I’m mad. I’m fighting mad. And these are fighting words. I will not pretend they are anything but (so if you can only tolerate ‘delighted’ Anthea, stop reading). Unless you’ve been living under a rock, YET another shooting occurred in the USA late last week (the 31st school shooting since 1999. That is a sobering statistic) and this time it was not in a movie theater, or in a mall, or at an office, or a place of worship (or or or OR) but this time, in a primary school (not that this lessens the horrific nature of any of the other instances of mass gun violence). This time someone who was seriously ill and needed help (another conversation for another blog) and that should not have had access to a gun killed twenty 5-10 year olds, and 6 adults. And not only did he have access to guns, he was taught to shoot them by his very own mother (who he later slaughtered with the very guns she kept in the house) who was an avid gun enthusiast.
SO, I am speaking to you 2nd amendment devotees, I am speaking to all of you out there who instead of facing that we have a problem, a real tragic epidemic rather, you’d prefer to put all your energy into telling me why your guns are so important and vital to our existence. [The fact that you can even do this in face of tragedies such as this simply does not compute in my head, but I’ve never claimed to understand humanity]. And, I ask you, if you don’t want gun control, then please CONTROL YOUR GUNS. I’m talking to all of you, gun owners, traders, distributors, manufacturers, Wal-Mart and the like. Those of you out there fighting so hard to keep your right to ownership, I say, the fight is now on your doorstep as is the burden. And from where I stand, it’s about time the onus falls on you to prevent the very things you cherish from killing innocent men, women and children. As I see it, if you are not behind gun control in a meaningful way, your gun is everyone’s gun. Because easily purchased guns and ammo are potentially killing me, my neighbors, my children, my children’s children, and all of humanity.
You say, ‘well, I have a gun and I keep it safe.’ Well, that’s great for you, but not all of humanity is so responsible, well adjusted, and protective of their firearms. So what then? Who takes responsibility for these firearms falling into the wrong hands and inflicting harm on others? Cause I know Adam Lanza’s mother cannot take responsibility, as she’s died at the hands of the very gun she insisted on bearing.
As for your futile arguments in which you preach so hard as to the positives of gun ownership (if one person tells me of a heartwarming story about hunting with Dad, I’m going to puke), here is what I ask of you. What good did a gun ever bring to this planet? Truly, tell me a positive story that involved a gun… tell me a situation that will end in, ‘what a great story, so glad you had that gun!’ (Because taking a life in any form even in self-defense is not a story that ends on a positive note). For those of you saying guns do not kill, people do; well you’re exactly right. But you’re missing a very important part of the equation. People kill WITH guns; the gun does not arm and shoot itself. In America people can all too easily walk into a shop, purchase a gun, buy enough ammo to bring down a school and do harm with that very gun.
For those of you saying ‘but people kill with knives, so why not keep our guns?’ (That argument always makes me want to have people’s head checked for movement inside) How many mass knifings have you heard of in the last five years? Look at the facts before you answer that. Guns are accessible. Guns are easy; guns are designed to inflict mass destruction in the shortest space of time. Will people always kill and do hideous things? Of course they will, but as long as guns are around, they are not opting to go into a school with a bag full of screwdrivers, or a flamethrower, or a hundred water balloons laced with Arsenic, now are they? Guns make it that much easier, and that much more possible for 26 people to get taken down in a flash of a second. For a gun was designed to do one thing and one thing alone, kill. It was not designed to hold flowers, it does not decorate a room, it was not designed to be a prop on a movie set. It was designed, when loaded, with the sole ability to take life (be it an animal’s or a person’s). Tell me any different and you are insulting us both.
In my 41 years on this earth I have never needed a gun in any capacity. Growing up, the only stories I heard involving guns were not awash in some heroic situation; on the contrary it was in the tragically sad instance of two people I knew well using them to take their own lives. Furthermore, and ironically so, I grew up in a house with a gun. And do you want to know the one memory I have it, the ONE single memory I cannot erase. It was NOT used by my father to fight off intruders or defend us from a crazed serial killer. It was not used to shoot bottles in the backyard to show how badass we were. It was not used in the name of justice, honor and valor or in some instance that made me sit back and say ‘gosh, I’m so glad that 2nd amendment exits.’ That gun was involved in a shooting in our house, during a party I held. Two idiots (sorry guys, but that sentiment will never change) were rifling through my father’s things, found the gun in its lockbox, took it out, and one of the guy’s blew his finger off with it. And let me tell you, that story could’ve ended a lot worse. So glad that gun was around.
I live in a country (the UK) that demanded change happen in terms of gun ownership and violence. I live in a country where the criminals 99% of the time do not carry guns (the laws are that stiff and the availability that slim). The police on the whole do not carry guns. I do not live in fear of being held up by a gun. And you know what, that’s one of the main components of why I stay in this country (that and free health care to heal the gun wounds I incur in the States). I do not miss my right to bear arms. Cause with that right, if anything were to happen to my child at the hands of a gun, I’d miss him a HELL of a lot more than my 2nd amendment right. In fact, I’d sacrifice my right any day of the week in order to keep him safe (and I don’t need a gun to do this, on the contrary I feel a lot safer there is not a gun in this house) and I can’t fathom how everyone does not share this sentiment.
Guns beget Guns. Violence begets violence. Take away the guns (or at least control them and make it a whole lot harder to obtain one) and you take away death by a gun. IT IS THAT SIMPLE.