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"Voluntary Gun Control"

I'd like to say some things about gun control. I haven't followed the debate very closely so I'm hardly an expert. But I'm not just going to rattle off the same old arguments and not consider the underlying effects that my thinking would lead to. I'm gonna give this a fair shake.

I don't like guns. Simply put. I think owning guns get people to make the wrong decisions. I think needing semi- or fully automatic firearms is stupid and useless. I think it's sad that people (children especially) die or get injured because of firearms accidents in the home. I think guns are legally doled out into households where they're used by people who may have the technical and legal right to have them, but not the common sense to use them rationally all the time. I think a lot of firearms are illegal and untraceable and there's nothing we can really do about that. I think people who own guns are kind of scary because there's something weird going on in their heads that would make them want to have one. I think the loose concealed weapons laws like in Texas are scary as well. The people who hold onto those laws with their lifeblood are scarier. Lah dee dah, drivin' along in my truck with my firearm... Did that fag just cut me off? I think the NRA is a circus and political bullshit is coming from BOTH sides. I think it's good that America is becoming more and more wary of how lenient gun laws are. I think it's sad kids are going to school and shooting each other. I think it's fucking cruel and irresponsible for other countries to sit there laughing at the U.S. because they have no gun problems of their own. As if human nature and emotion takes a time out once it crosses their borders or something. I think the whole thing is a difficult battleground and there are good cases to be made from both sides.

With all that bias and opinion out of the way, I can start thinking about some of the factors involved here. Of course, a big one is the fact that the Constitution would seem to support individuals owning firearms. Amendment II, passed in 1781, says, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This of course came at a time when people had tangible reason to distrust the government having just fought for their independence from one. What the clause says to me (and I need to read up on Supreme Court opinions which have established basis for the second amendment) is that there is support for a militia in the sense that should the government start removing the peoples' freedoms that the people have the ability to defend themselves. Well sure, but shouldn't this be done in a more organized fashion? Are there "well regulated Militia[s]" in existence now for the sole purpose of protecting against a tyrannical government? Perhaps we should form some. Kind of like the volunteer firefighters. If the NRA is supposed to be our militia, then God help us all. Seriously. This NRA commercial is a good example of the same political bullshit we hear day in and day out. Is it any wonder people are sick of the gun issue? I hardly think all these individuals clamoring for the second amendment just care about protecting against the government. Seems more to me that they want to hunt animals, or shoot intruders. And that's not the same motivation. Such America-loving Constitution-reading saints of virtue these people are. I'm sure. On these grounds I think most gun activists don't have solid footing.

If people are really that paranoid about a militant government, particularly the U.S.'s, then you wonder why they go on to clamor about the importance of freedom and democracy. Seems like with any government there's that risk, so why not just advocate anarchy? I guess some people do, and at least they're being honest with themselves. I guess. :P

And what about hunting and protection? Why do I hear about the NRA trying to legalize new types of semi- and fully automatic machine guns? What for? Is this for protection? To make sure the deer stays down? To liquify intruders into a fine mist? Again it sounds to me like people trying to keep their toys even though they have no good reasons for them. Only reasonable argument I can think of is that the government would use such weapons on the people, so the people would need them too. See previous paragraph. Use common sense also. The military has bombers, tanks, missiles, bombs, etc. Will we allow an arms race between the government and the peasants?

Why does the NRA refuse to accept that these atrocious murders happen and still push for further gun freedoms? They start freaking out when one proposes people must wait for Brady Bill checks before receiving the firearm. What's the freaking rush? Are there complaints for other things that one must apply for in advance? Obviously if time is taken to screen the buyer, lots of potential screwheads will be kept from buying a firearm, and there's little freedom being given up except immediacy. The NRA as far as I can tell just wants firearms to be peddled on the street like anything else, irregardless of these daily murders and school shootings and standoffs and whatnot.

