I am sick and tired of hearing about guns in this society of mine.
As alone as I feel on this issue, I can’t be alone. There are just way too many people out there who value life for me to be a solitary voice in this forest. But where are they?
It seems many of us have been browbeaten by the powers-that-be and feel pretty powerless to end the scourge of firearm violence permeating our nation. It seems that we’ve been conditioned to believe that somehow, somewhere, the ownership of firearms is a right that is sacred and untouchable.
In my mind, the majority opinion on the issue of guns in our society is evidence of a societal hypocrisy that history suggests is the birthright of being “American.”
We’d like to say we are a nation of peace, yet we’ve been at war for a vast majority of our history and, not so ironically, own more guns than most of the world combined.
We’d like to say we are a nation that values life, yet we hold sacred mechanisms of destruction whose only purpose it is to kill something.
We’d like to say we are a nation of high moral value, yet we consider a supposed right to bear arms more important than the very lives those arms are taking.
I’d say we have lost our way, almost from the beginning.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to take hunting rifles away from those who need them to survive. I’ve seen enough about people who live in the fringes of society, those who live in the remoteness of Alaska for example, who need rifles to ensure their survival.
However, does a dentist from urban Minnesota need a firearm to survive? No, he needs it to kill. For sport. Period.
In my many discussions with people who support the Second Amendment, the one universal theme they use to defend this “right” is to protect themselves from government tyranny. In this scenario, I’ve been told that if the “government oversteps it’s bounds, like trying to take my guns, I’ll defend myself.”
I’m paraphrasing, of course, combining all of the similar sentiments I’ve heard into one poignant sentence.
I have one response to this idea of sedition:
You don’t have the balls.
If a police officer comes to your house to confiscate your guns, you don’t have the balls to shoot him and our society doesn’t have the tolerance for such behavior. Lately, we’ve seen what appears to be random acts of violence against police officers that may be a response to what some view as “tyrannical” behavior, and the reaction of our society as a whole has born out what I see as a truth. We don’t have the gumption to resist tyranny, and we don’t have the stomach for killing our neighbors, our friends, and our relatives. In fact, it appears that a majority of us will defend our neighbors in blue, downplaying the emotions that have created groups like Black Lives Matter and reducing their objectives to mere shadows on the wall.
The powers in our nation have become experts in marginalizing any group that opposes them. One need only look at the Occupy movement to see such things at work. In that movement, we saw an oppressive police force easily employed by private entities (while keeping their police powers) attacking unarmed civilians exercising their right to protest. We saw women rounded up and pepper sprayed for no reason, and we saw a mass media all-too-eager to assist in the propaganda that marginalized a movement.
I could never espouse killing as a method of societal change. Personal protection? Of course, but never as a method of societal change. Armed conflict feeds into the vast machinery that is militarizing our nation and benefiting the few in the process. Violently attacking our neighborhoods feeds into a media machine owned by those few in power. Burning down pharmacies and destroying small businesses only feeds into a propaganda machine seeking to turn you into an animal, and those in power into the zookeepers.
Let’s get real about the Second Amendment. Citizens of this nation are not going to kill each other to oppose anything tyrannical. You, lovers of guns, aren’t going to kill anyone to keep them. You are’t going to kill Johnny from the next town over who comes to your house because you are hoarding AR-15’s illegally. You aren’t going to kill Susie Whatshername because she is enforcing a law that makes your Glock illegal.
Hell, if you can’t oppose a law enforcement who allegedly arrests a man illegally and breaks his neck while “rough riding” him through Baltimore you aren’t really going to oppose that group who is enforcing a ban on guns. Fortunately, you simply don’t have the balls, or the moral high ground.
Why ban all guns?
Because there is a certain amount of insanity necessary to own a gun. Again, I’m not talking about someone living in the remote areas of our nation, I’m talking about the dentist living in urban Minnesota who owns a gun simply because he wants to kill something. He doesn’t have to kill to survive, he wants to kill. If there isn’t a measure of insanity there, I don’t know where else to find it.
