Back to that Monday grind I see. What did you guys think of creative week? It was pretty fun for me, so I may continue with more creative works in the future. But of course, with a week off more dense subject matter, I have been chomping at the bit to talk about some theoretical stuff. I think I would like to discuss aspects of the Orlando shooting that I left out, or feel like I haven’t discussed fully.
The reality is that there are two sides to the discussion that erupted out of this horrible event. Either we all need to be armed or we need stricter limitations on who is using guns. In reality there are valid arguments on both sides. It IS significantly easier to defend yourself from someone with a gun if you have a gun as well, right? And while I don’t think this logic is faulty by any means, I think that it misses the problem—ironic since the people toting this position probably claim to be such great shots.
To get to the actual point, I want to say that I am wholly anti-gun. I think that we don’t need them at all. Sure, they’re supposed to be used for defense against a tyrannical government, but the same people defending this right the bear arms are also the people voting for a guy that acts like a dictator. Some people just want to watch the world burn. Anyways, before I go off on a rant about political parties, the reality is that, because guns are apparently something American’s really desire to have, it is important to not listen solely to the NRA’s rhetoric that the Second Amendment is solely about the right to bear arms. It does have a fairly strict qualifier of a “well regulated militia.” Speaking that the NRA has not been explicit in the assistance of the formation of this militia, or, more importantly, the regulation of it, I think most gun owners are already outside the restrictions and limitations of the Second Amendment.
We have restrictions put on who can drive and who can fly because cars and planes can cause a lot of damage when put into the wrong hands. Even if those wrong hands are just kids too ignorant of their actions to realize the damage they are doing. By early May we already had 23 toddler deaths that were caused due to neglectful behaviors on the behalf of gun owners. And I know gun owners love the “well we don’t punish everyone when someone is caught drunk driving” argument. But we do—we have cracked down on DUIs, we have checkpoints where traffic is stopped to verify people are driving safely, and we have to deal with god awful looking signs that read “buzzed driving is drunk driving,” in addition to school demonstrations and more. And yet in many ways it is easier to obtain a gun than a car. And with a car it is quite a bit harder to kill 50 people than with a semi automatic gun. So the reality is that the world is safer with a gun ban.
I am constantly reminded of a discussion I had with a good friend while on a trip to Oakland. I come from a small town, with a very, very liberal mindset. Even then, my family is very peace oriented, so I was niave to the idea that having my hands in my pockets can apparently look like you’re “packing heat.” My friend pointed this out to me, and told me to take my hands out of my pockets because it make people more likely to be aggressive. They think “man, I better shoot this guy before he shoots me.” Which is fair, there are a lot of crazy people out there, and I am not surprised that someone would get paranoid. Especially in an area as known for criminal activity as Oakland.
So to make an extension of this, while a ban on guns would not end criminal activity, it would end the mass murder sprees that seem to happen monthly nowadays. And even if guns are acquired illegally, it would at least A) raise the price of the weapons on the black market, forcing some of these people to not be able to afford it. It’s a lot harder to shoot someone when it costs a small fortune to do. B) is that it would make the back door kind of dealings a lot more dangerous. We talk about how law enforcement needs to do a better job at cleaning up the streets. Well make the streets a place where guns cannot just easily be passed out and sold. Force the vendors of these weapons to open an establishment. This will reduce the number of people selling out of the back of their truck, which is good for everyone.
I know that it’s somewhat scary to put faith in a government that has routinely let people down. But a government isn’t perfect. They are just doing their best with what resources they have. And while that is by no means ideal, it is what we are most proud of in our country—that we were able to rise out of the monarchies of the world to a democracy. Trust that the government isn’t out to kill you or take over your world. Then think about lowering your weapons, because if you constantly point the gun at the people around you, eventually one of them is going to take a shot at you.