Playwright David Mamet on Guns: ‘We need more armed citizens in the schools’

Last week, best-selling author Stephen King broke the hearts of many gun owners by lashing out against gun rights and calling for the renewal of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban.

This week, another famous scribe has entered the national debate over gun control with his own provocative essay on the subject: renowned playwright David Mamet.

Though, Mamet’s take on the Second Amendment and gun control, which was published in Newsweek, could not be any farther from that of King’s position.  That is, Mamet not only embraces an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, but also sees it as a cornerstone of American democracy.

Consider this eloquent paragraph in which Mamet, channeling Thomas Paine as well as other founders and framers, discusses the Second Amendment as a safeguard against the foreseeable emergence of tyranny.

Healthy government, as that based upon our Constitution, is strife. It awakens anxiety, passion, fervor, and, indeed, hatred and chicanery, both in pursuit of private gain and of public good. Those who promise to relieve us of the burden through their personal or ideological excellence, those who claim to hold the Magic Beans, are simply confidence men. Their emergence is inevitable, and our individual opposition to and rejection of them, as they emerge, must be blunt and sure; if they are arrogant, willful, duplicitous, or simply wrong, they must be replaced, else they will consolidate power, and use the treasury to buy votes, and deprive us of our liberties. It was to guard us against this inevitable decay of government that the Constitution was written. Its purpose was and is not to enthrone a Government superior to an imperfect and confused electorate, but to protect us from such a government.

Jaw-droppingly well said, as one might expect from a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Mamet continues, talking specifically about the importance of self-defense outside the home, i.e. concealed carry.

“The police do not exist to protect the individual. They exist to cordon off the crime scene and attempt to apprehend the criminal. We individuals are guaranteed by the Constitution the right to self-defense. This right is not the Government’s to “award” us. They have never been granted it.”

Mamet goes on to add that “The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so: and his right to do so is guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Along this line he argues for putting an end to gun-free zones, saying quite candidly that, “We need more armed citizens in schools.”

As far as specific gun control policies, Mamet sharply criticizes the AWB, calling it a “hoax” and explaining that is nothing more than a “political appeal to the ignorant.”  The ban, as he sees it, only addresses the “appearance of weapons, not their operation.”

He then asks the question, “Will increased cosmetic measures make anyone safer?” only to conclude, as most gun owners would that, no, “They, like all efforts at disarmament, will put the citizenry more at risk.”

Indeed, as it has been said a million times before, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

As always, would suggest that you read his full essay and form your own opinions about it.

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Daily Beast Survey on Mamet’s Essay

Writers in the mainstream media have already begun voicing their opinion on Mamet and his essay.  Not surprisingly, most have flatly condemned both.

“Sure David Mamet is incredibly ignorant,” said Geoff Berg of the Houston Chronicle, “but what a hero he is for condemning government racism that doesn’t exist.”

And Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast called it a “bizarre rant,” and concluded that “It’s basically kind of boring; another rich white man yelping about his taxes and so on.”

If you’ve had a chance to read Mamet’s essay, what are your thoughts?

Did he hit the nail on the head?  Or did he just come across as “another rich white man yelping about his taxes and so on”?

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