Friday, May 30, 2014

Not One More

It is enough.

We are done.

If you have nothing to contribute, stop talking.

Your opinion does not matter simply because it is yours.

My opinion does not matter simply because it is mine.

What would you do instead?

Does God judge a lack of care for the young?

When did we decide the young are collateral damage?

Inertia is no defense to doing nothing.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

I, for one, was stunned to learn that the NRA used to be an organization dedicated to teaching gun safety and used to favor registration.  The New Yorker

I remain confused as to how and why that changed so radically that in my time, the NRA’s public persona seems to have abandoned the advocacy for safe gun use in favor of the advocacy of universal or virtually universal gun access.

Debating the issue gets us nowhere because it is not actually a debate we’re engaged in when it comes to guns and gun control.  It’s not a debate: it’s a shouting match.

But at the risk of wasting a bit more time, here goes: as simply as I can put it, what if we take the things folks are saying about keeping the guns as givens – that government might come and take what is ours if we do not have guns to protect ourselves, that gun control equals the potential for government taking of guns, that Barak Obama really is the antichrist, and nothing we might do to limit guns or gun access will work anyway.

Well, if our President really is the antichrist, then all these opposition measures will not matter one bit – the antichrist really doesn’t need laws to act, now does he?

And whatever the government might do, the fact is that those with guns who are angry or mentally ill in certain ways or whatever else that leads to mass shootings have already done what they intend to do.  And those folks will keep doing it, so long as their motivations, however obscure, continue to exist and so long as they have access to the instrumentalities to do the deed.

So, when I balance what has already happened against the fear of what might yet happen, I go with solving what has already happened.  And mass shootings have already happened.

And to the folks who oppose gun control, my question remains: what would you do instead?  If you knew a mass shooting was going to happen (and here’s the thing: you do know it is – you just don’t know where or when), what would you do to prevent it?

I’m listening.  Really.  What would you do?  (Don't say arm the populace -- the populace is already as armed as it wishes to be and that just hasn't worked, now has it?)

Here’s what I would do: I would experiment with laws and actions that have the aim of eliminating access to guns by those who would engage in such behavior.  I would be willing to be accountable to my fellow citizens about my own ownership of such instruments (much as I am accountable to you all for my ownership of a car).  I would be willing to sacrifice quite a lot to save children from such horrors.

That’s what I’m willing to do.  What about you?

And please spare me the conversation about what you won’t do or what won’t work.  We’ve done beat that dead horse enough, don’t you think?

So really – if you won’t agree to gun registration, to waiting periods, to outlawing the sale or manufacture for the civilian use of certain types of weaponry, what would you do?

And can someone please help me understand why so many of us seem much more frightened of the bogey man who might come (government take over of our lives old Soviet style) than the bogey man that’s already here (the slaughter of innocents going about their day-to-day lives by their fellow citizens)?

I really would like to know.

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