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Duel with Cudgels, by Francisco Goya

Duel with Cudgels, by Francisco Goya

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746–16 April 1828)

Many fables illustrate the danger of acting without first reflecting on the consequences. Would that members of the National Rifle Association (NRF) could see the current consequences of bearing arms! Without a firearm, one cannot shoot anyone else. The streets are safer and so are innocent little children.

As for the Second Amendment, it was/ is about security at a time in history when settlers were travelling westward before law enforcement mechanisms could guarantee their security. As I wrote in former posts, the US has long acquired policemen, armed forces and the National Guard (Homeland Security).

The Second Amendment being about security, bearing arms is now a violation of the obsolete Second Amendment. Firearms, military firearms at that, are being used causing the death of children and every day Americans die by gun. Consequently the “security of a free state” now depends on very strict legislation in the area of gun-control.


My last posts were about Quebec, but looking at Quebec was a helpful exercise. I came to the conclusion that the students motive for going on strike and flooding the streets to protest had little to do with the increase in tuition fee: $325.00 a year over a five-year period. The current tuition free is $2,168.00. The real motive was entitlement or, perhaps better worded, self-entitlement.

Entitlement is a form Narcissism

In clinical psychology and psychiatry, an unrealistic, exaggerated, or rigidly held sense of entitlement may be considered a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder, seen in those who “because of early frustrations…arrogate to themselves the right to demand lifelong reimbursement from fate.”[i]

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was led to a pool of water by Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, saw his own reflection in the water and could no longer stop looking at himself, which caused his death.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (28 September 1571 – 18 July 1610)
Italian; Baroque school of painters (Le Caravage, in French)
Photo credit: Wikipedia

From Country to Country

We now leave Canada to travel to its neighbouring country, the United States.

It would be my opinion that members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) are also led by a sense of entitlement, not clinical, but nevertheless a group form of entitlement. They resemble the students who disrupted Montreal because of an increase in tuition fees of $325.00 annually from 2012 to 2017.


Moreover, in linguistics, the term fossilization is used to describe a person who, in the process of learning a second language, is suddenly detained and can go no further.

The same can be true of persons who cannot understand that times have changed and that firearms no longer ensure but endanger the “security of a free state.” They live in a “good guy” vs “bad guy” society, and must have a firearm at the ready because they are the “good guy” who may be shot by the “bad guy.”

Such individuals cannot be brought to reason. They live in their own world. To change them, one would require a magic wand, which, for instance, could be — this is awful — the actual accidental killing of one of their children by another one of their children: fratricide or sororicide (the killing of a sister). But even then…

In “the best of all possible worlds[ii] (Candide, by Voltaire), it would be easy to convince an individual to surrender his weapon so that human lives are saved. However, for members of the National Rifle Association, it is not about saving lives. It is about entitlement, a “right” that has ceased to be a right, a fossil, even by virtue of the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment is about the “the security of a free state.” There has long been a “well regulated militia,” so the security of a free state is no longer for a “private force” to ensure.

The Second Amendment reads:

“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.” (Second Amendment)

which means:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state [in the absence of a well regulated militia], the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (Second Amendment)


It is all beyond the realm of reason. Yet the time has come to put an end to a deadly form of entitlement: “we had this right and will not let go.” There comes a point when one simply steps away from the past. But if one won’t, the recourses are the will of the people and the rule of law. The NRA may be powerful, but a group of four million and a half individuals remains a minority.


[i] Otto FenichelThe Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (London 1946) p. 499. (Quoted in Entitlement, Wikipedia)

[ii] Phrased by Gottfried Leibniz: “Die beste aller möglichen Welten” 

artist: Francisco Goya
composer: Maurice Ravel
piece: Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess)
painting: John Frederick Kensett (1816 – 1872)
Micheline Walker©
January 27, 2013