at the Fifth Third on Fountain Square and declare that if only we had more gun control that all these problems would go away. Honestly, I’m getting pretty tired of explaining to people who gun control or any alteration of the 2nd Amendment is not on the table, by any member of the political class. I was further enraged recently while attending a debate between Jim Renacci and the very liberal Sherrod Brown at Miami University when the subject of gun control came up that the trend of the talking points was to examine what could be done to identify people of mental health and to determine whether or not they could have guns. My thought at that moment was who determines if someone is “mentally healthy,” the same people who tried to impeach President Trump just because he won the election in 2016, or the same people who have destroyed evidence before turning it over to the F.B.I. or even the same people who lied about international incidents and attempted to create false narratives to hide their own guilt? No, the government is there to represent us and the 2nd Amendment is there to keep politicians in line, they are not our rulers, they are our doers and they don’t decide who is mentally healthy and who isn’t.

A few years ago, there was a guy suing me and we were in court when the judge motioned against him for obvious reasons. This guy was hoping to get a lot of money and his lawyer had led him to believe that his case was easily a slam dunk so this fellow had overly optimistic ideas about his fortune that were torn away from him with the discharge of a judge’s gavel. Hope turned to despair and it could be said that the guy experienced a temporary moment of mental illness. When we were both out of the court room he and his attorney were waiting for me to get to my car and he jumped me in the parking lot and we had a fight. My thoughts at that moment was that I was going to have to kill that guy because he was desperate and I’d never get a good night’s sleep while he was alive. Fortunately for that guy the police were there to break it up and the violence was diminished quickly. If I had killed him out of self-defense I would have lost my rights to the 2nd Amendment, if even for a while as the courts sorted out the case, and that wouldn’t have been fair to me in the very least.

I figured that I needed to do something proactive rather than waiting for that guy to show up at my house wanting to fight again now that he had lost the opportunity to extract a lot of money out of me. My worry was that if the violence happened, as it seemed very clear that it would that I had to do everything possible to show that I had done everything legally possible to mitigate the possibility, so I went to the court to file a restraining order. During the hearing for that they declined the request because as they said to me, it would violate his Constitutional rights to carry a gun and put unnecessary restrictions on his freedom. They determined that our fight at the court-house wasn’t enough to violate his civil liberties. I was fine with their determination and I told them that if violence did erupt that I wanted it noted that I tried to mitigate it through the court system, which they of course honored. I thought the law handled itself well in that case, but it could have easily have gone bad, especially in a more liberal part of the country. Under the proposals created by liberals especially after every mass shooting, I could have lost my rights to own firearms and so could that guy. But the courts allowed cooler heads to prevail and nobody lost such a right and within a few weeks’ sanity was restored to my attacker and everyone lived somewhat happily ever after.

Now guns mean more to me than just personal protection, they are an actual lifestyle choice. They are very much a part of my everyday life, not in the manner of killing people, but for sport. My enjoyment of those recreational activities cannot be infringed by some panicky politician looking for more power every time a lunatic decides to kill a lot of people with a gun. The problem isn’t the gun, it is in the kind of society that produces so much mental health trouble. Mental health a lot of the times is like any other kind of health, it has to be maintained and when it isn’t people fly off the rails like that loser in Pittsburg who shot up that synagogue. Hate and intolerance can’t be nurtured to the point that they drive people insane, that is a responsibility issue. I often say, not joking, that being a Democrat is a form of mental illness. That is because to believe what they do about the benefits of liberalism there has to be some insanity at play because their thoughts are counter to the role of existence itself. By my interpretation should everyone Democrat be forbidden to carry a gun because I say all Democrats are insane? Of course not. And just because I beat the crap out of someone who attacks me in a parking garage who attacked me out of desperation, should I lose my rights to own guns over something I had no part in instigating but was forced to act? Of course not.

Politicians, not a single one of them, have a right to decide whether or not we own guns. The 2nd Amendment is bigger than our entire political system, and the court system that spawns off it. The 2nd Amendment is not to be infringed period. While its true that we live in a world where mental health is historically out of control and more violence is bound to happen as a result, gun control is not a means to controlling it. As a society we have to ride out this storm while focusing on ways to improve mental health going forward. I think that would start by opening doors for ladies again and being polite to fellow members of mankind just because you pass them here and there around town. Basic civility needs to be re-established and that will go a long way to preventing all the violence that is occurring these days. But the real answer to gun violence is to have more guns present not less, to have more people armed to deal with the point of assault quicker, not waiting for the police to arrive. The way to stop mass shootings is to have a good guy with a gun there to stop the threat in seconds, not minutes. It is actually insane to insist on any other method, and until we can all agree on that basic premise, we will take no steps forward in solving the problem.

Rich Hoffman

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