Wednesday, December 19, 2012

If one more person says, "guns don't kill people..." I'm gonna lose my mind

Six days until Christmas...
I am gifting you with this "anti-gun" rant (though no where in here does it say we should ban all guns) that I crafted to post on someone else's FB page. I am heartbroken and I am mad as hell.


I will concede that "people kill people" if the other side concedes that the singular purpose of guns is to extinguish life or create a credible threat that you are willing to extinguish life (Not true about cars, or alcohol, or knives or rocks or fists or even explosives).

I will NOT apologize for wanting to lock up guns before wanting to lock up every person that is or could become mentally unstable.

The youngest and most vulnerable members of our society are unable to protect themselves and/or resist the allure of the gun culture that has been allowed to flourish. 

People are addicted to guns.
People have fallen in love with guns.
People think guns, even MORE guns can fix everything.
We are not learning our lesson, and we are living through the history that we will repeat until we learn that lesson: An unchecked gun-culture results in the unacceptable slaughter of innocents - sometimes en mass, sometimes one or two at a time.

I disagree that this is impossible... "Stopping gun violence is impossible". I completely disagree.

Nothing is impossible...
"Impossible" is just what people say when they don't want to do the work to figure out a tough problem...
"Impossible" is the message that gun manufacturers have spent untold dollars to imprint on our collective psyche.  Whispering into the wind, while shouting from the mountain until a made-up deterrent becomes fact.
Just sit there, 

          No need to stir...
                    This is impossible.

This country undid slavery.
This country reversed the prohibition of a women's right to vote.
This country invented child labor laws, and airplanes, and landed a man on the moon.

Do you think those things seemed possible or even plausible before they happened? Do you think that was easy? No, but there was a moral imperative, a call to action, people brave enough to look like fools for a cause they believed in.

In our lifetimes, drunk driving and smoking in public has become both legally and socially unacceptable. Ask someone in the 50s or 60s or 70s if they thought there would be a socially supported, legal mandate to forbid smoking in bars?!? [And imagine...  Second hand smoke only kills people gradually over a long period of time.]

There is no rational reason for military style semi-automatic weapons to be circulating among the general population. A woman on FB yesterday was writing about how every citizen has the constitutionally protected right to possess enough firepower to overthrow the government. (Ignoring for a moment the counter-argument that starts by pointing out that every white landowner also had the constitutionally protected right to own people of a different race as pets) That is an insane postulation based on the outdated ideology of a group of rebels (our forefathers) that unyoked themselves from the largest EMPIRE of the time.

Currently, WE OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT EVERY FEW YEARS by VOTING and the fact that not a shot gets fired and no one gets murdered is one of the true reasons to get choked up with pride about being an American.

Police officers and soldiers are professionals and they get to keep and use any guns they are provided with to do their jobs. But the argument that the average citizen is safer and can protect his/her family with a gun does not hold true. People who live in homes with guns are more than 4 times more likely to be injured or killed by a gun. And it's not usually the "gun-owner" that gets hurt. But there are countless accidents.

And then there are the incidents of domestic violence that would have been bad but because there was a gun available, turned tragic. People DO die in knife fights and are killed by fists and boots and plates being thrown across the room but it is easier to limp away and survive when guns are not involved.

Also, 30 bullets in a clip??? Nope. I don't care who is holding a gun with 30 bullets. Even a "good guy" is dangerous with that kind of fire power. 30 bullets in clip that can be fired at a rate of 6 shots per second, why should any private citizen have access to that? Why do we think that is a right?!?

I have loaded and fired a single shot musket, it's like 3 shots a minute at most. And the entire time you are reloading that fast, you have to focus a bit and are vulnerable to counter attack. I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said about the Bushmaster AR-15,
"Are you people fucking crazy?!?"

We are a nation of 310,000,000 guns. But this is not irreversible or impossible to fix. I am shocked to see people say, "it can't be fixed"... It CAN be fixed. Australia was an island of convicted criminals; a nation overwrought with guns. The govt changed laws, instituted a buy-back and the results included a 40% decline in the murder rate.

We need to decide to do something and we need to FIX this. We can either make our babies bulletproof, or we can fix this.

We can either lock up anyone that is mentally ill or has the potential to crack up (And by the way... You know who I'm most worried about losing their minds right now??? Those surviving teachers, and kids and parents, and first responders from Newtown, CT... please someone make sure they don't have access to guns on some of the cold, lonely nights coming up ahead for them)

or we can FIX this...

