Keep Calm and Let’s Talk Guns

Let’s talk about gun control. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Everyone calm down. Jesus. Lower your weapons. Put the guns down. Put ‘em down. I just wanna talk. Why do you have an erection? C’mon, man that’s weird. Everybody just relax. This is a conversation. Yosemite Sam, put away your magic six-shooters I’ve never seen you reload. OK, are we good now? Roll up that “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. Alright, let’s just talk with our words.

Gun control is the topic of the day, and I think we can safely call it a point of contention in this country. Let’s face it, not only do we love our right to bear arms, we just plain ol’ love guns. We love them in movies, video games, and the idea of scantily clad women firing them. I’m just gonna put it out there that no one is going to come for your guns. You can rest easy that your government isn’t going to march jack-booted down Main Street kicking in doors and collecting your guns to be melted down to make handcuffs. Frankly, for a guy who owns a lot of guns you’re a little paranoid.

It is a constitutional right for you to bear arms as a free citizen in this country. Among other rights like free speech, which I exercise until I tear a first amendment ACL, there is no touching it. We cherish them and will defend them to our death, and we have needed guns to do so. Not arguing with that point here. I would kill for my free speech, the right I value more than any other, so I can see your willingness to defend your favorite amendment.

Unfortunately, my lifetime has seen many a massacre and people are looking for answers. The violence and loss of life in movie theaters and schools recently has highlighted the need for an open discussion and a meeting of mind, cooler heads, to try to stop the violence. Some have tried to point the finger at music in the past, some at video games, and others at our terrible mental health system as causes of the violence. Since guns don’t kill people, what is making people kill? I appreciate the search for answers, but music and video games aren’t the cause. Furthermore, if we are talking about our constitutional rights, the Supreme Court has ruled that music, literature, and now video games are covered and protected by the first amendment. Turn around is fair play, gun owners.

If we can’t do anything about media influencing violent behavior, then we need to be open to the idea that maybe the second amendment needs some new interpreting. Here is my position on the pro-gun, don’t touch my rights crowd: If you’re not even willing to hear ideas about limiting gun ownership, tighter registration regulations, outlawing assault rifle purchases, or limiting how much ammunition one person can possess, then what you are saying is that the current violence and loss of life at the business end of firearms is an acceptable consequence of freedom. I humbly disagree with your opinion.

If you want no additional regulation, no limitations, and maybe even want more guns in more people’s hands, then what you also support is that from time to time someone is going to shoot up a school, a theater, or attempt to assassinate a congresswoman in front of a Safeway. That these events are the acceptable collateral damage of living in a free society.

As I said, I love my freedom of speech. I turn back to Uncle Ben in these intractable situations when he told Peter Parker that with great power comes great responsibility. With the power to express myself freely comes the responsibility of such a power. I also must tolerate that other people do not take this right as seriously as I do. I must suffer bigots, homophobes, racists, and fools who have the same right to express themselves publicly as I do. Would I love to shut them up and stop their hate speech? Sure, and I might even fantasize about doing it by exercising my second amendment all over their faces, but I don’t because I realize that sometimes people will abuse their rights. However, when some abuse the first amendment, it’s sticks and stones. Abusing the second amendment abuse ends in the ER, not the opinions section of the LA Times.

The real bitch about gun control is that there is no right answer. This is not an algebra equation. There is no answer for X. This topic is a matter of opinion and of philosophy. This discussion goes deep in to a place that lights raging infernos inside people. This is a question of what kind of society we want to live in? What kind of message do we send to the world? It’s no different from the question of abortion rights or legalizing pot or gay marriage. There is no right answer. We must decide what we individually believe in and decide what kind of nation we want to make for ourselves.

Those of you armed to the teeth who go out and shoot off guns for kicks, who hide behind the second amendment with a collection of 20 guns as a method of “personal defense,” (who are you defending your home against? Nicaraguan death squads?) aren’t going to be swayed. I also fear that this type of thrill seeking paranoid deviant is in the minority. I am assuming there are more people in this country with just a shotgun and a pistol in a lock box in a closet to truly just defend their home. I am assuming there are more non-gun owners in this country than those that are absurdly strapped. I also like to think that many people see these recent tragedies, are reminded of violence in the past, and want to stop jerking off on the second amendment and realize that we have a right to bear arms, but maybe we have a responsibility to think long and hard about what that means.

The forefathers wrote the Bill of Rights at a time when foreign powers could land on our shores and take over a city. They wrote it at a time when government was in its infancy and the chance for corruption and totalitarian dictatorship was easier then than it is now. That’s why you could have guns. To kill invaders and defend your sheep from wolves. Times have changed and with it we must change our view that we’re not allowed to say that the forefathers didn’t have this world in mind when they wrote the basis of our modern society. Hell, they might have even been flat-out wrong.

Guns aren’t going anywhere. The second amendment is safe. No one is going to try to pry your gun from your cold dead hands, so just relax. I do think it’s time though to consider state level amendments and laws. There must be something we can do to affect change in the culture and the sale of guns. You can try to defer the real problem to other issues like violent video games, but guns are still things designed to kill. Quote me stats on cars killing more people each year than guns. Tell me stories about the time a man saved his family from an intruder because he had a gun. Entertain me with your memes quoting Hitler and your 140 character tweets from Nugent and Heston. Unfurl your flags and post cartoons about assault rifles. Go ahead and treat this serious issue with the same respect you treat Twilight movies and hilarious YouTube videos; yeah, that’s how adult conversations go. That’s your first amendment right and I can tolerate it. We are going to talk about this though, whether you’re in the conversation or not. I hope we have finally decided as a nation, with the slaughtering of children, that it’s time we took a little responsibility over our rights. The collateral damage of this inalienable freedom is getting out of hand.

I would love to hear your opinions and talking points on this subject. This article is not one based in facts and figures. Just as with this issue, I am looking at this philosophically. This is where I believe you start with an issue like this. You need to first decide where you stand, why, and need to think long and hard about whether giving up a little can make a huge difference. I am not a gun owner. I’m not a fan of guns, frankly, but I respect and can understand the right and desire to own them. Please comment and let me know your opinion on this subject and any ideas you might have for further gun control on a federal or state level. Opinions by definition aren’t wrong, so there is nothing you can say that is wrong, now am I wrong in my position. We just need to talk. No, don’t post links to memes, NRA speeches, or something else. I want to hear from you and what you think, not some regurgitated opinion from someone else. This is the type of thing where you really need to think for yourself. Hope to hear from you, and please keep the profanity to a minimum.


One thought on “Keep Calm and Let’s Talk Guns

  1. I like my guns. I also like gun safety. Of course the Second Amendment isn’t going away, any more than the First or the Twenty-First. It’s political suicide to change the Constitution (despite it being designed for us to do so when it becomes irrelevant, like…say, when talking about keeping a civilian militia when we don’t anymore).

    I would just like a better screening process before any jackass can get his hands on a firearm. Like a firearm aptitude test, a psychological screening, and a practical safety course. Fuck, I had to go through more to be licensed to drive a car ( which is considered a deadly weapon in the justice system).

    I’m of the opinion that regulating and limiting the inanimate objects is well-intentioned, but it’s lazy. We need to regulate and limit the dangerous amount of crazy and stupid. Those are the only unnecessary things we have more of in America than guns.

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