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A Second Look at the Second Amendment
October 22, 2002
Lisa Croke

Remember the Denzel Washington/Bruce Willis film, The Siege, where an FBI Agent/High-Ranking Military Officer fought against terrorists wreaking havoc in NYC?

In a sweet twist we see the hard-assed M.O., played by Bruce, attempts to dissuade Denzel the Fed from calling in the troups, citing the harsh realities of a military occupation and the ugliness of martial law.

That this is exactly what the terrorists want is discussed, and in real life this same motive was listed by President George W. Bush as one of the many despicable reasons the evildoers want to do us harm.

See, terrorists really, really hate democracy and liberty and security and Britney Spears, and would evidently love nothing more than to see us running scared, giving up our Creator-given Constitutional rights. Of course, it goes without saying that evildoers could be persuaded to kill innocents in an attempt to rid the world of Pop Princesses.

It's an interesting theory. But my only question is, why is the President helping them? If terrorists are intent on destroying our way of life, doesn't that make John Ashcroft an evildoer?

Let's see, we've got a terrorism/crime bill that is so vague as to mark someone who bought candy from a kid whose dad donated the proceeds to a charity where a mail clerk was slipping checks his own account and using those funds to subscribe to a magazine published by a suspected terrorist supporter, as a 'material witness.'

For someone incorrectly targeted, you've got no lawyer, no trial, no charges, and don't even think of using the phone. Evidence a little too vague? That's okay! The less evidence presented, the fewer resources squandered for your defense. Indefinite incarceration has got to be a hell of a lot cheaper than a trail. Particularly one followed by a civil rights lawsuit.

We've got First Amendment Zones to protest in, and though we've been warned to watch what we do and watch what we say, the President and Attorney General would like to help us help ourselves by engaging our postal workers, meter readers and neighbors to ensure we don't fall from the path.

This brings us to the Second Amendment. Now, I know the latest eastern horrors (and those occurring daily, now far too frequently to be media-relevent) have probably soured more folks on old number Two, but let me tell you something. Right now, it's probably all we've got.

I don't own a gun, hopefully never will. But while learning to surf the 'net in the 90's, I stumbled across an awful lot of gun folk and I'll tell you, Bill Clinton had them in a tizzy.

Paranoia spoon-fed by their relentless Republican representatives had the gun culture joining and forming militia groups faster than you could say Y2K. The fact that Clinton's worst-case emergency plan for that event essentially handed the works over to FEMA didn't help.

But you know, the thing about those militia boys and girls is that they're not hypocrites. And by actually making their worst-case fears a reality, George W. has them running for more toilet paper than Clinton ever did.

Which brings me to ask:

Would you support a Bush directive to outlaw all civilian ownership of firearms?


Would you support a Democrat-led vote to outlaw all civilian ownership of firearms while George W. Bush is in office?

Just curious.

The writer is a community affairs reporter in Chicago.

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