Advice From a Master

"If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write." -- Stephen King - On Writing

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Guns, Murderers, Armchair Warriors, and Other Bullshit.


I’ve owned guns before. I’ve fired them at targets, and down in the old creek beds, and out in the quarries. And I’ve taken the safety courses. You know, the ones that “responsible gun owners” claim gives them the right to carry concealed handguns, “pack heat” in a crowded office, and somehow anoints them with the ability to know exactly when and where to open fire on a bad guy, thus saving the lives of everyone else and (conveniently) getting them maximum prime-time coverage on Fox, MSNBC, and CNN.
Responsible gun owner?

Those safety courses? Yeah, they’re jokes. “This is the trigger. This is the hammer. This is where the bullets go. This is the pointy end. Don’t point it at anyone unless you mean to shoot them with it. Or want to impress them. Or want to impress yourself. Or want to show off your dick size. Or just goddamn feel like it. Okay, everybody, sign here and let me write up your passports for a better, heavily armed future!”

Yes, I am dismissing them outright. They’re pathetic. 

I owned a pistol into my 20s. At one point I got rid of it and never quite felt the urge to get another. As I aged, the world got uglier. Columbine. Jonesboro, Arkansas – my birthplace, where elementary school kids opened fire on fellow students. Pearl, Mississippi – four miles from where I lived at the time. I felt less and less inclined to tolerate a firearm.

Then there was the massacre at Virginia Tech. While listening to the coverage on NPR, I had my epiphany: it takes a disturbed or evil person to shoot up a school, but it takes them having a gun to do it. 

Now we have James Holmes murdering a theater full of people there to see the newest Dark Knight movie. And literally as events are unfolding, conservatives and gun nuts are howling: “Don’t you dare politicize this!”

In a nutshell: fuck you.

This is political. This is about Americans’ rights to not be murdered in class, or in a movie, or on a playground, or in the streets. 

I’ve heard all the arguments, and I’m sick of them. I’m sick of hearing people defend mass murderers, all in the name of “freedom.” So I’m just going to say this.

I don’t care how you twist the Constitution around. It’s been changed to stand up for the times. As it was written, it also prevented women from voting and blacks from being citizens. We changed that crap because we knew it was crap. However, the “strict Constitutionalists” insist on trying to hold onto their guns due to a half-understood, half-sentence in that document.

And I don’t believe that if you’d been there and you’d had a legal, concealed weapon in your waistband, that you’d have been able to stop him. It is the height of hubris to think that you could. So many of these armchair warriors seem to think that a gun is a magic wand – and they’ll automatically win. Base stupidity. This guy was dressed in tactical armor heavy enough to hold off most cops. Instead, I suspect that 99.9% of the people that wanted to have a weapon there would have killed bystanders and probably gotten themselves killed as well. Furthermore, I expect that the actual .1% of the people who were trained and qualified to actually take out this guy are probably glad they never had to do it.

Lastly, I want to say this. I hear again and again and again about outlawing guns being a “slippery slope toward giving up your other freedoms.”

Bullshit. Total, complete, utter bullshit.

The slippery slope argument almost never stands up, but in this case it’s the fact that the gun nuts have it wrong. Owning a gun in America in these times is the position on the slippery slope. Your insistence on owning a firearm is the slippery slope leading to your right to own that gun being more important than my right to be safe in public.

On second thought, that’s not even a slippery slope anymore. That’s where we are.

Call me what you want. Believe what you want. But I believe it’s time that we joined the 21st century and the rest of the world in getting rid of these terrible killing machines. And if you still want to have them, hold them, carry them, and love them, then I might suggest that Sudan is closer to your mindset than the civilized world is.

4 comments:

  1. If you could wave a magic wand and get rid of ALL guns, I'd support it. You can't do that, so I'll just have to agree to disagree.

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  2. Given how many times we've had this conversation, I agree.

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  3. I am certainly for gun restrictions, and there are certain guns that should not be available to anyone outside of military/law enforcement - but..that being said; as a rural resident in the middle of a cornfield and wife of a hunter... I have to also point out that there are indeed responsible gun owners that use them legally for sport and food. My husband has been hunting for 25 years - only shoots what we'll eat and his guns are locked in a case w/ trigger locks on each of them and ammo contained and locked separately.
    I have issues w/ handguns, and automatic weapons in public hands, but I can't agree that ALL weapons should be banned. Its less black and white for me.
    ~Agreeing to disagree...to some extent. =}

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  4. I'll also have to agree to disagree on this one also, Nick. The genie's our of the bottle as far as guns are concerned. The only people authorities can take them away from are the ones who actually follow laws. The others will always have them, unfortunately.

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