Well, I’m old enough to admit that one of the iconic programs which I watched while growing up was “The Andy Griffith Show”. I referred to it in an earlier post, “Opie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” – which was one of my favorites – and apparently yours as well.
If you remember the show, Sheriff Andy Taylor, a soft-spoken, charming small town law enforcement professional had a Deputy by the name of Barney Fife, portrayed by the recently deceased Don Knotts.
Barney, had he not found comfort in his role as the Deputy in Mayberry, might have had a brilliant career in politics. He was incredibly clueless and inept. The depth of his incompetency was such that Sheriff Taylor issued him only one bullet to use in his service revolver – and he had to keep it in his pocket.
Fortunately, life in Mayberry was, certainly by today’s standards, exceptionally civilized. I don’t believe a weapon was ever fired on the show (other than by the Deputy who would set one off accidentally) – but I wouldn’t stake my life on that. Instead, the Sheriff used reason and argumentation to defuse almost every contentious situation which arose. Violent response was not the Sheriff’s first choice when resolving matters of public safety.
As much as we might long for it, the world of Mayberry is not our world today. Violence and criminal behavior exist everywhere – perhaps most noticeably in our major cities – but they exert their influence throughout our society.
So I began asking myself a question as we have now heard the pronouncements of President Obama on the subject of gun control – or as it is now phrased, “violence control”. Let’s, like the President set aside the fundamental question of the reason the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, to allow the people to resist a tyrannical government. And let’s focus for a moment on an important, although ancillary issue, that we are trying to curb the innocent from being further victimized by immoral thugs.
So I pictured a situation in which a major disaster occurred. Those who are lawfully empowered to carry weapons, our police, our military are busy trying to control the violence and the looting that ensues. If you should question that would happen, look at New Orleans after Katrina and Staten Island after Sandy.
Fortunately, the phones are still working and you call 911. Although you don’t know it, you are on their queue to be protected by the authorities. It’s just that you’re 9,254th on the list and you probably cannot sing enough verses of “Kumbaya” to keep the vandals from breaking down the door to your house before they get to you.
A miracle occurs and an off duty policeman who is on his way home sees the criminals at your door. Like Barney Fife, he removes the bullet from his pocket, places it in the chamber and shoots one of the wrongdoers dead. He is now out of ammunition. As he watches helplessly, the thieves, armed and with no moral conscriptions, break down the door of your home and shoot you and your children dead before stealing your property.
There is, of course, an alternate which might play out. You have noticed an increase in violent, criminal activity in your neighborhood – beyond the capacity of the police to control. So you have armed yourself with a semi-automatic weapon as a matter of self-defense. You have registered it and taken classes on how to use it and practice with it.
The robbers come to your door. You warn them to stay out – but they persist and break down the entry to your home. You shoot them all and when your call to the police is finally answered, they call the morgue to remove those who would have done harm to you and your children.
In the President’s address on this subject today, he used children as a backdrop for his plans to disarm Americans. Enough has already been written on his motivation for doing this that I needn’t add my two cents worth.
But if the honest intent of His Excellency is, indeed to protect the kids of America from violence, he really should spend some quality time watching old episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show”.
Barney Fife was a swell guy and a likeable cuss. But with the one bullet resident in his pocket, he just didn’t have enough ammo to get the job done..