“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.” — 2nd Amendment
How many people have to die. How many people have to be paralyzed. How many people have to suffer from post-traumatic stress until something is done.
Those are not phrased as questions intentionally. They are no longer questions. They are actionable statements which require solutions. Indeed many are available. However, people whose IQ is likely equivalent to my average golf score insist on making the same grasping-at-straws, dog-whistle arguments which prevent real conversations and progress from taking place.
Laws Aren’t Going To Stop Shootings
Laws don’t stop speeding either, but we have laws against that, don’t we? The man who killed 27 people and wounded 20 more in Sutherland Springs was dishonorably discharged from the military, and had been convicted of domestic violence, in which he broke the skull of his infant stepson.
Let me say that again: he broke the skull of an infant. On purpose. Not to mention the numerous assaults on his wife and the abuse of his dog.
There is no justification for allowing a psychopath like that to own a gun. Under Texas law, those who commit domestic violence are not required to surrender their guns or ammo, and they’re allowed to purchase a gun once five years have passed. Call me crazy, but anyone who assaults their spouse should never, for the rest of their life, own, purchase, or hold a gun.
“But Brian,” you say, with a hint of pompousness, “criminals will always find a way to get guns.” Yes, guns are available on the black market, but we can make them more easily traceable. And, banning a gun makes them infinitely more expensive on the black market. I mention this because the Sutherland Springs shooter used an AR-15, which seems to be the weapon of choice for mass murderers. In Australia, the price of a semi-automatic handgun is north of $15,000. If you have that much money, odds are, you’re not going to need a gun or commit mass murder.
Good Guys With Guns Stop Bad Guys With Guns
Look, whatever wild west, gunslingin’, boot-strappin’, white-knightin’ hero fantasy you have in your head, won’t play out in real life. What if the shooter shoots you first? What if the shooter is way on the other side of the room, with about 100 innocent people between you? What if he’s got an automatic weapon and you have a .22 caliber pistol? You’re not James Bond, and this is not a movie.
Seriously, WHAT IF THE SHOOTER SHOOTS YOU FIRST? Just comes up from behind, and BAM, ends it, because you happened to be the one nearest the door. You’re no good to anyone then.
Also, in an active shooter situation, guess who the cops are going to be looking for? If your answer was, “someone with a gun,” congratulations, you’ve qualified for the fast money round! It’s absolutely ridiculous to think that the police aren’t going to be suspicious of you when you’re posing like you’re Mark freakin’ Harmon in NCIS.
Unless of course you’re white. Then you’ll probably be fine.
Gun Laws Don’t Help Chicago!
Yea, and you know why? Because the gun laws in places like Iowa and Indiana are worthless. That’s where anyone who wishes to commit a crime in Chicago with a gun goes to get their’s, because it’s so damn easy. Gun laws need to be uniform, simple, and enforceable by federal officers. If I had my way, 95% of the ATF’s job would be to focus on the F.
If your thought process upon reading that included any or all of the words, “liberal nanny state,” then you are part of the problem. Federal laws don’t make our government a baby sitter, they make things easier. Federal requirements for background checks, a national registry of serial numbers, and an explicit list of those not qualified to own firearms that are the same for all 50 states and our territories is the only way that a city like Chicago, whose segregated neighborhoods and gang activity are constantly used as scapegoats by racists who try to claim that gun laws don’t work, is going to get better.
We Need Better Mental Healthcare, Not Gun Control
This is the only semi-valid point I’ve heard. But you’ve gotta be willing to pay for it. So far, no Republican is willing. Their sham of a “replacement” for Obamacare will gut Medicaid, deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, and significantly drive up costs. Meanwhile, Trump proposed decreasing the budget for the National Institute of Health by $5.8 BILLION early in his presidency (thankfully, this did not come to fruition). Yea, way to focus on mental health guys.
