AKA Why we have gun rights AKA this ended up being LONG
It’s 10AM on January 3rd, a Friday. At the moment I’m thinking about going to speak at the VA State senate about the gun legislation and how they need to not erode gun rights and attempt to void the constitution. I’m hesitant because my mental health isn’t great with long drives, public speaking, or angry people holding guns. (Trifecta! where’s my prize?) If I do go, and they manage to televise the inside… Well, don’t judge me if I’m wearing brown pants. Here goes..
Honored senators and distinguished members of the public,
Today we are all gathered here to discuss the legislative changes brought before us with regards to the keeping and bearing of arms. Gun rights or gun control. These are the two terms that seem to reflect which ‘side’ of the issue you’re on – as how it is painted by the media. But really, any terms we use to discuss the issues here today – call it gun legislation, rules, rights, controls, regulations, laws, whatever you’d like! – are all just different ways of talking about the same thing: Amendment 2 of the United States Constitution. This article states: 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. This is what we are here to discuss today.
Now, let me remind everyone listening that this is America. America, the shining city on a hill. In America we are proud to be citizens of the strongest and most successful nation in the world. We have our problems, yes. People who suffer medical emergencies are at risk of bankruptcy if they don’t have insurance or their insurance denies their claim. People on minimum wage can’t save enough money to replace appliances, fix their cars, or even get everything for their children from goodwill. Others are living comfortably. They lived in a time where the do’ers put themselves through college and the American Dream of working hard and being middle class was still true. Or maybe they’re the lucky ones who got a high paying job out of college today and are able to afford the increasingly unavailable path to a middle class life. America. Has. Problems. But there are two thing that America has that are more American and more true here than anywhere else. The first, equality. Every person under God is equal in America. It doesn’t matter if your skin is white, black, olive, brown, or any other color. It doesn’t matter if you’re tall or short. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got six fingers or five. It doesn’t matter if you walk or use a wheelchair. It doesn’t matter what gender you have. It doesn’t matter if you love women, men, or anything in between. It doesn’t matter if you believe in one God or many. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or any other ideology. Rich or poor or anything else – doesn’t matter. First and foremost, before anything else, in America everyone is equal. (slight pause hopefully not crickets, but hey I’m awkward no matter what) The second and final thing we do best in America. WE. ARE. FREE. Americans love freedom. Freedom is the founding principle upon which this country had it’s origin. The forefathers fought off their oppressors to establish a land of equality and freedoms. We have fought and died to defend freedom and America nearly countless times in America’s relatively short history. What do we have to show for it? America is the longest standing constitutional and democratic republic in human history! Period! America is the land of freedom where at least we know we’re free. I love America. America isn’t just some land on some planet. America is a state of mind. America IS Freedom and Equality. And everyone who owns a gun and is here to fight to defend our right to own a gun is an America loving PATRIOT, and deserves your respect. Plenty of people can be against guns. Plenty of people can be for guns. No matter which side you’re on – and this applies to everyone here that speaks against against guns too – you’re all making your voices heard instead of sitting at home. It is ONLY in a free country that you are even ALLOWED to do that. People against guns came in to a heated debate against heavily armed people doing the same. That takes immense courage. Even if you disagree with each other, I think we can all take a moment to respect that they came here instead of staying silent. This is what America is all about. People equally free to express themselves. The same is also true for the patriots who came here to defend our rights to bear arms. The founders who wrote the bill of rights knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that in order for America to remain free and equal, people needed to have the right to keep and bear arms. I will get to that in a moment but first let’s all just take a breath to remember this: Neither side wants gun violence. All Americans do not wish for violence. Life is hard. There are so many problems in America even though we’re number one in the world. People have enough stressing them out. Look, I don’t know why we’re all here living life on Earth. We didn’t ask for this. We were borne into life to our families because our parents love each other and we’re living proof of that. But they don’t know why we’re here either. Some of us believe it’s God’s master plan. Some of us believe it’s the inevitable conclusion of the laws that define our reality. Others believe it’s all one cosmic accident and we’re just making it all up as we go. None of us knows for sure what we’re all really doing, but we try anyway. All of us sometimes feel lost, confused, and alone. But you know what? We’re all in the same boat. We’re all in this thing called life together. So have faith and hope. We have empathy and with that, compassion. We understand the circumstances of our neighbors so we help them when they fall. How would we all feel if we were the ones who were down? Would we not want a kind hand to help us back up? We are good people because we understand that golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We want to feel happy and safe. Life is hard enough already.
