Friday, December 14, 2012

Our Rights and What's Right

I apologize for the time I've taken away from blogging. I moved across the country and found a new job and blah blah nobody cares... Anyway, nothing seemed all that important to talk about, but then today a young man made a little visit to a grade school in Connecticut and shot a whole mess of innocent people.

Now I have something to say.

The other day, after Bob Costas was nearly lynched for having the audacity to suggest that guns shouldn't be so easy to get sometimes, I went on Facebook.

I found a discussion between two of my friends. One suggested that guns don't kill people any more than cars do, and that ultimately it's the people doing it, and why don't we take away the cars since they're also deadly... The other friend said something that I wholly agree with in equating cars and guns is a false equivalency, because while cars (or knives or ropes or whatever else) can be used to kill, they ultimately have a different primary purpose, whereas the purpose of a gun can only truly be one thing. To wound, maim, or kill.

He's right, of course, and that's the reason I don't understand the people out there laboring so adamantly to fight against gun control.

I simply don't see how a logical, evolved person would in good conscience hold out this “right” to have guns as this completely impregnable thing that can't ever be questioned.

Oh wait... I should be totally clear.

I like guns. I am not opposed to private gun ownership. I have considering purchasing one of my own on numerous occasions, even recently. I've gone to shooting ranges. I've enjoyed popping off a few rounds targeted at silly paper plates.

I'm not advocating taking guns away from sane people. Guns, themselves, aren't the problem. It is possible to own a gun safely and responsibly.

Still... I think there are some big things to talk about here that go beyond my personal preferences and freedoms. The public good is at stake here.

So what about that good old 2nd Amendment?

Essentially the amendment itself says that the people have the right to bear arms, and that this right cannot be infringed upon.

Seems pretty cut and dry, but there's also this part about militias. Oh, and this other part where it's about it being a right only when crucial to the security of a free state.

Really, it's not all that clear what it all means. You know what IS clear?

The US Constitution, along with the first 10 amendments were ratified in 1791.

Here are some facts about guns in 1791...

Guns in 1791 WOULD

Guns in 1791 WOULD NOT

Had the 3 guns carried by the shooter in today's violence been the “Arms” our founding fathers had in mind, he'd have killed 3 people at most. That's assuming the guns didn't malfunction. That's assuming he wouldn't have missed otherwise. That's assuming he walked in with all 3 guns loaded and ready to fire.

Once those 3 shots were done, he likely would have been subdued by one of the many bystanders while he tried to re-load the muzzles and that would have been that. A horrible tragedy to be sure, but nothing like what transpired today.

My point?

The founding fathers didn't have 9mm automatic handguns in mind when they gave everyone the right to “bear arms”. They weren't governing based on the possibility of a sociopath with a Bushwacker opening fire in a kindergarten class.

So you know.. maybe we don't lean so hard on this 2nd Amendment? Maybe I'm wrong.

But let's just say I am wrong, and Thomas Jefferson and everybody else would have been totally cool with assault rifles.

Should WE be okay with them?

I know that some guns are cool, and some guns are fun to shoot. I get it, totally. I get that it's fun to go to a gun show and buy a .50 caliber sniper rifle, you know... just to have it.

You know what, though?

Maybe YOUR fun isn't what matters. Or mine. Or anyones. Maybe the safety of the people as a whole is more important than your desire to own a cool gun. It's all just dick measuring, right? The need to own a bigger and badder gun than the person next door.

You want to “protect” your family? I'm down with that. I just don't think you need an AK-47 to do it. A simple .38 revolver can do that just fine if a gun is the way you want to do that.

What? You need more than 6 shots to protect your family? What fucking gang did you piss off? If we're being honest here, if you're in a situation where 6 shots isn't enough, maybe you're into some shit a little deeper than you should be. I dunno.

So okay.. lets say that Glock is really necessary for your protection. Do you need 5 of them? You only have 2 hands, and maybe you should consider using one of them to open the back door and run like hell.

That's really what I'm getting at here...

I'm not against guns.

I'm against owning a dozen guns. I'm against the ridiculous loophole that allows people to buy a gun from a gun show without a background check. I'm against people making a big deal about those background checks, because it infringes on your rights to wait a couple of fucking days for your “recreational M16”.

I'm sad that you need to take classes before they give you a license to cut hair, sell real estate, drive a car, ride a scooter, and bartend, but you don't need to take a gun safety class before you can buy one.

A lot of people are going to blame a lot of things for this shooting, and you know, we'll probably never know whether the guy got a little too bored killing digital people in a video game, or if he was listening to too much metal, or any of the other bullshit things that are always blamed. One thing we do know? If he didn't have easy access to guns, those people would still be alive.

I think it's time to look at ourselves. Just because we may have the right to bear arms, does that mean we should bear like... all of them at once?

I'm sure there are people who will argue that the government shouldn't have this kind of say over what we do. That tightening up on gun control will simply start the ball rolling and give the feds the foothold they need to start taking away other rights.

It's a risk I'm willing to take to prevent another day like today.