I recently choked down an article from a website that I am not exactly a member of the website’s demographic. The post was an actor’s thoughts on the Charleston shooting and gun control. In short, if someone had had a gun in Charleston, lives would have been saved. This is the same argument many gun enthusiasts use every single time there is a shooting. It may actually be true if this were Hollywood and we were all a bunch of John McClanes. We aren’t though. In a situation like that many of us would be lucky to not go full Mr. Bean.
There have been a lot of shootings in the states in recent years. So many, that people inside and out of the states don’t seem to stop and take note the way they once did. Perhaps a shrug of the shoulders or a nod of the head. Each of these events is tragic, but we seem absolutely powerless and unwilling to change. One side stands up in an act of futility and tries to disarm everyone. While the other side, who seems to fear government enslavement – completely missing the irony of our current situation that includes taxes, loans, mortgages, healthcare and day jobs – stands up and says “No!”
I mean I get that it is a right to have guns and they make some people feel safe. We have had guns for hundreds of years and they are a hobby for some. However, do we really need so fucking many? Especially the ones with one intent and that is to kill a lot of people easily? I really want to stress that I am not talking about all the guns. I am talking about guns that were designed for armed forces and police departments.
Look, guns are a tool and I begrudgingly concede the point that it is all about how one uses the gun. However, there are some guns that were made to put food on the table and protect. By protect I mean deter. While other guns were designed to kill people who were also firing back from behind concrete barriers and couches. The latter is what I am asking about. Do civilians truly need those guns? Professional level guns that have in turn required police departments to get even bigger guns among other scary equipment.
How many shootings have happened where the argument has been, if someone had had a gun lives could have been saved? Yeah, if specially trained racist eradicating deinonychuses had been there, lives would have been saved? If someone invented a time travelling robot to eradicate racist dickholes, lives would have been saved?
None of those things seem like they will ever happen. Especially the first one. How many shootings have happened? How many times has someone present at the shooting – who isn’t the shooter – had a gun? How many times have they saved lives and stopped the shooter? Having a gun doesn’t necessarily equal protection.
If gun is a tool and it doesn’t kill people, then it sure as hell can’t save lives either. People will not be safer, there will just be more civilians with more guns. Some may want to kill people, some may only want to kill people that try to kill them first – which is a line that shouldn’t be easily crossed. They may be trained and licensed, but how would they handle that situation? This isn’t shooting at a target or animal. This isn’t the movies. It won’t be like Die Hard or Red Dawn or whatever they think it will be like. It will be terrifying and there will be two people with guns and adrenaline pumping and it will be in a fucking crazy situation.
We are talking civilians doing things that soldiers and police officers have been trained to do. Some if not many of these specially trained people develop post traumatic stress syndrome. Yes, for many different reasons, but one is the situation of shooting and killing another human being. What if, in the heat of the moment, they shoot the wrong person? Is everyone ready to deal with that? While I am a big fan of living, I for one couldn’t. Judging by how many times a gunman has been met by gun toting citizens, I don’t believe I am the only one.