Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

A Heated Debate

I am opposed to gun control.

Sure I have my paranoid reasons, the idea that I am an American and am entitled to own any weapon I want, and you could probably call me a conspiracy theorist. But my opposition to gun control is so much more than just my own paranoid reasoning. I am opposed because I know something that a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge, the problem is our society has a fundamental flaw. This flaw is so big, so encompassing that mere legislation is not going to change a damn thing.

Sure there is the circling philosophy that we should spend equal parts money on mental health as we do on gun control. I don’t really think this is going to work either. Why? Besides there not really being money for the caregivers in the mental health industry, adding money doesn’t make people who don’t care suddenly care. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve it, it just means that it consumes more money.

For the record, I only own one gun. A shot gun. It holds eight rounds and when I fire it it moves my body about 3-4 feet backwards. It is loaded, I keep it that way because if someone is breaking into my house I want it ready to fire. That said, I’ve had friends walk in at 3 in the morning and I did not shoot them. I have a healthy understanding of how guns work and I have a pretty healthy fear of the weapon.

My partner has a hand gun. When the safety is off it looks like it has horns. He also has his conceal and carry. When he got his gun and permit to carry I spent a lot of time thinking about which hand gun I might like and if I would actually carry. At that time I was running about 6 miles a day and if you have ever been a runner you know that your daily run is your weakest time of day. I seriously considered it.

I decided I do not want to carry a gun on my person. In my personal opinion, when I am in public it is the public who will decide my fate. Seattle is not known for good Samaritan-ship. A girl gets beaten up in our bus tunnel while two guards watch. People could be dying in the street and most will advert their gaze. Hell, the cops here had the DOJ come in to examine their excessive use of force complaints. But even so, if I am being mugged and no one steps in despite my cries, then that is what happens. I will carry my pepper spray, I will carry my stun gun, but I won’t carry a gun.

What is the difference between the confidence I have to fire a shot gun in the home to protect my life and carrying a gun to protect my life on the street? 

I am a good shot, but I am not so comfortable firing guns. In fact every time I go to an indoor range it takes a lot of energy for me to not cry. If you have never been in an indoor firing range then you might not understand that. Something about the concussion rebounding into my chest, the ringing in my ears even though I have proper ear and eye protection, the bouncing back of warm expelled shells. I hate it. I am way more comfortable outside. That being said I want an AK. I would get one and probably not shoot it for 3 years. So what? Its a cool ass gun, and I like guns.

So why will I defend my home but not myself in public?

My home is the most personal violation that there is. If someone comes into my home with the intention to steal, a single rack of my shot gun will send them running. If they come to hurt me and my family, in my own home, I will not hesitate.  On the street, in public, people need to be responsible for stopping crime. Sometimes just calling the cops works. Or saying something, standing up for the weak. Step in and stop the crime at your own personal risk. If someone who does carry steps in, then I will be grateful. But I am not meant to be a protector of the people in that way. Not even a protector of myself.

Every responsible gun owner has felt the power that wielding a gun offers. Whether or not the owner is a violent person or wouldn’t harm a fly, what extraordinary circumstances could occur in a day that would require him or her to discharge a weapon in public? Each bullet represents a life that could be taken. That is not a responsibility for me. But for some people it is and I respect that.

Back to why gun control won’t work.

Number one, banning assault rifles doesn’t stop people from using other times of guns for crimes. And limiting magazine capacity doesn’t stop someone from filling a back pack with multiple magazines pre-loaded. (Virginia Tech for example)

Number two, our society is fundamentally flawed. Its not that mental health services don’t have enough money, though they definitely don’t. The problem is our society isolates us from one another. Have you analyzed the six 30 second commercials that happen during your favorite show? What are the themes you see? Physical health to look like celebrities, financial services to help you obtain more goods to improve yourself worth, or advertisements for new cars or unnecessary kitchen gadgets. All of them promoting the ideal that you are alone and you need to achieve a certain level of success to have people regard you as a worthwhile human being.

If for some reason you don’t fit into the mold of working 50 hours a week and going to school full time to climb the corporate ladder you simply don’t deserve to be regarded as a member of the community. And our communities are so often nicer to outsiders than they are to their members.

Our society believes personal success is the most important thing. Your failures are your own and don’t you dare ask for help. We teach isolation as a fundamental moray. This is why people go CRAZY and kill people. Don’t believe me? China has a country of about 3 billion and they have this phenomenon. They have middle aged men go on psycho rampages where they attack weaker members of society with knives, axes or other objects. The official cause of this is that they have a break with reality because of the intense pace of social change.

Ok, sure. That is just China, they’re communists, who wants to listen to them?

With a population as big as the Chinese I think we could learn a thing or two from them.

Social pressures, extraordinary circumstances that influence an ordinary human beings and creates mass murderers.

Gun control doesn’t change the social isolation that our society so dearly values. Not until we fundamentally reject the isolation and replace it with deep, sincere love and acceptance for all members of our society will we end mass murders. Sure, I cannot prove that. But the only reason I cannot prove it is because our society fears that change.

What will we be as a people if we provide for every single person’s well being from the physical to the mental to the emotion?

What sort of place will America be if we stopped promoting success at any expense?

How can we define ourselves if we have to abandon our old habits for this new philosophy?

I am opposed to gun control because it ignores the real problem. We don’t care enough about others.