Let hunters have their rifles for hunting. And most Americans support handgun ownership with guns that hold 6-10 bullets, but if gun advocates continue to defend ownership of indefensible amounts of firepower:
assault riffles
endless ammo
one person owning dozens of guns that can be bought through the internet with no regulation
gun shows that do not follow the regulatory rules-
I think there will really be a public outcry and backlash...
I hope there will be.

People do not have a right to have whatever they want at the expense of the safety of the general public. At the expense of the health and safety of children. You can't smoke in a TIGFridays, but you can pack heat and carry enough bullets to instantly erase 2 or 3 tables of families if you feel physically threatened?!?

We can fix this. We need to fix this... We should have fixed this already.


Anonymous said...

Do you own a firearm?

Tracy said...

Short answer = No.

But... (Why settle for 1 word when 500 will do) I was raised down the street from 1/2 doz uncles who are all hunters and taught me to shoot every gun they owned. I shot a 12 gauge shotgun by the time I was 11 and Favorite Uncle stood behind me so it wouldn't knock me down. I've shot revolvers and 9mm pistols and other handguns and rifles of various calibers. I was a good shot. And I was proud that I could hit cans and targets very well.

One time with that single shot musket, my 2 uncles and my father each took a shot at a vertical 2x4 50-75 yards away and 2 missed, one nicked it, and Favorite Uncle handed the gun to me and said to the others, "She'll hit it". I buried the metal ball 1/4" off center and they cheered and laughed and praised me.

If I was married to someone different, I would probably be a gun owner. The allure of something so "cool" and that so many other "less cool" people own... The thought appeals to my ego... It tempts me periodically.

There was a period of my life where i really wanted a gun... I said, "I should have one for protection" but there was a lot of sadness in me then and I didn't really think it was actually a good idea at the time. I didn’t think I would hurt myself, but I was afraid I would end up holding it a lot just to see how it felt. (The way I hold my guitar to feel cool in happier times)

There have been times I've looked at the world and thought, "if there is some type of major failure of technology or 'end of days' type event, the only people that are going to have guns are lunatics and criminals and people that hate women and gays." And that thought has at times made me want to go and get a gun and keep it locked up Just. In. Case.

But I really hate what the gun industry is. I really don’t want to give them my money.
And I really hate what the NRA is- uncompromising, self-serving liars. And I really hate that guns never wear out and die, they just keep piling up generation after generation. And I really hate that we want guns the way we want new cars and video games and guitars we don't know how to play... we all feel so deserving of all the cool toys... just because we can... just because we are like Veruca Salt "I want an OOompah loompah RIGHT NOW!"

There are times I do want my sons to learn about shooting the way that I did. It was really about how to respect and NEVER misuse that much power. And about sport and concentration and about hunting (Though I never hunted.) But they don’t have ½ doz uncles that are hunters… more and more, the people that own guns aren’t hunters… More and more, the people that own guns do it to feel cool.
I’m not a gun owner, in the same way I am not a skier or a pilot. (I’m just not that “cool”) I mean, I would love for my kids to experience skiing and piloting a plane too, and whether or not those things happen to them will not change the well-rounded-ness of their upbringing.

I love my peace loving wife and I respect and buy into her point of view. Bringing a gun into our house invites a posture of accepting the possibility of violence that we aren't interested in. (Truthfully, I am more interested in it than she is) but even if that weapon might somehow "save us" from some other danger, it is a line in the sand I am tempted to- but do not want to cross.

I love history. And I admit gun ownership is a part of our history. But so is racism and gay bashing and lynchings and cowboys smoking and women as chattel. It's time to give up (at least some of our guns) and move on...

Do you own a fire arm? why or why not?

Anonymous said...

I currently own 4 firearms. A 45 caliber handgun which is used for personal protection/home defense, a 22lr carbine, 12 gauge shotgun and 308 rifle. The rifles are primarily used to fill my freezer, but would come in handy in a defensive roll as well (wildlife or person)

I appreciate your feelings about guns, they aren't for everyone. I do feel that all citizens should at minimum take a firearms safety class and familiarize themselves with different weapons and how to safely use them. If the major failure you fear where to ever come to pass (we don't live in a snow globe after all), it's possible one of your neighbors would have a firearm to lend you so you would be able to protect your family and household. It would come in handy having already been tained on how to use it.

Take your kids skiing, it's great family fun! My mom took me when I was 5 years old. I took to it like a duck to water.