In an interview with Glamour Magazine, singer Kesha sounded off on the “epidemic” of gun violence in America.
As with most Hollywood elites, celebrities, and musicians, the 29-year-old pop star had nothing intelligent to say on the matter and instead spouted the same ole, same ole pabulum we’re used to hearing from those too intellectually lazy to actually research gun ownership in the U.S. beyond the script they’re handed from gun-control organizations.
Here’s what she had to say (feel free to tell me if my assessment of her comments are unfair):
GLAMOUR: You were at the DNC in July performing at Gabby Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC event. When and how did you first connect with the issue of gun violence?
KESHA: Unfortunately, growing up in America, it’s all too common to hear about people getting shot on an everyday basis. It breaks my heart and makes me sick every time I hear of innocent people being killed by guns. Gun violence is an epidemic in America. We cannot ignore all of the mass shootings and lives lost due to the lack of gun control. People keep throwing their hands up in defeat about this issue, but that’s not an option anymore—we need change immediately.
And we should not divide ourselves by politics on this issue; it affects everyone. It’s our collective safety—it’s our family members going to school or a club or even just the movies and coming home safe. I understand that the right to own a gun is a constitutional issue, but our first right as humans is to live. By not putting some sort of boundaries on gun ownership, the right to simply live is taken away from some people for no reason. Why does a hunter need an assault rifle? And if anyone can buy an assault rifle, why can’t we all buy rocket-propelled grenade launchers? Where is this line exactly?
You can’t predict when someone’s anger or resentment will become so deep that they want to kill another person, but you can monitor who has access to guns, and what kind of gun they have access to. I love how free our country is and believe that love and empathy can heal divisions, but if our politicians—regardless of political party—cannot do something to reduce the frequent mass shootings and daily violence, they are not doing their job. We can’t just keep turning a blind eye. I believe in keeping America as free as anyone else, but as a fellow human being we need to open this discussion up for real change. We have to do something to keep ourselves, our families, and all our brothers and sisters safe—we are all in this together.
I’m not going to go sentence by sentence and deconstruct all the ignorant comments Kesha made (e.g. her implication that the 2A was codified by our founders and framers to protect hunting), but what I will address is her statement about the “first right of humans is to live,” which is obviously mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, as one of our “unalienable rights,” you know the line about, “Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness.”
Our right to life is also protected by our Constitution which prevents the government from snuffing us out without due process. In other words, Uncle Sam can’t just kill us willy-nilly. We have a right to an attorney, a trial with an impartial jury before the government can pull the plug (unless of course you’re a U.S. citizen living in a foreign country and the government suspects that you are a terrorist, then it can murder you with a drone strike and chalk it up to a desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures loophole. Is it Constitutional? Hell no! But somehow we let the government get away with it. I digress).
Anyways, what I want to say to Kesha is that we do have a right to live. For millions of Americans, our right to life is protected not by an inept government apparatus (FBI, CIA, DHS) that typically can’t tell its elbow from its a-hole (or, for that matter, prosecute a high-ranking official who clearly and deliberately mishandled classified material and then lied about it), but by our choice to exercise our right to keep and bear arms.
Think about it this way, Kesha. When you’re on tour, performing a concert, do you have armed security? I bet you do (but even if you don’t, wouldn’t it make sense to have armed security?). After all, if a rabid stalker with a knife or a gun or a crowbar came after you wouldn’t you want one of your guards to have the capacity to stop that individual dead in his tracks before he harmed you or someone you cared about?
Well, it’s no different for gun owners. A majority of us own firearms because we want to protect our families from whatever threat that may come our way in this crazy world we live in: a mass killer, a stalker, a serial rapist. And for many of us — to address your point about assault rifles — we choose to purchase an AR-15 (not technically an assault rifle, as it’s a semiautomatic platform, not a fully automatic one), because it’s one of the optimal tools for the job of home defense. It’s not any more complicated than that. We own guns because we want to protect ourselves, our families and our property.
By suggesting that lawmakers ought to restrict our Second Amendment rights is tantamount to saying that you ought to disarm your security detail. How does disarming them make you any safer? It doesn’t, of course. It only makes it easier for that deranged stalker to get to you and cause you bodily harm. And really, that’s what gun control does. It impairs the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, thus creating more defenseless victims.
Let’s unpack this idea a little further. You say, “we have to do something to keep ourselves, our families, and all our brothers and sisters safe—we are all in this together,” and I totally agree. We do. But what? What is the best solution for the threats we face? More laws restricting gun ownership? Don’t think so, for the aforementioned reason.
Believe it or not, the best solution for the average Joe (who can’t afford a security detail, BTW) is for him or her to purchase a firearm if he/she is willing and able. Why? Because it levels the playing field. It ensures that we won’t be hapless victims. It gives us the ability to fight back to preserve our right to life. Otherwise, we’re sitting ducks. Lambs to the slaughter.
Now, you also say this, “You can’t predict when someone’s anger or resentment will become so deep that they want to kill another person.” That’s true, you can’t predict who is going to do what, when. And since we can’t predict the future and since police are not omnipresent, what other choice do we have then to arm ourselves and to prepare for the worst (while hoping for the best)? There is a reason why the following is sage advice: If you want peace, prepare for war.
You go on to say that we should monitor all gun owners, but even if we did, the government can’t be everywhere at once. And aside from the obvious concerns about extraconstitutional surveillance that monitoring raises, what you fail to grasp is this underlying truth: violence is inevitable. It doesn’t matter what laws are on the books. Bad people will continue to do bad things to good people. Ergo, good people must have a way to fight back. Our founders and framers understood this concept quite well (along with the notion that governments have a tendency to bend toward tyranny over time). It’s why they put the 2A in our Constitution.
Quite simply put, our right to life is utterly contingent upon our untrammeled right to defend ourselves. When you place limits on the latter you indubitably imperil the former.