So here we are again, in October of 2017, with another mass shooting in America and another great loss of life. Sad to say, it will happen again. And again. Don’t blame the guns, the gun lovers say. Well, why not? Were it not for his 23 guns, this man could not have carried out his heinous mission. Without guns, there is no way he could have killed so many people so quickly. Without guns, he likely would not have had the courage, or even the idea, to do what he did. Oh yes, the guns are culpable alright, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The guns greatly facilitated the killing and the murderous intent, making it quite effortless and efficient. Brutally engineered “improvements” and increases in a gun’s killing power over the years make it all so very easy. Does anyone really believe that the normalization and glamorization of gun culture is not a lure for wannabe killers?
And please tell me, why does any private individual need to own an automatic weapon? For protection? From what, and whom? We have a military and police forces for such protection (I know, you don’t trust them, or anyone. See next paragraph). I don’t hear many stories where an automatic weapon in the hands of a private individual saved an innocent, or innocents, from harm. I do hear lots of stories where they cause harm – and great harm. And even if there are cases where they have saved lives, is it really worth the other side of the coin? The side where some whack-job takes out a whole movie theater full of people, or school full of children, or night club full of dancers, or arena full of teenagers?
If we’re going to buy into the argument that people have a right to defend themselves with ever-more destructive weapons, then where does it end? Do we eventually allow private citizens to own nuclear weapons? Absurd, you say? Well, if it is absurd, then you must believe there is a limit. So where is it? The NRA seems to think it’s OK for people to own increasingly, ridiculously lethal weapons with enough firepower to decimate scores of people in one fell swoop. Does that indefensible stance really make sense to anyone? It’s a private-level arms race, a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, a rationale that the private citizen needs weapons on par with those the government and the military use, to protect themselves from that same government and military. All I can say to that is this: if the government or military is coming for you, there’s nothing you or your paranoid arsenal can do to stop them. So, what was your argument again?
And if people really want to kill each other, make them do it the hard, old-fashioned way – with clubs and knives, or maybe even hand to hand combat. Make them work for it. Make them get their hands dirty instead of hiding comfortably in a hotel room far from the carnage. Make them see, up close, the horror they’re causing, the bloodshed, the pain. Make them be a part of it, not apart from it. Make them settle their blood lust conventionally, one person at a time, and give the people they’re attacking a fighting chance to defend themselves. Do you think some of the overcompensating misfits currently hiding behind their assault rifles would perhaps think twice? Maybe find an outlet for their powerlessness other than the one that uncontrolled firepower conveniently lays at their feet?
Guns are a cowardly way to kill people, and even more so animals, which is what these mass killers seem to be treating people as (hunting is another reason the gun lobby likes to cite as justification for assault weapons, as if deer are such a threat). To call hunting, of animals or people, a “sport” is laughable. Where’s the sport in gunning down defenseless and unsuspecting prey? I’m reminded of a great scene in the movie Crocodile Dundee where a gang of hoods who were shooting innocent kangaroos are suddenly pursued by a kangaroo with a gun (with a little help from the movie’s namesake). Ah, if the tables were only turned, maybe it would be the gun owners who would be crying for armistice.
My condolences, thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by today’s mass shooting, and all mass shootings. I wish I could say it would never happen again. I wish I could say we are learning from these tragedies.