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Its time to stop romanticizing your guns

Gun ownership needs to be sharply curbed. We’ve talked about it, we’ve argued over and yet here we are again unable to actually put the foot forward to do something about it in the wake of another mass shooting in a public school, so I’ll say it; gun ownership needs a complete overhaul.

At this point, I have to wonder, why in the world anyone would want to own a gun for “recreational purposes?” We’ve had another senseless shooting, we’ve had another psychopath gun down a bunch of kids and we can’t do anything about it.

Even the concept of “sport hunting” is laughably oxymoronic. Killing animals out of joy, because ‘we can’ not out of the sheer necessity of the hunt, but for the ‘romance’ of it.

I’m sure people are incredibly romantic about hot rods and muscle cars, but the California Air Resources Board exists now to protect our clean air and help curb pollution. Somewhere along the line, we decided that people’s desire to burn raw gasoline did not trump our rights to clean air. We made decisions as a country to curb these behaviors to improve our lives as a whole.

Cars are often cited as being more likely to kill someone than a gun, but vehicles come with their own governing boards, regulatory agencies, safety ratings, licensing organizations, independent testing and governmental approval before they ever reach the hands of consumers. Not to mention that the chief purpose of a vehicle is travel, the fact that we’re accelerating ourselves faster than evolution could have ever prepared us for is a secondary matter.

Salon wrote an article back in April which examined the black hole of gun culture. The militaristic and, at times, outright aggressive and offensive culture surrounding guns.

Guns seemingly have a built in agenda with them, a certain idea of “heroism” where in the heat of the moment we all know the right thing to do with a gun, we will take back what was rightfully ours and we will show the ‘bad guys’ who the boss really is. We all grew up with stories of the Lone Ranger stories, of the Man with No Name, and the litany of war stories of how a man and his gun can change the world.

They certainly can… obviously. Just ask the small community in Roseburg Oregon how quickly things changed on the morning of Oct. 1

Let’s have another riveting discussion on the so-called “evils of men.” And do nothing about it.

We as a country decry people who fall between the cracks, but don’t help them. We don’t give mental illness the attention it needs. At least that’s according to numerous studies done on the subject of mental health in the United States. But what about people who are otherwise treated or who have their diagnosis under control? The National Institute of Mental health says that 1 in 4 Americans experience mental disorder, do we take away their rights? That seems extreme to me.

We do have a problem with allowing easy access to weapons but that conversation seems off the table the moment a crime is committed. At the same time we go nuts about birth control and demand a ban, we go nuts about abortion, and demand a ban, we go nuts about two people of the same sex getting married and demand a ban.

As a professor myself, how could I explain what I have to deal with, how it feels watching a video and signing a sheet of paper so that I might ‘pass on’ my employer’s liability in the event that something like this ever happened on my campus. At least the lawyers can tell my family I was “trained” to handle a situation.

That’s not fucking normal. That’s not how a healthy society functions.

We could go into all of the discussions surrounding how these copycat killings fall into the same demographic of white young men with access to weapons and a chip on their shoulders, but then everyone argues about that too.

We can talk about “Gun registration” But then people can’t agree about that either. My personal airsoft rifle has regulations against me painting the orange tip black because it MIGHT look like a gun.

What’s the solution? I don’t have one that makes any amount of sense. Let’s just keep doing what we’re doing now so that the next time some young fucked up kid does something like this, we can just do the same thing we’re doing now.

The fact that we can’t even identify this as a problem, the fact the common response is to accept it as being part of the human condition is NOT acceptable to me. I cannot accept that. We’re supposed to be better than animals. Better than that.

I recognize and respect their usage, I recognize and respect that we need to have some method of ‘pushing back’ against armed criminals and the need for our military of men and women, who fight to protect not just us, but others in war torn and unstable nations.

I also recognize that the culture surrounding guns is an impenetrable fortress of half-truths, opinions, emotions, and logic. Something that really can’t be reasoned with. Maybe we can work with it somehow, but right now, all of this talking is doing the same thing it always has by people who might be able to do something.

Nothing

I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that this keeps happening.

Or the fact that it’s business as usual.

2 Comments

  1. Greg
    Greg December 8, 2015

    Please educate yourself and emit your petty biases. Ive read the printed verion and anybewspaper that prints an article with cursing needs new staff. I am sorry your airsoft rifle cannot be made to look real by the way; 1st world issues i suppose.

  2. Thomas
    Thomas December 13, 2015

    Gun control is not going to keep weapons out of criminals or nut jobs hands..

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