30 December 2012

The Double-Headed Conservative

Recent events in the United States have made me think how bizarre the political system in that country is. Yes, I am talking about the battle between the liberals and the conservatives. And yes, I identify more as a liberal, if I were to choose, and this is a rant against what I perceive as weird and illogical stances by the conservatives. If you are not interested in reading, then just hit that X button at the right corner of your screen.

Anyway, now that you are still reading this, let me first begin with the sad incident in Connecticut that happened a couple of weeks ago. A gunman killed about twenty-something children before shooting himself. Then this incident, while tragic, also put into the forefront the bizarre stalemate of the issue of gun control in the United States.

It made me think, why do people really want to exercise their right to bear arms? So I looked a little bit into history, and learned about the Second Amendment.

If you haven't known, the Second Amendment is an amendment to the US Constitution saying that every one has the right to bear arms. This was enacted back in 1791, back when the political and social environment made it rather important to have militias and other armed social forces.

However, nowadays, this environment is now gone. The USA doesn't need militias anymore. Instead, what is happening is that you have more and more instances of shootings, where innocent victims are being killed, just because guns are easily procured through legal means.

I am sick of reading all these articles saying that we shouldn't politicalize this incident. But seriously, one cannot help but politicalize it. One cannot help but think that if guns were harder to procure, then this incident could have been prevented. I hate it when some people say that we should focus our energies on mental health research, rather than gun control. Because for me, that is like being blind to the cause of the problem, even when the problem is right in front of you. If there are plenty of accidents happening on the road, wouldn't you try to fix the roads and make them better, addressing the direct cause of the problem? That's how seat belts came around. Why is it that when it comes to guns, people cannot see that the access to guns is the problem?

You know, at first, I thought that conservatives cannot make up their minds. They want to allow people to have arms; if someone wants to have a gun, then let him have a gun. However, when it comes to other social issues, like same-sex marriage, then they want to dictate what they want to others. If someone wants to marry someone of the same sex, they don't allow it. I sure hope that the US Supreme Court gives us some good news soon.

Anyway, I later realized that it is not the case that they cannot make up their minds. Instead, they are conservatives because they try to resist a paradigm shift. They try to stick to the status quo. The Second Amendment was relevant back in 1791. That was more than 200 years ago. Society has changed now. The government now has more power to protect the well-being of its citizens without resorting to a militia, and there are more people who think that same-sex marriage is allowed and is not a moral abomination.

I suppose every country just has its share of liberals and conservatives. I guess tolerance is such a hard thing to do, that these social issues arise every now and then. I just hate the fact that tragic events such as the Connecticut shooting need to happen in order for the system to change. And sadly, sometimes, it doesn't.

(Is that a person?, from my Art Institute of Chicago Series)


  1. The US is fascinating place, so many extremes... scary too. I can't believe how many people think that having a gun for personal defence is a good idea.

    1. Zhu,

      Yeah, I really cannot believe it when I heard the NRA recommendation to install armed guards in every school; it's like so ironic and unbelievable. They act like they are so blind to the problem.