Ellen Ratner is the White House correspondent and bureau chief for the Talk Radio News service. She is also Washington bureau chief and political editor for Talkers Magazine. In addition, Ratner is a news analyst at the Fox News Channel.More ↓Less ↑
We’ve stopped believing that Earth is flat. We’ve stopped believing that the sun revolves around Earth.
With a few exceptions, most of us understand that the earth is more than 6,000 years old. What has changed our views on these previous popular beliefs is our knowledge of science. It wasn’t easy for people to give up the idea that Earth was flat or that the sun did not revolve around
it. Scientists, at the time of these widely held beliefs, lived under house arrest and were shunned by their churches. But science and fact eventually prevailed.
We also have let go of spittoons in public. We learned after the flu epidemic in 1918 that it is terribly unhealthful for people to spit in public. Why then do we allow people to have automatic weapons, box in a ring and play football?
The data on football and boxing head injuries is off the charts. The kind of brain injuries that are a direct result of blows to the head are irreversible. Both football and boxing are head injuries looking for a place to happen. Young men are lured into both sports with the hope of status in high school as well as fame and fortune and, in some cases, a way out of poverty. But at what cost? Permanent learning problems from concussions and even small repeat injuries can cause major lifelong problems.
Not only is there a lifetime of disability to the former athlete from head injuries, there are costs that society pays. Some of those costs are borne directly by taxpayers, and some are indirectly borne by all of us in the form of higher insurance premiums.
There is a reason we do not go to modern-day coliseums to see gladiators fight lions. It is considered inhumane to see someone being destroyed by a lion. Why then is it OK to see someone forced to live a life of disability, to have their life destroyed by playing football or being punched out in a ring? Is the only difference that people die a long, slower death than the quicker death of being eaten by lion?
The same holds true for automatic weapons. The Second Amendment was written because our Founding Fathers did not want the government so powerful that it could dictate the lives of the citizens. The government had guns, and so the Second Amendment provided for “a well-regulated militia.”
Now, if citizens wanted to rise up against our government, even automatic weapons would be useless. A tank or a drone strike could make those automatic weapons look like squirt guns. We really have no way of fighting our government if it decides to take a totalitarian turn.
All of that brings me to the mother of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter. Several news reports describe her as “gun enthusiast.”
What is a “gun enthusiast,” and why should we allow anyone to possess an automatic weapon or even a handgun?
The days of self-defense against an intruder and the government are over. Few if any acts of self-defense in potential cases of murder or robbery really work. Technology (science) has provided the government with an arsenal of super weapons that make handguns irrelevant for standing up to corrupt government. However, these guns have been implicated in terrible mass murders.
It is time we paid attention to the current science. Guns as weapons are useless against a bad government. Boxing and football can cause terrible brain damage.
Science and technology have made handguns, automatic weapons, football and boxing relics of the past, just like spittoons. They are all bad for public health and bad for our country.