We don’t need to attack the other side or buy into what the media is selling about each other. And remember, the media is a business – so it is selling. Now, what happens when we read the next piece of click bait pulling each side away from common ground? We gradually leave open a space where discussion is no longer happening between two sides. Suddenly in this unknown the media shows us a twisted facsimile of our fellow countrymen, our fellow human beings. They are purposefully energizing us into these hostile states of tribalism where everything is partisan and no one wants to bring Americans back together under common ground. That’s what really makes America great. Instead, they are making money by stoking the fires of negativity and fear. Why should we care about how poor we are or how unfair our wages are or how bad our lives are when people are at risk of violence and now we are here, fighting over guns. They sensationalize random acts of violence but not random acts of kindness. The sad truth is that the media is owned by the billionaires. They’re profiting off of our division. While profiting off our civil strife they are also distracting us by funneling our energy and political willpower into fighting each other while they live comfortably and laugh down at us from upon their gilded thrones and ivory towers. But I digress. We are here today. They have succeeded in driving a wedge right through the center of the American people. We’re here because the Democrats in the state senate and the governor want to end gun violence by removing gun rights – however small a change they think they are making. They believe, correctly, that if there were no guns there would be decreased gun violence. They are absolutely 100% correct that a world without guns has no gun violence. Sadly, this just means violence will be committed using fists, explosives, or knives. Criminals will still have guns but good people won’t. They believe that changing the laws around will make it that much harder for the criminals or the crazies to get guns. And you know what? They’re right. The criminals will still get the guns, but it will be just a little bit harder. That makes it a change worth doing, right? Unfortunately, this line of thinking is a bit shallow – albeit well intentioned. The real motivator of violence – gun or otherwise – is desperation. We need to combat the societal ills that make people desperate. Whether it’s being so poor that people need to steal to stay off the streets or whether it’s delusions brought on by mental illness that make people feel they need to do violence to fight their delusions. We can stop the violence. This can be done by fighting back against the billionaire class that is taking all the profits off our labor and the stock market. If half the value of your hard work is taken from you as profit and passed off to shareholders how is that any different from a pyramid scheme? The top of the pyramid does nothing while the bottom does everything. When your job is lost to a robot or is sent overseas the value your work was producing didn’t just disappear. The value that you were being paid for was taken from you and given to the shareholders. We need a new deal with the billionaires atop the shareholder class. They have more than enough to pay for all Americans to have food, water, housing, healthcare, and public works and STILL be the wealthiest people on the planet. This is how we end violence in America – gun or otherwise. But instead we’re here because the media sensationalized that guns were the problem and removing them was the solution. And if you don’t think too deeply about it, it sounds like a great idea. Gun owners are just bigoted rednecks like on TV. TV stations they own. I understand why a lot of you want to increase gun control – I really do. The guy who wants to take guns the most – Bloomberg – is even buying his way into the race for President. He literally is running a media giant and hopes to take guns away as President. Him and his buddies from the other media giants are in the same boat – living the high life off our backs. They stick together to make sure things go their way. Look at all the corruption in politics. Look at the Bernie blackout. It’s more obvious than ever – to the point everyone can see in a clearly documented way how much influence they have over the information we need to understand the truth. I challenge anyone unfamiliar with the blackout to google it themselves so they can see how the truth is being manipulated. They’re afraid of the truth and fighting for freedom. Why? They don’t serve the people. They serve themselves. It’s obvious isn’t it? If they’re living like kings and they don’t care about the people they’re going to find a way to keep living like kings. No one here is stupid. Watch out for any politician that takes money from Bloomberg and people like him. Now, there are plenty of academic reasons to argue for or against guns, which I’m sure you’ll hear today. I tried to paint a picture of what the real solution is and what led us here today. End the corruption and give people a better standard of living and mental health treatment. I hope everyone can search for themselves and decide what’s really important to you and which politician is actually fighting for your best interests. Now, let me explain to you what Bloomberg and his filthy rich brothers are trying to do here today and why we need to reject it.
Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren. A wealth tax. Do you know what the proposed wealth tax caps at? 8% a year for any persons with more than 10 billion dollars. Michael Bloomberg has a net worth of 55 billion dollars. One year into a Sanders presidency he would pay 4.4 billion dollars in taxes. One year alone would cost him 4.4 billion dollars. A four year term? 16.5 BILLION DOLLARS. If Bernie Sanders was president, Bloomberg, the guy who is behind wanting to take away our guns, will pay 16.5 billion dollars in taxes to help fund Medicare-for-all, easing debts, ending homelessness and hunger, keeping people employed, and improving all our lives. Bloomberg, the guy who is behind wanting to take away our guns, will pay 16.5 billion dollars to improve the lives of every person in Virginia. It isn’t just Bloomberg. All the billionaires would have to pony up to make sure we have greater wealth equality and fairness in America. People are impressed Bloomberg has spent a few hundred million of his own money to run for president. In case this isn’t making it very clear, he’s running purely out of self interest. A few hundred million or even a few billion is chump change compared to what he would have to pay out under Sanders or Warren. Do you honestly believe that the billionaires with their ability to manipulate the media and the economy are going to take that lying down? Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. How are the wealthy employers going to fight a Sanders presidency? The Bernie blackout didn’t work. Bloomberg’s campaign isn’t going to work. They’ll keep running political ads to tar and feather a wealth tax and any who want one. They’ll keep trying to push people towards Biden or maybe even Trump. If all else fails, what will their final recourse be? Those people living paycheck to paycheck will lose their jobs. How many weeks can America last if we protest when they unilaterally subvert Democracy to deny Sanders the nomination? Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. How long before most Americans run out of food and the funds to pay for it? How long before they’re forced to go back to work to pay for food for their families? How long before they starve the political momentum to enact real change in America? What power to the people have against tyranny from those who rule them? Our founders left us but two things: a vote and the right to bear arms. Do you believe the thin blue line will help desperate people who want a better life? Do you believe that you will be safe from riots and looting without a means to defend yourself? Bloomberg has done this before in New York. When a registry of gun owners was found by the media they published it online for everyone to see. Suddenly law-abiding citizens who only wanted a peaceful live and the means to protect it were under public scrutiny. How many were denied a promotion because their boss hates guns? How many were given sidelong glances by once friendly neighbors? I don’t know but I can tell you that many, many of them became the victims of crimes. Guns aren’t cheap, and criminals were given a shopping list of which houses to target when people weren’t home. All of this happened because of these same EXACT “common sense” laws you wish to bring to Virginia. These laws sound good to Democrats because no one supports gun violence. I don’t. No one here does. But that doesn’t mean these laws aren’t just sugar coated pills designed to remove our ability to fight back against tyranny. These laws have been proven in New York and throughout modern history to be ineffective. There has been no successful gun legislation in history. All it does is remove liberty and defense of liberty from the people to benefit those who have power. Countless times the removal of guns or lack of free access has stopped armed resistance of genocide, just like the holocaust. Look it up for yourselves if you do not believe me. History has time and time again validated this position. When the price of bread goes up and your wage goes down what recourse will you have? Can you fight back? You and what army? You wish to strip the freedom and power of 350 million Americans in the fight against tyranny for empty legislation that sounds nice but fixes nothing. It actually makes gun violence worse, as criminals will no longer need to fear if the homes they rob have armed defenders. It actually makes gun violence worse, as terrorists know that only the police can stop their plots. So you are stripping away the strength of 350 million Americans for an empty promise. Does that sound like the right thing to do for Americans? Are you sure you truly understand what it is you are doing here? Are you sure that it is the American people these laws will serve?
