Huckabee starts off this chapter with an appeal to those who grew up with guns. He says, “I had my first BB gun, a Daisy Model 25, when I was not more than 6 years old.” He also says he got a .22 rifle when he was nine. Well, I have him beat, because I got my first BB gun when I was four, and I got my first .22 rifle when I was eight. But my heritage hasn’t led me to commit intellectual suicide and succumb to the brainwashing of the NRA, who finds a way to turn every situation, even school shootings, into an opportunity to sell more guns.
Like the NRA and Fox News, Huckabee goes on to compare any and all proposed gun regulations to the Nazi’s. This, of course, has become standard Republican logic ever since Obama took office. The Republican equation is “Where we stand today” + “Whatever Democrats propose to do” = “Nazi death camps!” Republicans tell us that Hitler took away everyone’s guns so he could never have his power taken away from him. What Republicans fail to tell us is that Hitler also dismantled the democracy that elected him, so he could not be removed from power. We need to look no further than the severe gerrymandering of districts, the overturning of the Voting Rights Act, the corporate takeover of election campaign funding, and the implementation of voter suppression laws to see that the Republicans have been hard at work doing the same thing.
Of course, Democrats in power have not proposed banning all guns or anything close to it. All they have proposed is some background checks on gun purchases and the limiting of the number of bullets in a semi-automatic clip to ten. Huckabee counters such a proposal by saying “’semiautomatic’ has nothing to do with the lethality or the power.” This is untrue. The reason it’s illegal to use a semiautomatic to hunt game in most states is because it gives the animal a chance to get away, so the hunt doesn’t become too easy and too many animals die. Pump action shotguns, on the other hand, require the hunter to pause and pump another bullet into the chamber, so that he can get fewer shots at the animal before it runs away. Also, in my state of Pennsylvania, a shotgun is only allowed to hold three shells at a time, so the hunter has virtually no chance at taking more than three shots at the animal. Again, this is so the animals have a good chance of surviving. The semiautomatic is far more lethal than the shotgun, because it shoots 15 bullets in the time a shotgun shoots four. Huckabee, the NRA, and the Republican Party do not feel that humans should be afforded that same opportunity to get away from killers that our laws give the animals. Their policies reveal that they believe human life to be less valuable than animal life. And yet they call themselves the pro-life party.
Huckabee defends assault weapons further by saying, “In a sense, all weapons are assault weapons – even a rock, if it’s being hurled at someone.” This is a foolish point. The reason semiautomatics are called assault weapons is that they can only really be used for one purpose – assault on humans. They exist for no other purpose. A rock, on the other hand, already exists in nature and can have many uses, such as being part of a wall. Pump action rifles and shotguns can also serve useful purposes, as they are legal for hunting, but assault rifles are not. The only useful purpose they serve is to kill people (unless you consider shooting at a target useful). That’s what they are exclusively designed to do.
As I expected, Huckabee then makes the common anti-Christian argument that we’ve been hearing so much from Republicans since the Sandy Hook school massacre: “the purpose of the Second Amendment was not to guarantee us the right to hunt deer, but to make sure we can protect our freedoms from those who would take them away – including our own government, should it become as tyrannical as the one that launched the revolution in the first place.” In other words, it’s righteousness in Huckabee’s eyes for Americans, even Christian Americans, to slaughter police officers and soldiers if our government does something we don’t like, such as imposing a three pence tax on tea, as the British did. This mentality flies in the face of 2000 years of Christian history during which Christians have been peaceful resistors. Even in the book of Acts, when Christians are thrown into prison and flogged, they never even considered killing their persecutors. When someone pulled out a sword to defend Jesus when he was to be taken to trial, Jesus instructed that person to put the sword away. Certainly, in a stable democracy like ours where we can vote for change, we have less reason than ever to kill supposed tyrants. One might argue that a minority will not be able to influence a democracy and will suffer tyranny without an armed revolt, but Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers proved that wrong.
What worries me most is that Huckabee and his Republican friends will eventually inspire like-minded people in this country to revolt, inflicting unnecessary death and destruction, simply because they love their possessions more than they love people. And worse yet, he’s turning Christians into people who serve the greed and violence of Satan, but do so in Jesus’ name, thus destroying the faith from within.