President Obama is concerned at the harsh stigma attached to militants of the Islamic State.
So he has some wise words for the more narrow-minded citizens, who take a merely partisan approach towards the Islamic State…
Now let me say this. The Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL, call it what you will (perhaps apart from the derogatory term “Daesh…”)
Yes, the Islamic State is a nation with whom we currently have some significant diplomatic obstacles, and breaks in the flow of communication.
At least, that’s a plausible preliminary beginning hypothesis, until we’ve got a clearer idea of what’s on the ground.
Now, listen to me carefully, everybody. Like my colleague, future Speaker Newt Gingrich, I am a realist first and foremost; not an idealist.
So, what’s the situation?
Well, it’s kind of hard to deny we have not yet reached a fully conciliatory agreement, whereby we can find some common ground, and a way to resolve our difficulties peacefully and without rancor or resentment.
However, I am kind of a firm believer in the American way. In the USA, there is no such word as “impossible.”
On that note, I’m sure you will all agree that the First Amendment is a reasonably significant part of the constitutional framework.
It’s really not that good to dilute or qualify our allegiance to this clause in our Constitution more than is strictly necessary for the given context.
Otherwise, we could end up with some problems.
So… I am a firm believer in our Constitution. It’s a good working model, a rough sketch of some fairly reasonable sentiments, which we can all probably entertain to a reasonable degree.
And it’s a nice easy-to-hand point of departure for more serious and up-to-date reflection that better fits our needs at the current time.
Even so, let me say this: “impossible” is not a word covered by our Constitution; neither the First Amendment, nor all the other… I mean all the other bits, which are all fairly important, and which, I guess, we probably shouldn’t all just lightly dismiss, at first blush.
So… we need to find a way to make peace with the Islamic State, whose members are currently misrecognised and dismissed by some of those more uncharitable folks way back home; you know, some of those places outside Washington and other areas.
Now in my opinion, the best way to foster constructive dialogue and mutual co-operation with the Islamic State, is to listen to their concerns, and see what we can do to meet them half-way.
Hence, I am suggesting that any former IS militants who are somehow, in some fashion, regretful of their past actions as IS militants…
Well, there should be a way to rehabilitate these folks. Not all of them are bad people; some of them are a bit misguided and idealistic; well, we can work with that, right? No American should have to live without hope.
So, we can justly ask: what skills do these guys have that will enable them to contribute to American life in a… well, a somewhat more constructive manner, perhaps?
Well, they’ve likely been a bit anti-social in the past, but they must have something going for them.
And my favorite economist, Friedrich Von Hayek, said of some notable figures in the 20th century (or thereabouts), that these folks truly are “high-minded idealists.”
So it necessarily follows from this that IS armed militants can’t be all bad.
Well, what are their skills? For one thing, these people are very proficient in the use of arms.
Now, I would like to say I am a great believer in the 2nd amendment; almost as much as in the 1st.
And for what it’s worth, I don’t think we could ever just consistently blatantly ride roughshod over the 2nd amendment, without further rigorous hermeneutical reflection.
Yes, that’s maybe kind of hasty, and I guess it could lead to an odd unforeseen consequence or two, that are not easy to predict in advance.
So, let me suggest this:
Why don’t we employ our former IS militants to teach our kids how to handle guns?
Better still; not only to handle guns, but much more crucially, to handle them with complete responsibility and accountability?
Yes: the Founding Fathers of our great nation always stressed that as far as rights are concerned, responsibilities are prior in importance to prerogatives.
Act accountably first, then the agency side of things; well, that will all work out just fine.
There might be some truth in the notion that there is too much irresponsible gun usage by citizens in the USA.
Some might even go so far as to say that too many innocent people are being killed in cold blood.
So why don’t we kill two birds with one stone?
Why don’t we rehabilitate former IS terrorists… sorry, I mean, IS militants, while at the same time teaching our kids a more constructive understanding of the 2nd Amendment too?
My gut feeling is: if we somehow do this, no one probably need ever contemplate abolishing the 2nd Amendment. Arguably, such an act of abolition would not be the most constructive policy; whether by vote, or even by decree.
Now, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.
But let’s just settle our differences, and agree to co-operate together on this one.
I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?
If we all somehow keep acting in a judgmental, divided, and partisan manner, I just can’t see how we are going to achieve any meaningful peace accord and détente with the Islamic State.
So, I’m offering this policy to you now, for serious consideration and a democratic senate vote.
And I will say now, that I’m not prepared to take no for an answer.
If you insist on obstructing this peace plan which will greatly benefit our children and the entire international community, then we may have to see if there are other ways of ensuring a more peaceful and accountable culture of weapon-bearing.