I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of something to write about, and my mind keeps circling back to a topic I’ve been trying to avoid. I know I’m not going to be able to move on until I purge myself of the thoughts spinning around in my head. So at the risk of putting off some readers, I need to talk about guns.
I don’t know if I have the right answer or idea. But, I know that what we’re doing now, which is absolutely nothing, sure as fuck isn’t working. And when I say “we,” I mean the leaders of our country, because they’re the ones we’re looking to to put something in place to end this insanity. They’re also the ones who continue to come up with excuses or silence on the matter. And until they care more about the lives of their constituents than they do about their standing with the NRA, excuses and silence is what we’ll continue to get.
If you haven’t guessed by reading my blog that I’m a left-wing, liberal, hippie, I’ll just tell you: I’m a left-wing, liberal, hippie. But that doesn’t mean I want to take away all the guns. I’m also an American and I believe in the Second Amendment. I just don’t think it should be so easy for so many people to have so many guns. I know owning them is a right, but that doesn’t mean they have to be so easy to get.
Look, we all want to drive, right? We want to drive so badly that we’re willing to endure the DMV in order to be able to legally get behind the wheel of a car. Why? Because cars are dangerous. They’re multi-ton hunks of metal all flying down the road together at breakneck speed and when they accidentally come together, people can die. That’s why we have to take lessons and practice driving and be tested before we’re ever set loose on the road on our own.
Well, guns are also lethal. Unlike cars, they’re designed to be lethal. That’s their purpose: to kill the person they’re aimed at. Yet getting one’s hands on them is much easier than being bestowed the privilege of driving — an activity which can result in accidental death.
So, if people will work so hard and go to so much trouble to drive, wouldn’t motivated gun buyers be willing to go to the same effort to get a gun? And wouldn’t it make sense to have them do so? I know I’d feel safer if gun owners had to take lessons and be tested and periodically re-tested and have a valid license to be a gun owner. And I don’t see anything wrong with asking people to prove they’ve got the mental and physical chops to be a responsible gun owner.
Along the same lines, if going to the Department of Gun Licensing were as big a nightmare and time-suck as going to the DMV, it might shake loose those people who buy guns for all the wrong reasons. Because if owning a firearm isn’t important enough to you to be willing to wait two hours for your number to be called, then maybe you aren’t someone with the patience and maturity necessary to be a gun owner.
I apologize for getting all serious and political on you. I know that’s not what you come here for. But with Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton happening is such quick succession, it’s all that’s on my mind. I am completely at a loss to explain or comprehend how these shootings can continue to occur, yet our elected leaders sit with their thumbs up their asses and do nothing about it. It’s not even like they try to do something and fail, which would at least be a step in the right direction.
The only factor that remains constant in these incidents is guns. Not mental illness, not white supremacy, not video games — GUNS! And I know my country loves its guns, but we have to acknowledge that we’re letting them into the wrong hands and change needs to happen. Change is scary, but it’s necessary sometimes. This is one of those times.
I’ve written about this on my site too (although I focus a lot on politics, advocacy and news so it may not be such a surprise to my readers, haha). You raise some really valid points, and for me, as you mentioned too, the idea that nobody does anything — and continues to do nothing — is something I cannot reconcile.
Thanks for sharing your voice!