Suggesting you need to own a gun because you want to kill something should automatically disqualify you from the ability to purchase one. What kind of mind actually wants to kill something? What is wrong with the psyche of a man who looks at a lion, or a deer, or any sentient being and wants to kill it for no other reason than the sport of killing? Doesn’t that alone suggest a type of psychological issue?
There are relatively few people living in the 50 American states who need to kill to survive. Instead, the killing of living beings is more of a statement than survival. It feeds our ego, our need for power, and our lust for blood. Gangs killing each other, weekend hunters killing deer, modern-day Bernie Goetz’ packing heat to protect themselves from the boogey man all have one thing in common; they have a need to feel the power a weapon of death provides.
My question is, do innocent men, women and children need to die to protect this need for power? I certainly hope not.
However, in a nation where we kill people to protect the sanctity of life, it appears we’ve held the illusion of power in a far higher place than we have the reality of death.
So, we need to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of firearms illegal unless you can prove your everyday survival depends on it. Otherwise, you go to jail for a very long time for breaking the law.
If you make guns illegal, only criminals will have them.
Well, duh. Just like only criminals have heroin in their possession. Or, in some states, only criminals have marijuana in their possession, or Samurai swords, or fireworks. Yes, if guns are illegal, only criminals will have them. That’s the point.
A police officer won’t have to guess if your are a criminal if you have a gun. The answer is “yes.” If Smith and Wesson sells a gun in the United States (regardless of how), they are both criminally and civilly liable. I’ve always thought it strange that a bar owner can be held liable for a drunk driver leaving his establishment and killing someone, but a gun manufacturer isn’t when their gun kills someone. It kind of shows you who has the power in this nation, doesn’t it?
Let’s make the penalty for the sale, manufacture and/or possession of firearms so tough that it just doesn’t make sense to break it. In fact, let’s make drug sales and possession a misdemeanor and let those convicted of drug crimes out of jail to make room for those convicted of gun crimes. After all, no one is innocently addicted to drugs, but many are innocently killed by guns every year. One seems to be mostly a choice, the other is thrust upon you.
The time is now.
Well, maybe. It seems we’ve become so desensitized to the suffering created by our love affair with guns that we don’t care much who dies to protect it. A kid just accidentally shot himself to death in Houston while taking a selfie with a gun he and a friend found on the street and no one is even talking about it. Kids are accidentally shooting themselves, and others, with hardly a peep anymore.
In a nation that forces you to wear your seatbelt to save your life we can’t end the innocent deaths caused by a piece of Americana that is both obsolete and deadly to our society.
It just boggles the mind. Seriously. Boggles. The. Mind.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe we just don’t care about life as much as we say we do.
Maybe freedom isn’t free, and the payment for it is in the blood of innocent people killed at the working end of a firearm.
Maybe my belief that the need to kill animals is a psychosis is wrong. Maybe it is perfectly natural for man to be bloodthirsty. Yet, my question is do we really want bloodthirsty people to be armed? Is a catering to that need really that important?
Or maybe in a nation where people blow up abortion clinics to protect life we’ve just lost our way. Maybe in a nation where its leaders violate human rights and make torture almost a necessity while never seeing justice because of it, we deserve the scourge of automatic gunfire in our schools. Maybe in a nation where a CEO can make tens of millions of dollars off the backs of impoverished minimum wage workers we deserve exactly what we have allowed for.
Maybe in a society that sees feeding a starving brother as an #entitlement” that is vilified we just aren’t able to help ourselves. Maybe in a nation that spends more than most of the civilized world combined on methods to kill people while struggling to pay to educate its people we are nothing but a lost cause.
I really hope not. I really hope that some form of sanity prevails, and that we rise up above this conditioned insanity to become a nation that values “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” above all other things, including money.
Let’s just hope, and then work toward the type of society we want to see. We owe it to ourselves and our posterity.
Author: Tom Grasso
Editor: Katarina Tavčar