As a former gun owner, I’ve finally changed my mind on guns. Not just for myself, I grew out of that years ago, but for everyone.
For years I’ve said we need to meet the staunch pro-gun guys halfway. But after decades of them refusing to budge an inch, I’m done with it.
If they demand it’s all or none, then it must be none.
If we’re drawing lines in the sand, let’s draw them.
Australia and Canada are both great examples, not merely because they “took all dir guns,” but because they still have MILLIONS of guns, but none of the rampant gun violence you see in America. Guns are hard to get, and as such, their people value them and hold them dear. They are extremely unlikely to fall into the hands of those who would use them for harm.
Sure, there’s the odd gang gun battle in Toronto, but those typically involve guns smuggled in from America. Maybe they should build a wall to keep out the “Bad Gringos,” and make America pay for it.
How can Germany have nine bullets discharged in public in a single year, yet in America, that’s a normal amount for a good guy with a gun to fire back at a bad guy with a gun who is also firing just as many? In America, we’re as likely to have as many officers fire as many bullets as Germany or England does in an entire year. If that’s not madness, tell it to the family of those gunned down while standing in their own backyard.
You can have guns in Japan. Really, you can. They’re expensive and require ungodly background and other checks just to get them, as well as ongoing re-certification, but no mass shootings.
The same is true of machine guns in the US. You CAN buy them, but there are strict rules on who can get them, and as if by magic, there are no machine gun massacres in the United States.
Hell, you can even get your hands on explosives, but you have to be vetted and pay for your background checks, and most of all, you have to insure them… crazy, I know. Imagine if all guns required liability insurance so that *responsible* gun owners with trigger locks and safes paid a lower rate, and those who just kept them laying about loaded paid a higher rate.
At least there would be compensation for the families of victims. And we’re not talking about the families of would-be rapists or robbers, those are extremely rare cases. I mean the parents of a kid shot dead by another kid who didn’t realize it was loaded. Yes, toddlers shoot people. Well, they do in America anyhow.
I am a gun guy. Guns are cool, no denying that. I handled my first shotgun at about age 10 and it hurt like hell. I took a handgun safety class at 14 and shot my parents’ 9mm, 357 magnum and others I can’t recall. I shot them all, and I was decent. Not great on the target, but my trigger control and safety were excellent.
When I was 18 or 19, Clinton came into office and the assault weapons ban came into effect, so my parents bought me a Smith & Wesson 915 with a soon-to-be-banned 15 round clip. My buddy Jason’s dad helped me buy another four clips for it, two of them holding 17 rounds, plus one in the chamber of course.
What the hell did 19 year old me need with a gun holding 18 rounds? 18 rounds??? I wasn’t in combat, but there was no such question ever asked or answered. I was responsible, apparently, in retrospect, but what if I wasn’t? How many 18-19 year olds would you trust walking around with a gun holding 18 rounds?
Or better yet, how many 18 year olds would you NOT trust with such a weapon… exactly. Go to a high school graduation and watch them walk. Pick odd or even and now imagine every second kid has access to an armor piercing rifle, which is their right. Drugs, drunkenness, rage, immaturity. They all get guns. If that’s the world you want to live in, you and I will likely not agree on this.
I tried to earnestly debate these people. Some of them are NRA hired guns sent out into social media to sow discord, but the bulk of them are kind, honest folk who just want to protect themselves and their families. It’s a noble goal, and one I can’t pretend I haven’t shared.
The problem is that if you own a gun, it’s far more likely to result in YOUR death than the death of a “bad guy”.
But that’s on the personal level. Yes, your gun is more likely to result in someone in your own house dying than stopping a “bad guy”, but let’s talk about legislation.
The NRA opposes ANY gun rules at the federal level, stating that they should be handled at the state level, and then they file lawsuits against any regulations actually passed at the state level. It’s dishonest at best. They don’t represent gun owners, they represent gun manufacturers, and gun manufacturers only care about moving more and more units.
The overwhelming majority of Americans, and even NRA members support Universal Background Checks, but that’s a non-starter for them. They don’t give two tenths of a pico-shit what Americans, gun owners, or even their own members want. They answer to the gun manufacturers. Up until the 90s, the NRA supported common sense gun regulations, but now they just want it be the wild, wild west.
I am (or was) an NRA member. My parents bought me what I thought was a lifetime membership. When I tried to get my number a few years back, they said they had no record of me. Funny, because we were required to be NRA members to use the gun range. I figured it was a cash grab and refused to give them another dime. Truth is they’d like my money, but they don’t need my membership. They’re well funded from the other side.
So if radical pro-gunners say they won’t give an inch, and that it’s all or none, then I say none. It’s not my first choice. I’d rather meet them in the middle, but if their idea of the middle is maintaining the status quo where kids die at school, then I just can’t let that stand.