I have assiduously avoided talking about anything political on this blog, but this is something I can no longer avoid. Strictly speaking, my subject is not actually a political one, though some will perceive it that way. It is a social problem, and it cries out for a rational solution. Unfortunately, the problem is mired in irrationality.
I thought after the horrible events in Newtown, Connecticut that something would be done. Surely the country would step up and finally take some sensible steps to prevent that kind of thing from happening again. But nothing happened. Not a damn thing.
Actually, that’s not true. In response to the brutal slaughter of 20 innocent children — six-year-old children! — some state legislatures made it easier to obtain firearms. Let’s look at how nutty that is. Using the same logic, if a homemade bomb had killed dozens of kids in school, those state legislatures would have made it easier for anyone — anyone! — to buy explosives. The utter absurdity of that response makes the head spin.
And, of course, there was the usual cascade of meaningless “thoughts and prayers” BS from hypocritical politicians. We just heard it again for the Orlando Pulse shooting. The NRA pulled the politicians’ strings and they uttered the same, tired, empty crap.
But it was the Newtown incident, and the ridiculous response afterward, that made me realize our society is truly insane. Utterly depraved. At that moment I understood that, for America in the 21st Century, the mass slaughter of first graders is completely acceptable, and nothing should be done to prevent it from happening again. This attitude was put most succinctly by one gun owner who proudly proclaimed to a parent who had lost a child that “my right to own guns trumps your child’s life.” It does not get sicker or more depraved than that.
I finally understood that to those people (and by “those people” I mean the leadership of the NRA and other paranoid, mouth-breathing gun worshipers), gun ownership is not a right, it’s a religion. No human life — no number of human lives — is more important to those people than their religion and its gods. All hail Our Father AR-15, the son Glock, and the Holy Hollow Point!
Like all religions, gun worship is mired in irrationality. Every argument gun worshipers offer to protect their gods is specious. “We need guns for self defense, to defend our homes!” Bull. The number of times a firearm has been successfully used in home protection is minuscule. It hardly ever happens. It is dwarfed by the number of times a gun is used to kill a family member (either accidentally or on purpose), or by the number of times toddlers have gotten hold of a gun and killed someone or killed themselves. Those things happen thousands of times a year.
“We need guns to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government!” Seriously? Maybe that made sense when all the government had were muskets. Now the government has drones, missiles, armored vehicles, jet aircraft, and attack helicopters. Do you really think your 9mm handgun and AR-15 assault rifle is going to do you any good? Think “Waco” for how well a heavily armed group did against the government.
Yes, both of those ideas are incredibly stupid, but gun worshipers cling to them like rosary beads. And note, I say “gun worshiper,” not gun owner. Because I don’t think there is anything inherently bad about responsible people owning guns. Some people like to hunt. Fine. Some people (like me) like to target shoot. Also fine. None of the sensible rules people have been proposing to stem the slaughter would affect these activities. For example, let’s consider expanded background checks. Doesn’t it make sense to ensure the person trying to buy a gun online or at a gun show is not a criminal or a terrorist or a mentally unstable lunatic? Of course it does! But don’t ask for sense from a gun worshiper.
The other day, our esteemed representatives in Congress once again rejected a proposal to make it illegal for people on the terrorist watch list to buy guns. Let that sink in. A majority of our senators and congressmen think it’s not only okay but mandatory that people suspected of being terrorists should be able to purchase weapons. I cannot think of a better definition of insanity than that. The NRA leaders operating the legislators’ mouths say that such a ban could possibly impinge on someone’s rights, but that’s bull, too. They voted that way because they are 1) truly insane; 2) a gun worshiper (see #1); and/or 3) paid for by and working for the NRA (which itself serves as both the lobbying arm of the firearms industry and the Church of the Gun Worshiper).
As for assault weapons, people claim there’s no clear definition of such a thing, so it’s impossible to ban them. More bull. Any rifle with large magazines and designed to shoot high-velocity rounds as rapidly as possible (like the AR-15, the M-16, and the AK-47) is clearly designed to kill the maximum number of people in as short a time as possible. It’s not a hunting weapon, unless you wanted to turn the deer into hamburger. It’s not a good home-defense weapon; police will tell you that shotguns are better. (But, then again, see the paragraph on home defense above.) It’s a weapon of war, and there is absolutely NO good reason to allow its sale or possession in a civil society.
Of course, we have already established that we are not living in a civil society. We are living in an insane society for which the regular mass murder of innocent people — even children! — is just fine. The main reason this society is insane is because of the Holy Scripture of the gun worshipers: the Second Amendment. It is this scripture they cling to when fighting any rational attempt to stem the slaughter. Since they will not budge in the least, it has become clear to me that the only way to break this impasse is to eliminate the scripture. We must ban their religion.
Owning a gun should not be a right, but a privilege. A privilege for which one undergoes a background check, takes a course to learn about safety and about the law, and applies for a license, which is renewed every five years, like a driver’s license. Weapons of war should be banned, their ownership illegal. I guarantee that if these things were the case, mass shootings would become a thing of the past. Once again, people could feel safe in movie theaters, at nightclubs, and at school.
Gun worshipers always fret that the government is coming for their guns. It has always been a stupid, baseless argument, meant to rile up the faithful. In the history of this country, it has never happened. Well, now, because of their intransigence, it should happen.
There’s no way around it. It’s time to repeal the Second Amendment.