Some of the utterly stupid comments I have heard lately have led me to post my thoughts on the on-going national debate about guns and gun violence. Instead of continuing to yell at my radio, television and computer screen, I’m putting some of my thoughts here. I have many more than these, but this is a good start:
1. If you don’t understand the difference between gun control and/or restrictions and an all around ban on gun ownership, you don’t need to be part of this national discussion. Clearly you are prone to hyperbole and lack comprehension. There is no reasoning with someone like you. This, like many discussions, is not something that should be decided by the lowest common denominator of folks. Let the adults talk while you sit in a corner threatening to take your ball and go home.
2. That being said, if you are passionately fighting for the right for people to buy assault rifles, something is wrong with you. Really. The only thing you hunt with that effectively is humans.
3. On a related note, if you think you need an assault rifle to protect yourself for when/if the government comes after you, you are not just paranoid, you are stupid. Your assault rifle will do nothing against the federal government. It has an entire military at its disposal. Do you think you have a right to missiles and drones, too? I mean… C’mon!
4. If you are arguing to arm teachers in public schools but are not arguing to pay teachers more, reduce class sizes, and make sure that every student has updated and accurate books, your priorities are fundamentally fucked up.
5. On that note, my kids aren’t going to any school where anyone other than a police officer is armed. If the principal or any teacher is armed, we are staying far away. There are many reasons why the idea of arming school personnel is beyond stupid (so far beyond), and maybe I’ll get into them all later. But, seriously, if you don’t see the absolute fallacies in the arguments for that, you’re probably beyond hope anyway.
6. The answer is never more guns. No, patrons with guns would not have saved more people in the dark, crowded movie theater in Aurora. It would have led to more casualties. Stop playing this dream scenario in which every person who has ever gone to a gun range can all of the sudden turn into Dirty Harry or a trained sniper in an unexpected, panic, emergency situation while surrounded by innocent people who you should avoid accidentally shooting. I mean, really. I have friends who are trained military and police personnel—people who gun train on a normal and often basis as a necessary part of their jobs—and they would not act perfectly (and in some cases even well) in that situation. But now you think any Joe Blow off the street could? Get real. Oh, good for you! You always get the center of the target at the gun range… the non-moving target with nothing surrounding it, in a controlled scenario where you can take your time and relax. I’m sure that circumstance mirrors what would happen if you had to take out a crazed gunman. /s
7. As noted in point 1, I don’t want to take your guns away. If you’re a hunter or antique gun collector, by all means, have guns for that purpose. Hand gun(s) at home for personal protection? That’s fine too, if that’s your thing. But certain kinds of guns, no one needs to own. And in certain quantities, you aren’t collecting, you’re stockpiling. I don’t care if you think you’re getting ready for a race war or government invasion. My safety should not be threatened to coddle your paranoia.
8. Read the Second Amendment. Then when you’re done, read some Supreme Court case law interpreting the Second Amendment. Then, when you’re done with that, read the First Amendment and case law on that. One thing you should notice right away? Even the most conservative justice (Scalia) says both rights are subject to reasonable regulation.
9. I bought the “wrong” kind of Elmer’s glue (cement glue) at Target last week and had to have my ID scanned and background checked to verify that I was (1) old enough, and (2) hadn’t bought too much of it in a recent period. Same happens to Pop Culture Dad every time he buys his Allegra-D. Think about that.