The Flying Pigs Report

The author, an Indian-American, visiting her first NRA convention on Friday.

I don’t talk a lot about guns here, mostly because others do it and usually better. But like most of my readers, I’m a very firm supporter of the right to own guns, in fact, I tend to think the NFA is unconstitutional (that’s the one that manned machine guns, and such) let alone the ’68 gun control act. I agree with Tench Coxe, who wrote in the Pennsylvania Gazette back in the day

The power of the sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for THE POWERS OF THE SWORD ARE IN THE HANDS OF THE YEOMANRY OF AMERICA FROM SIXTEEN TO SIXTY. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American…. [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.

So it was then, so it should be today.

In any case, this story is based on one from CNN (Huh? What? Yeah, I know!) by an Indian immigrant who went to the NRA convention in Atlanta a few days ago. Her name is  Moni Basu, and she learned some things.

Guns are not a part of the culture of my homeland, except perhaps for the occasional Bollywood movie in which the bad guy meets his demise staring down the wrong end of a barrel.

My childhood in India was steeped in ahimsa, the tenet of nonviolence toward all living things.
The Indians may have succeeded in ousting the British, but we won with Gandhian-style civil disobedience, not a revolutionary war.
I grew up not knowing a single gun owner, and even today India has one of the strictest gun laws on the planet. Few Indians buy and keep firearms at home, and gun violence is nowhere near the problem it is in the United States. An American is 12 times more likely than an Indian to be killed by a firearm, according to a recent study.
It’s no wonder then that every time I visit India, my friends and family want to know more about America’s “love affair” with guns.
I get the same questions when I visit my brother in Canada or on my business travels to other countries, where many people remain perplexed, maybe even downright mystified, by Americans’ defense of gun rights.
I admit I do not fully understand it myself, despite having become an American citizen nearly a decade ago. So when I learn the National Rifle Association is holding its annual convention here in Atlanta, right next to the CNN Center, I decide to go and find out more. […]
“Why do you want to own an object that can kill another human being?”
The answers are varied, but they center on three main themes: freedom, self-defense and sport. The first type of response is rooted in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which allows for the ownership of more than 300 million guns in America. How many other countries have the right to bear arms written into their very foundation? It’s unique and because of that, foreigners often have trouble grasping it. […]
I meet Chris Styskal at a booth set up by the NRA Wine Club. […] But then we get into serious talk. Gun ownership, he tells me, has its roots in the birth of this country. “George Washington’s army fought off the British with rifles,” he says. “They overthrew an oppressive government.”
His statement gives me pause. The gun laws in India stem from colonial rule, when the British aimed to quell their subjects by disarming them. Perhaps my Indian compatriots should consider the right to own guns from this perspective. […]
It’s a thought echoed by Brickell “Brooke” Clark, otherwise known as the American Gun Chic. She has a website by that name and also a YouTube channel. Both are bathed in hues of pink and dedicated to her recently formed passion for guns. […]
“What would you tell my friends in India who say Americans are infatuated with guns?”
“I wouldn’t say Americans have an obsession with guns,” Clark says. “We have an obsession with being free.”
I ask what the Second Amendment means to her.
“It means I can live my life without anyone overpowering me,” she says. “It makes me equal with everyone else.”
The great equalizer. I never thought of the Second Amendment in that way.

The Equalizer

Well maybe she hasn’t, many don’t, but we always have. The most iconic of American guns, the old Colt Model 1873 Army, got itself a few nicknames, one of them was “The Equalizer” because in a very real sense it made everybody equal, even a 95-pound woman being attacked by men, or a black man who the KKK was trying to lynch. It’s one of the ways America has made and kept itself free. It’s the one you see in all the movies. To continue.

Morris is 35, petite and soft-spoken, but she’s fierce about her opinions on guns.
“I’m 5 feet tall and 100 pounds,” she tells me. “I cannot wait for a cop to come save me when I am threatened with rape or death.”
People look at guns as this evil tool whose job it is to kill,” [Derrick Adams. He’s a 32-year-old electric lineman from Nottingham, Pennsylvania. He describes himself as part black, part Puerto Rican and part Caucasian] says. “They’re not at all that. They are about protection.”
Adams believes that if all law-abiding citizens were armed, crime would drastically go down. He tells me that Chicago would not have such a high gun homicide rate if good folks in the inner cities were armed to fight “thugs and gangs.”
“Stop looking to government to help us. They are not our parents,” Adams says.
Liberals in America who want more gun control, says Adams, want to keep minorities and poor people dependent on government. Gun control started after slavery ended and was a way to keep black people disarmed, he says.
He’s right, on all counts, way back in April of 2013, I ran an article by Enza Ferreri an Italian blogger working from London, who dug into the stats, and came away with the same conclusion. She wrote a most interesting (and long) article on it, which is linked from there.
Back to Ms. Banu
“You idiots,” Adams says, referring to all people of color. “It was invented to suppress you.”
He looks at me as though to say: You should know better.
Again, I think of colonialism in my homeland and how the British passed strict gun control to keep Indians from rising up.
She ends this way:
I leave the convention trying to reconcile what I’ve gathered on this day with the philosophy of nonviolence with which I was raised. I am not certain that vast cultural differences can be bridged in a few hours, but I am glad I got a glimpse into the world of guns. I have much to consider.
She does, and she wrote a fair article, and that’s rare. In a very real sense, we are who we are because of who we were. Americans were the first to throw off colonialism, and we pretty much did it ourselves, and we still remember how we did it. And the other thing we know is just how horrible a time the Revolution was, and we, none of us, want to go there again. And so we believe that an armed American citizenry is the best defense of freedom anywhere in the world, as it has been for 250 years. Welcome to our world, Moni, and all the others “yearning to breathe free”.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

6 Responses to The Flying Pigs Report

  1. Mike says:

    She might want to study her Indian history a bit more closely as there was plenty of violence directed at the British in the “non-violent overthrow” of their rule in India. It was appropriate and necessary, but has seemed to have been magically scrubbed away in favor of a certain mythology.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      There was, indeed, but maybe not in her area, I don’t know. As to that, Gandhi, himself, said, his tactics would only have worked on the British, with their moral standards. I’d add, probably the US as well, looking at the Philippines.

      Liked by 2 people

      • the unit says:

        “…but maybe not in her area….” Would be grand if history could be recorded so minutely. You know where I was raised. There was no discrimination, hanging blacks or killing freedom riders in the 800 block of my street, my town, my state. Still my family experienced righteous indignation, injustice, and insults for years for being from that state. Insults? And I still have all my own teeth and a pretty smile. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yeah, but she’s young and her parents sound like they really believed in the nonviolence. Lot of what we believe comes from our parents, at least she listened. Usually it’s a lot worse! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Yes, see sometimes “Mama said” is all the history and evidence one needs to get on with it. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yepper! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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