Bare Arms and Bearing Arms

Since this is primarily a fitness-related blog, forgive me the pun. I’ll start off with a quick nod to the sports and fitness arenas: my Red Sox are up, and my biceps are killing me from a very heavy bis/chest workout yesterday!


Nod over, nerd hat on. This is a moderately intellectual post, so if you’re not into it, go lift.

I very bravely put out a request to my instafam asking for a topic for tonight’s blog post, and while I was expecting something along the lines of “How to Give Great Head” or “The Best Ab Routine” (of course the correlation is rather unclear), instead I received the surprising request to write on a highly controversial topic: Gun Control.

Whoa! Before you either reach for yours or jump down my throat for shooting the word out there (pun totally intentional), listen up.

First, I always start off when addressing controversial topics by saying I UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WILL DIRECTLY INFLUENCE YOUR WORLDVIEW.

This perspective allows me to sympathize with and respect your difference of opinion. Only the insecure are close-minded. It does not, however, mean that I do not hold my own opinions. On everything. No one will tell you I’m not opinionated.

So, guns.

The second amendment protects our right to keep and bear arms (for all of you juice heads out there, this means weapons, and no, not your personal gun show… go flex in a mirror, I know you wanna).

There really isn’t much flexibility here. KEEP means keep. Own, possess; an entitlement to the privilege of purchasing and owning guns. BEAR referring to carrying arms, and by inference, using them for self-defense.

In 1876 and 1939, amendments were passed that essentially limited the type of weapons one could own carry for self-preservation (In other words, Congress decided ain’t nobody needing a bazooka 578928 to get their purse back from a robber).

Here’s where it all gets sticky. First, as history proves, time has only muddied the clarity of our judicial ancestors. Constitutional principles have been amended over and over and challenged repeatedly. (The times they are a-changin’//)

One of the biggest reasons I believe the question of gun control is so hotly debated and the government has seen fit to begin to remove some of the “unquestionable” and “unalienable” rights of the citizens of the U.S. to keep and bear arms is directly related to the increasingly media-centered culture in which we live.

Generation Y is a media-driven culture. We are manipulated by thousands of messages on the reg, particularly through T.V., radio, magazines, movies, PSAs, ads, social media tools… bombarded by a thousand voices, our eyes raped by millions of images manipulating our thought processes and burning into our memories. We unconsciously become the product of our surroundings and are readily influenced by media manipulation.

The likelihood is that in years past there were many unreported or unpublicized shootings. People are unstable, they make unstable decisions. The bad people have always existed, they have just become so much more popular in our sensationalistic-driven media-absorbed culture. The bad guys make headlines, they stand out. Some very weak part of us gravitates towards the dirty, trashy, bitter, dark side of this world, and we eat it up like candy.

We are also a society of mimicry; when figureheads and public personas appeal to something inside of us in any way, we crave what they have and we identify with them.

I would submit that the media attention to mass shootings and the regularly broadcasted infamy of the common criminal has set the stage for mimicry of the worst sort.

Along with all of this publicity then comes an appeal to the evil present inside all of us, and where the social or moral checks and balances have been obliterated for a variety of reasons, mimicry ensues. When it does, the media is on standby to sensationalize it…and so the cycle perpetuates itself.

The perpetual cycle of crime and sensation and publicity creates a response that is deeper and more carnal and more motivational than any other: FEAR.

Very few people have the courage or knowledge base or personal strength to triumph over fear (or perhaps they simply do not know they have it). Fear drives people to insanity; to mayhem and irrational decisions and extremes; and fear, above all, causes chaos. As fear has caused chaos, the government has responded in fear of their own, and has made decisions driven by a desire to appease and to placate, rather than to stand ground on principle.

We have become a media-obsessed, fear-driven culture.

I sympathize with both sides of the gun control argument. On the one, I understand where they are coming from. On the other, I see the strength of those who are proactive and stand ground on their rights; they are not afraid.

I choose to side in the majority of cases with those who go against the tide.

Whatever your stance is on the matter, I think it is always good to examine what drives you to the decisions and opinions you hold. NEVER LET NEGATIVE EMOTIONS BE THE GROUND FOR YOUR DECISION-MAKING PROCESS.

This includes fear. Fear is the most destructive emotion I know of, and I can only pray that its selfish, cringing manipulation does not continue to utterly and subversively pervade our culture and the decisions of our most influential leaders.





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