Healthcare in general is a huge issue in this country, and honestly, the right of all people residing here, even those who are undocumented, to have access to quality, affordable healthcare, should be the 28th Amendment. Studies have shown that universal healthcare has a domino effect of decreasing drug use, decreasing crime, decreasing the number of abortions and STD diagnoses, decreasing bankruptcy declarations, and betters the chances of cancer being caught early, because no longer will someone wait until it’s too late to see a doctor due to lack of insurance coverage or cost.
It’s funny how the “mental health” thing is only said when it’s a white guy that commits the shooting, which brings me to my next one…
Don’t Politicize a Tragedy
I offer my rebuttal to this from the Cheeto in Chief himself:
You’re more than happy to politicize a tragedy when it fits your narrative that Muslims* are evil (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you believe this, your bigoted ass doesn’t deserve to have a gun), but when it’s a white guy, you act all offended and shout, “Whoa, don’t politicize this, we don’t know everything!”
*The shooter in New York was actually from Uzbekistan, so no ban from Trump would’ve helped there, but I digress.
White murderers have always been categorized as “mentally unstable” or “lone wolf,” but when it’s someone with a darker skin tone, the word “terrorist” is always first out of people’s mouths. The shooting in New York was used as a springboard by the Immortan Don himself as an excuse to spin more lies about immigrants and refugees. This country has been blaming its problems on immigrants since the Irish and guess what, it hasn’t helped a damn thing.
The thing of it is, none of what I said – and plenty of the same points are being made by elected Democrats – is going to change anything. You know why? It’s because too many gun owners shape their beliefs on how they feel, rather than what’s factual. They feel safe when the President talks about banning Mexicans and Muslims, even though facts show that the odds of being a victim of a terrorist attack committed on U.S. soil by a refugee are roughly 3.1 BILLION to one. They feel safe when they have a gun, even though statistics show that owning a gun contributes absolutely nothing to your personal safety.
The gun violence problem in this country is staggering compared to other countries. America represents five percent of the world population yet owns 50 percent of the world’s guns. I, and so many other Americans, do not feel safe in a country where guns are so easily gotten by people who should never be able to get one.
Lay down your arms – literally and figuratively – gun owners, and just listen to what people are trying to say. If you’ve never been arrested for domestic violence, have no history of mental illness, and have never been convicted of a violent crime, then guess what, no one is coming to take your guns! However, so many things need to change for this country to be safer. Some ideas include:
- Limits on amount of guns and ammo you are allowed to purchase or own at one time. No one needs to own a dozen guns with thousands of rounds of ammunition.
- Increased background checks. You need to be willing to wait an extra week before being allowed to purchase your gun. It could save so many lives.
- National registry, with a requirement by federal law that you register your gun within 24 hours of purchase. Make those stolen guns you’re so concerned about easier to track.
- No college in America should allow guns on campus. This is idiotic, and will cause infinitely more problems than it “solves.”
These are just a few of the ideas that have been tossed around. If I had my way, automatic and semi-automatic guns would be banned for civilian purchase and ownership, gun shows would cease to exist, and you’d have to prove that you’re out of ammo you previously purchased before you can buy more. Those who dislike guns don’t dislike your Constitutional right to own one, but we need gun owners to be willing to put up with a little inconvenience to save lives.
Which is why we need you to stop. Just stop. Stop with this fantasy that more guns solve the problem of guns. It’s never been true and it never will be. Making guns harder to get will be much more beneficial than throwing an armed guard in every school, church and shopping mall in the country.
Be willing to listen. Be willing to compromise. Your talking points and your “thoughts and prayers” after every mass shooting hasn’t solved or changed a damn thing. You are not a well-regulated militia, and the government has not become a dictatorship (although Trump is trying his hardest to make it one. Which opens up another can of worms, because while 60% of the country thinks he’s a tyrannical sociopath, 30% of the country – and 90% of gun owners – think he’s awesome. So when could the country as a whole ever agree on when our government threatens our security and freedom?)
Care about another person’s life. Care about your own.
Be a patriot. Listen to ideas for gun control.