Opinion: It’s not about the nuts
Free Press Opinion Columnist
I find it ironic that while Republican militia groups were headed west last week to show their might in Nevada, I was driving east to Denver to testify before a Senate committee that I am capable of managing my own uterus.
Folks on the Right get so defensive when anyone questions their “right” to carry loaded assault weapons anywhere and everywhere that I’ve often wondered if they’re confusing guns with their private body parts. I can sympathize with that. It’s downright creepy to have a government making family planning and intimate healthcare decisions.
Perhaps those so panicked by gun discussions should take a moment to set their guns down. If the gun separates from your body, then it is not an actual body part. Let me assure you that no lawmakers anywhere are trying to regulate men’s bodies.
Last fall when a group of mothers and children from Moms Demand Action met for lunch at a Texas restaurant, the restaurant was surrounded by 40 armed protesters. Suspecting there was going to be an armed ambush, diners hid inside the restaurant for hours until the gun nuts grew bored and gathered for their next activity.
The fact that they headed straight to Hooters where the waitresses are required to be hot and scantily clad may suggest that there is a correlation between guns and private body parts. But again, remember that if you can set it down, it is not a body part.
The armed standoff in Nevada between citizen militia groups and the BLM is a frightening example of what happens when fanatics are dictating the discussion. We have Cliven Bundy, a rancher who has essentially stolen public land from the citizens of the United States. He has violated numerous laws and owes us $1 million for grazing fees.
Most of us would be afraid to so flagrantly violate the law and would be arrested before we made it nearly as far as Bundy has. The facts have, however, become so twisted that Republicans have managed to turn the situation into a Second Amendment matter. That’s garnered the support of militia groups like the Mesa County Patriots and local Republican candidates David Cox for U.S. Representative and John Pennington for Mesa County Sheriff.
The Mesa County Patriots have shared this message — “Attention liberals: you have witnessed the proper use of a well-armed militia. Now you know why we have the Second Amendment.” These so-called patriots fail to understand that the rule of law is not based on the power of guns, but on the will of an active, voting citizenry.
They think they have a Constitutional right to violate laws enacted by officials elected by the American people and to use weapons to intimidate people who disagree with them. They’re doing a fine job demonstrating what happens when gun nuts run the show.
Women do not want to live in a society where we are expected to carry guns to prevent men from raping us and beating us. Parents do not want to ponder questions about the age in which we should teach our toddlers to handle guns.
We do not want to take our children to parades where floats are shaped like assault weapons and those marching have guns strapped to their backs. We do not want our children to think guns are toys, no different from Legos or soccer balls. We do not want to send our children to schools where lunch ladies must carry guns.
We want our public lands to be safe places for all of us to enjoy. We don’t want habitats decimated and wildlife driven to extinction just because people with guns have other ideas for the land.
There is a bumper sticker on a truck in Grand Junction with a picture of a squirrel holding a gun and the message “Protect Your Nuts.” Gun freedoms and regulations are very serious issues which should have nothing to do with any sort of nuts at all.
At least some good is coming from all of this — Moms Demand Action, a group advocating for sane gun laws, has come to Grand Junction. Thanks, gun nuts, for the wakeup call.
A fourth generation Coloradan, GJ Free Press columnist Robyn Parker is the former host of the progressive community radio show, Grand Valley Live. She is a stay-at-home mom, active community volunteer and board member for local environmental and social justice organizations. Robyn may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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