Value Change Proposition: Promoting a More Civilized America

by Olurotimi Osha
gun control

Because tenable gun control laws, reflective of advanced civilized societies, will engender safe spaces for those uncomfortable conversations that are long overdue.

I am often irritated, when one’s discourse is inordinately infused with money and materialism. If one’s sense of being is so linked to money and material possessions, then in reality, when stripped of money and material possessions you have a very insecure being without purpose or meaning. Do you realize there are people in the world with negligible material possessions, who eat and sleep and, yet they have a strong sense of being and security?

The United States with all its “wealth” has the highest suicide rate in the developed world; it has the highest rate of violence and crime in the developed world. Is something wrong? Not necessarily about “gun control,” and access to firearms. But could the discourse and realities of access to firearms be a symptom of what is wrong?

I grew up in what was once labeled the “Third World” under military dictatorships, where the citizenry did not have access to firearms. Citizens had no right to bear arms. However, unenlightened and treacherous men in uniform exploited the citizenry’s lack of access to firearms, coupled with their monopoly and control of firearms and the military apparatus, to usurp power and impose the most brutal and corrupt spell of military dictatorships, which forced the mass exodus of well meaning, but vulnerable citizens to the advanced world, which welcomed them and gave them a home free from tyranny and oppression.

I would advocate that in such less developed countries like Nigeria, which have a history of treason and coup d’etats among its uniformed servicemen that have imposed virulent dictatorships, the citizens should have a “right to bear arms.” Unequivocally so. Underdeveloped nations with a history of brutal dictatorships, which fail to protect citizens’ human rights necessitate the people’s right to bear arms, to restore citizen’s human rights, when abrogated. Governments exist for the protection of the human rights, security and progress of its citizens. States in the developing world with a dismal history of abridging and encroaching on those rights, necessitate the ability of citizens to rise and bear arms for their protection against state criminals – coup plotters are enemies and usurpers of the legitimately constituted authority and thus, criminals.

However, in a world leader and advanced nation like the United States, which in its fabled 240-year history, remarkably has had no dictatorships or coups unlike other powers in Europe and now Asia, I would argue for strict gun control laws like the United Kingdom. It is often opined that the Second Amendment has prevented coups and usurping of the government by treasonable actors.

Well, if it has, fortunately the United States has moved beyond that learning curve, and is at such an advanced stage that it is incomprehensible that a band of traitors is even capable of overthrowing the Government and arguably the most disciplined and powerful military complex on the face of the planet. Such an overthrow has not occurred in Western Europe since 1945. Most have civilized gun control laws. Why should it be assumed that America would be the exception?

All things being equal, the United States military and relevant federal agencies should be the legitimate bearers of arms to protect the rights of citizens and sovereignty of the state. The United States armed forces has a storied history of maintaining both the sovereignty of the state and the rights of the individual citizen. There is no reason to conclude that the armed forces would not aspire to live up to their preeminent 240-year legacy of doing this. Moreover, the decentralized policing system devolving to the states, with reasonable right to bear arms may serve as a deterrent and check and balance, to a potential rogue (although inconceivable) band of insurgents.

Lack of tenable gun control policies and removal of the citizens’ access to firearms is not only creating an unnecessarily tense and violent environment, but also encroaching on the mental state and psyche of the average American, left in constant tension and unease, with an abnormal awareness that fatal gun shots, and loss of life could be just one bad conversation away…one misplaced word, and a disagreement or angry look hovering could result in senseless execution.

And the tension is palpable and evident in the visage of many average Americans. There’s a seeming incubus that appears to suck the very life out of an American, making many uncommonly tense and lacking in equanimity. When the country has the worst drug problem in the developed world, the situation is clearly not normal.

Without this abnormal lingering reality that a seemingly perfectly “normal” man, can without provocation or warning, but just on a whim, become a mass killer, Americans can have those “uncomfortable” conversations that are long overdue.

One of the first things I learned in business school here in America, was that open and candid communications tended to make organizations cohere and function better. But what is the difference with the larger American society? Employees of innovative wholesome corporations that promote open communications are not allowed to bear arms in the office.





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