The Second Amendment to the US Constitution reads:
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.
I suggest that, for simplicity sake, Congress quickly and officially rewrite it to reflect today’s popular meme (and weed out that ‘well regulated Militia’ nonsense which the Supreme Court invariably ignores anyway), then promptly send it to the various states for ratification. My proposal for the substance of a revised version is:
The funnest right of each and every idiot — to own/use Guns and bear bare Arms — shall never be infringed.
Let me explain. A little over a month ago (August 21, 2012), I received a letter from the Center for Biological Diversity; it read as follows:
It’s as sick as it is inevitable.
This week a reality TV show is broadcasting the killing of a wolf in Montana. “It’s the funnest thing I’ve done in years,” the gleeful host crows after shooting the wolf with a high-powered rifle.
Viewers flocking to the northern Rockies to join in this “fun” will [soon] have even more chances to kill wolves . . . Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is rushing the approval to ensure Wyoming’s wolf-kill plan will be carried out as scheduled this fall, even though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a similar plan by Wyoming last year . . . Wyoming’s plan will allow wolves to be indiscriminately killed outside Yellowstone National Park and a few other safe havens: 80 percent of the state will become a wolf-killing zone.
That means close to 200 wolves — highly social animals with intricate family structures — will be shot or trapped to death. Many of them just had pups this spring. If the government has its way, it will be open season on Wyoming’s wolf families.
The reality show host/wolf killer calls wolf advocates . . . “a bunch of wingnut screwballs” for trying to save the wolves. Apparently, in the world of reality TV, basic humaneness earns you screwball status.
“It’s the funnest thing I’ve done in years.” Right. And of course IF he might one day be disallowed the right to own a gun (much less use one indiscriminately), then there would never again be a “funnest thing” available to him for doing, and he would surely soon succumb to boredom and lack of fun, an intolerable (and absolutely un-Amurkan) consequence.
Besides, what kind of ‘wingnut screwball’ would want ‘to save the (goddamn) wolves’ in the first place? Right? Right. Them wolves is killers, right? Right (and yes, I do admit it’s true that wolves do sometimes kill cattle; my only question is, do they kill enough of the damn things!),
Yesterday I received a followup letter on the same matter, this time from Defenders of Wildlife. It points out the sobering reality that the Wyoming wolf slaughter will begin in earnest via “uncontrolled shooting, trapping and gassing starting at 12:01am September 30.” That’s tomorrow; “the funnest thing” excursion for each and every Armed Idiot in Wyoming will be underway at one minute past midnight. Tomorrow. The entire letter (minus embedded hyperlinks) reads as follows:
By this Sunday, most of Wyoming will be transformed into a free fire zone for wolves. We are leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to stop the killing before it begins.
Under current Wyoming state law, wolves in 85 percent of the state will be subject to unlimited and uncontrolled shooting, trapping and gassing starting at 12:01am September 30.
Only weeks ago, Interior Secretary Salazar stripped Wyoming’s wolves of Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection. It was pure politics. We have already served notice that we are filing a lawsuit against the federal government’s removal of Endangered Species Act protection for Wyoming wolves.
But by the time our case is heard it will be too late for many of Wyoming’s wolves, unless the State abandons its indefensible plan.
Up to 60 percent of Wyoming’s wolf population could ultimately be wiped out.
The restoration of wolves in the lower 48 is one of the greatest success stories of the Endangered Species Act. The withdrawal of ESA protection and approval of an indefensible wolf management plan turns the clock back on decades of conservation progress.
We have already seen what can happen if the fate of wolves is turned over to states with extreme anti-wolf plans in place. The 2011 delisting of Idaho’s wolves was disastrous and deadly — more than 400 of that state’s wolves were killed within the first year of delisting. And more than 100 of Montana’s wolves have met the same fate. Now Wyoming is poised to follow suit with an even worse wolf plan.
No other animal has gone from protected wildlife to predatory “pest” status overnight — until now. Under Wyoming’s plan, wolves that wander beyond the invisible border of the northwest corner of the state can be shot, gassed or trapped by anyone at any time. No license required. It’s open season on wolves, plain and simple.
No other animal — not bears, not mountain lions — are subject to the double standard that permits wolves across much of the state to be shot as vermin.
In only hours, Wyoming’s extreme wolf-killing plan will go into effect, and Defenders is calling on our supporters to shine the spotlight on this shameful management plan.
Guns. More than 150 years ago, American poet Emily Dickinson wrote, in one of her many moments of brilliance, a poem which speaks from the point-of-view of a Loaded Gun, a hunting rifle.
My Life had stood — a Loaded Gun —
In Corners — till a Day
The Owner passed — identified —
And carried Me away –
And now We roam in Sovereign Woods —
And now We hunt the Doe —
And every time I speak for Him —
The Mountains straight reply –
And do I smile, such cordial light
Upon the Valley glow —
It is as a Vesuvian face
Had let its pleasure through –
And when at Night — Our good Day done —
I guard My Master’s Head —
‘Tis better than the Eider-Duck’s
Deep Pillow — to have shared –
To foe of His — I’m deadly foe —
None stir the second time —
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye —
Or an emphatic Thumb –
Though I than He — may longer live
He longer must — than I —
For I have but the power to kill,
Without — the power to die –
Can’t help but note how brilliantly she summed up the concept of armed idiocy in the last two lines: “For I have but the power to kill, / Without — the power to die.” In today’s uninformed but popular vernacular, that would undoubtedly (and sadly) be viewed as “the funnest thing” of all.
Save the wolves!