NORTH ADAMS — Boy, am I tired of writing about guns, but horrible things keep happening and I keep encountering gun owners saying very strange things in response.
If I encounter one more gun owner comparing their plight to a Jew in Hitler's Germany, I think I might just throw up. You don't need to say things like that. Obama has had eight years to take away your guns and he hasn't.
Anyone who tells you that Obama wants to take all your guns away is lying to you. The same with Hillary Clinton. Most of us who want gun control want things like assault weapons bans and more scrutiny in the process of buying guns. That is much different than confiscating your guns and I've witnessed plenty of gun owners talking sense in regard to these ideas.
Put frankly, if your first reaction after a mass shooting is to make a passionate statement about keeping your guns and not an acknowledgement of the tragedy, you may be one of those people.
If you are in the political party that pushes for guns everywhere — classrooms, retail stores, anywhere there are people — but not in their own political convention, you may be one of those people.
If you claim the Orlando massacre wouldn't have been as bad if someone had a gun, you may be one of those people. A cop was there with a gun. You are wrong.
If you are in a political party that is vigilant against terrorists, but less vigilant about keeping people on terror lists from getting guns, you may be one of those people.
If you are the type of person who passes around a meme that states, "If the Orlando Islamic Terrorist doesn't represent all Muslims why does he represent all gun owners?" You might be one of those people. He doesn't. You know that's not what anyone is saying and you are creating a false equivalency out of a horrific tragedy to push your agenda.
If you are the type of person who rails on about Muslim attackers being a problem we need to deal with, but routinely ignore the number of white male shooters as an even worse problem we need to deal with, you may be one of those people.
If you are the type of person who regularly quotes the Second Amendment — "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" — but prefer to not stress the words "well regulated" or "militia," you may be one of those people. And there are a lot of those people, most of them not in a "militia" of any sort, certainly not a "well regulated" one.
If you truly honor the Second Amendment, then you should embrace the whole of it. If your devotion to guns is a reflection of your love of freedom and country, you should live by words that conservatives often spout — "Freedom isn't free." No, it definitely isn't. The same goes for the tools of freedom.
Maybe it's time to require enlistment in a "well regulated militia" be a mandatory part of gun ownership, or at least, assault weapons ownership. The National Guard seems like a good bet. They could probably use some motivated enlistees.
I don't see how this isn't a win-win situation. You get to keep your guns AND you get to show your devotion to America. Plus you get to hang out with other gun enthusiasts and get paid for it. You might even see some action against the enemies of America.
That's a fair trade. We and Obama don't want to take away your guns. We just want you to earn them.
Contact John Seven at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @damnjohnseven.