I do not adopt and project the messages we have been fed by the ‘blue team’ or the ‘red team’. Neither side is serving the interests of the American people, only their own. Why should all Americans seeking to defend their right to bear arms be forced to vote for a tyrant like Trump in order to keep it? Let me remind every senator here that this is how these people gathered here and their loved ones will vote. You are giving Virginia to Trump. On the other hand, why should all Americans seeking to adopt greater equal rights and fight wealth inequality be forced to vote for a stooge of the corporate fascists like Biden or Bloomberg who wants to take our freedoms away? Why is politics in America a zero sum game where the only players are kleptocrats and their puppets? How did we get here? I bet the media and the billionaires running it might have a few answers all Americans need to hear. Heresy, I know. I realize that giving this take will make me unpopular with both sides. But you know what? I’m on the side of freedom, equality, and the American people. So if those things are unpopular, then I’ll just fight for what is right on my own. That’s just who I am. No one asked me to come here. I was not paid. I am here of my own free will. I’m not wealthy. I’m not a member of any party or caucus. I am just a regular guy with an irregularly large melon, and constant neck cramps to prove it. If you wish to read this speech in it’s entirety, find it at yourwjb.com.
I digress. Let me conclude my remarks. We’ve seen what has happened in the House of Representatives with the impeachment of President Trump. All Americans know full well that the president is preventing the people from knowing the truth about what happened. Is it sham? I have no idea. How can any of us possibly know if we are blocked from viewing the evidence of what transpired. We cry out against the authoritarian direction of the administration and their attempts to weaken Congress or interfere in our free elections. Like the second amendment, the founders put these checks on a corrupt president into our constitution so that our government would be a lasting haven of freedom and equality. This is why we denounce the Republican congressman who put their party over their country. Like all of you here, they rely on their party’s support to help their re-election campaigns with staff, leadership, and funds. They too rely on wealthy donors. The Koch to your Bloomberg. They chose to be fair-weather friends of this country, to be summertime patriots. They chose to be cowards and refused to speak truth to power. They were afraid of losing their jobs even if it meant fascism gains a bigger hold over America. Are you the same? When you decry the president and his Republican allies are you also fair-weather friends and summertime patriots? Your country needs you today in this moment to support Freedom and the never ending fight against tyranny. This is the moment you decide if you truly love America or if you allow tyranny just because it’s convenient. You decide if you allow tyranny because it’s easy. You decide if you allow tyranny because popular. You decide if you allow tyranny so you can keep your jobs. I reject tyranny in all forms – whether it is from the right or the left. It doesn’t matter if it’s popular or not. IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO. The founders gave us a republic to protect the rights of the minority from the unrestrained will of the majority. Unrestricted democracy is mob rule and it is this same mob rule that the majority abused to harm minorities throughout our history and even today. “There are more of us”, therefore this is the way. Tyranny of the many instead of tyranny of the few. Now when it is wielded the way Bloomberg and the billionaires wish to use you to remove our rights and restrict our freedoms you are advancing their mission of tyranny. This is what we are fighting. This is why we were given the right to defend freedom in America from tyrants – using the second amendment of the constitution to keep and bear arms. The men and women protesting these legislations are people who are willing to fight and die to protect their right to bear arms because they are true America loving patriots who respect the warnings of our forefathers that an armed populace is the final and most effective way of defending America from tyranny. So can you say with full certainty that your actions here today are not eroding freedom in America? Can you say with full certainty that at some point in the future this legislation doesn’t put us on a path which is one step closer to tyranny? I am a rational and highly intelligent human being. So let me say emphatically, I can only see this legislation advancing the goals of tyranny and not freedom or safety. So are you hypocrites when you deride the Trump sycophants in Congress? Or are you true Americans who will defend Equality and Freedom when your country asks you to choose between America and tyranny when the time comes? … Well. Your country is calling on you NOW to make your choice. The time to decide if you love America and will defend her is now. Please, please, choose wisely. Defend your oaths, we the people, and this country of freedom and equality. Thank you.