Well here we are again in the wake of yet another national tragedy. Another mass shooting, this time involving little kids. I would have never imagined in a million years that a human being was capable of this kind of evil. And to follow suit with past mass shootings, the heated debate over gun control is in full swing before the shooter’s empty shell casings even hit the floor. People on the right are screaming “more guns” while people on the left are screaming “no more guns”.
Before I get into pissing off all of you gun fanatics out there (and I undoubtedly will), I should preface this post by saying that I support the 2nd Amendment. I support hunting and I support the right to be able to protect yourself and your family. Please keep that in mind before you brain dead, inbred Tea Party folks start regurgitating your beloved go-to term, “bleeding-heart liberal”.
As usual, when a tragic news dominated event happens, all the “experts” on the social media sites sound off with all of their infinite wisdom. Being raised in a bible-thumping red state, most of the people on my Facebook friends list are conservative Republicans (many of which are extreme right wing Tea Baggers). It’s safe to say that I’m the odd man out, and I’m quick to get shit-hammered by the masses anytime I post an opinion in my status. So in the wake of this tragedy, I kept my opinions off of Facebook. I felt like it was more important to grieve for the innocence lost than to get on my soapbox. Others felt differently, and here are some of the wonderful insights that some of you had:
1. President Obama wants to get rid of guns and disarm us all!
2. This wouldn’t have happened if God were allowed in schools!
3. Our forefathers support the right to bear arms. Those who oppose it? Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Castro, and President Obama.
4. In the past, countries such as the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, and Guatemala established gun control, at which time millions of people were rounded up by the government…and unable to defend themselves, were “exterminated”. This is what will happen in the United States! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
5. In Israel, there are armed teachers to protect the students. This is how it should be in the United States.
Yup…I’m privileged enough to see this enlightenment on a daily basis. Now please allow me to poke holes in each of these things, in order of appearance:
1. The President does NOT want to abolish the 2nd Amendment nor does he want to disarm everyone. Liberals from the far left do, but not the President. He never once said that…never. He did, however, say that action needed to be taken to help prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening in the future. He is proposing a ban on military style assault weapons and clips that hold a large number of rounds. These weapons were not built for hunting nor were they built for home protection. They were built for one thing only: killing human beings in large numbers (such as in a combat situation).
2. You right-wingers love to pull the God card, so here you go: God is allowed in churches, but that doesn’t stop priests from raping little boys on a regular basis, now does it? Religion of any kind has no place in public schools, PERIOD.
3. Yeah, let’s get our forefathers involved. When our Constitution was written, society was COMPLETELY different than what it is today. Our forefathers were slave owners for crying out loud. When the 2nd Amendment was written, the most dangerous weapon threat was a single-shot, muzzle-loaded musket. Yes, we still have the 2nd Amendment, but given what modernized civilization has become, it’s time that Amendment comes with a few asterisks. And as far as President Obama being grouped with those other guys, see #1.
4. Comparing modern day America to Cambodia and Guatemala…really? Do I really even need to dignify that far-fetched absurdity with a response?
5. We need to arm our teachers, huh? Nothing bad could ever happen out of that scenario, right? Teachers are underpaid, underappreciated, underfunded, unsupported, and generally shit on from every direction (principals, parents that blame the teachers for not doing their parenting for them, etc). They work extremely long hours, have very little free time and their work is never done. To the general public, a teacher will always smile and tell you how great and rewarding their job is…but just ask their spouse and they will tell you different. It’s constant complaining at how stressful and annoying being a teacher can really be (and not because of the kids, but because of all the other bs that comes with the territory). Granted, I’m not saying every teacher feels this way of course, but there are many that do. On top of all that, you’d be surprised at the lack of full disclosure teachers have with their school system. There are teachers that are on medication for depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disorder. Now imagine if any of those teachers had a gun in the classroom and just happened to forget their meds that day. Just because someone is a teacher doesn’t make them exempt from having some deep issues which could have catastrophic results if they were armed.
Look, just because it’s everyone’s right to own a gun, doesn’t mean everyone should. There are several people that I know personally that have absolutely no business owning a gun, yet have several of them. Sure, they might be law abiding citizens with no previous criminal record…but is that really the only prerequisite to gun ownership? I know folks who have a small arsenal of weapons at home, yet barely possess the intelligence to read, write, or put together a simple coherent sentence. It absolutely scares the shit out of me that these halfwits are packing heat. Another group of mouthbreathers that I know are the militant extremist hillbillies (better known as Tea Party people). These are the type of people that absolutely can’t wait to shoot a motherfucker. They don’t dread somebody breaking into their house…they fantasize about it. They are the type of people that will launch into an unsolicited “I’ll tell what would happen if somebody broke into MY house” stories, even though nobody actually asked them what would happen if somebody broke into their house. These people hate everyone who is unlike themselves, and shooting someone is always the first and only option, regardless of the situation. These are the people that post images like these to facebook:
Yes, they also scare me…especially since they seem to have the most guns.
So just because you are legally allowed to have that gun, doesn’t mean you are mentally capable or even responsible enough to have it. Neither of these things can be caught on a screening when purchasing a gun, either. More children have been killed by having access to an unsecured gun in their own house than being gunned down by a psychopath at their school. Way more, in fact. That goes for adults as well. From 2005 to 2010, nearly 3800 people died in the United States due to unintentional shootings. We have a maturity and responsibility problem.
I know what you’re thinking. “But Marcus, what about other countries in the world? This stuff happens there, too!”. You’re right. It does happen there, but the numbers aren’t anywhere close to ours. Not even in the ballpark. The big comparison in the gun debates is the United States and Switzerland. Switzerland ranks 3rd on the list of countries with the most guns per capita (only behind the first two, the United States and Yemen, respectively). Damn near everyone owns a gun over there and yet it has only a fraction of gun-related crimes and deaths. The same could be said of many other countries…they don’t even come close to our gun death numbers. Why is that? That’s the magic question that nobody seems to have an answer for. What is it about American culture that produces some of the most violent, brutal, homicidal maniacs?
Look folks, I’m not claiming to have all the solutions for all of the problems. But it’s time we, as a nation, grow up and start thinking and behaving like mature adults. Often times, it’s only the extremists that have the loudest voices, and get the most press. That only complicates everything and makes matters worse. It’s time to push the extremists off to the side and start getting rational people together and make some rational compromises. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ok with these kinds of tragedies being “normal” news. These things are slowly becoming unsurprising these days, and that’s terrifying.
I guess that’s all. Be good, hug your kids, and take nothing for granted. Peace.