Granted, it has special programs to help train kids how to be safe with guns in the house. It takes some measures to promote gun safety. But this isn't exactly the same as promoting any sort of debate about whether one needs or wants a gun or not. The NRA's Eddie Eagle program sounds like this: "Here, we don't want your kids to accidentally shoot themselves with your gun when they find it in your dresser, so we'll teach them how to use a gun properly!" Shuddddder. Crack is a dangerous thing too, so let's help your kids learn how to recognize it by letting them use it... Look at the NRA web site -- look at how much emphasis they place on training kids to use firearms. It's fucking scary.

Do gun rights activists realize how much more simple they could make it for themselves if they voluntarily started policing themselves as an NRA movement? How come they won't make sacrifices or compromises? Don't they know that if they don't start cleaning up their acts, the government will only want to start policing more? We see this with the Internet. The Internet is making significant strides to try and police itself so that the government won't try to enforce all kinds of silly laws on it. It knows what's best for it.

But instead we have Charlton Heston sitting with his rifle next to him saying how great guns are and how he's proud to have one. Well, that may be the case, and I'm willing to let people have firearms, but come on. Take some responsibility. I'd love to put a big red clown nose on that guy. Guns DO kill people and for someone to say, "It's not my fault" is just stupid, even if the shooting was done using an illegal firearm. Voluntary checks on gun use would only show that gun rights activists were willing to cooperate and that they could act rationally and get along with the rest of us who think guns are nothing but trouble. That they make no compromises only makes them seem more foolish and dangerous to a growing number of anti-firearms Americans. They're seen more as yokels and outcasts, paranoids who live in trailers and who sleep with their offspring. If they're not willing to put something on the table (besides a shotgun), then no one's going to take them seriously. End of story. It's Exxon not admitting full blame and putting everything on the drunken captain of the Valdez, even if it was his fault. A PR nightmare.

One guy said to me that we should give guns to every student in school. That way, he argued, no one would shoot anyone else because he'd instantly be shot in retaliation. Well isn't that a fucking brilliant argument. Where do I start? The fact that kids are not exactly aware of endgames? The fact that this hasn't seemed to stop revenge killings in Great Britain or Russia or the Middle East or India and Pakistan? Seems to me that the fewer guns, the better. Heck, even fistfights are okay in comparison.

Did you know that every time there's a shooting, daytraders start playing a stock called LOCK? It's a company that makes trigger locks for guns, so that they're safer. It may seem sick, but daytraders only care about liquidity -- the fact that shootings happen so often so that daytraders even KNOW what to do when they occur is what's truly sick.

The other side of the coin. To say that guns are illegal because they cause accidents at home? No, that's not good enough. I cannot honestly say that just because guns have the potential to be bad that they are inherently bad. They can serve some legal benefits. I just as well couldn't say the Internet has child porn so I shouldn't use it. Right? Guns should be legal. Why not? But please, show some discretion and maturity when owning one.

It's all a joke now. A revolving door of circus clowns and midgets who debate about this and that, whether guns are good or bad, etc. etc. Most of America from what I've read has grown to just hate the whole issue altogether. It just comes off as a group of intolerable whiners who are crying because their toys are being taken away, citing an evil government and an evil world that most people don't see in their own lives. That may not be a fair impression to get, but that's what it comes off as. If many people don't see any real benefit to carrying around a loaded firearm (what's WITH that, anyway? it's only more trouble than good) then they're not going to stand behind the gun rights activists. End of story.

Will things change? Yeah, they'll have to. Too many people are dying. Obviously it can never stop completely, since there are so many illegal firearms on the market, but the gun owners will have to decide if they want to take some responsibility upon their shoulders or if they want the government to do it for them. Certainly gun owners cannot completely police themselves, but they can at least take some measures to show that they care about other people who choose not to own guns. I'm all for the Internet, as you know, but I do admit that a lot of scary stuff can happen online. I'm all for the Internet policing itself, and for responsibility to be taken by Internet users. People have to get along somehow. One group can't just get everything they want. As it is, it seems like all gun owners care about is being able to carry them around. Hardly convincing to people who just want to live a full life without themselves or any of their friends and family being shot, or even being exposed to such a deadly weapon. Reality check!

Guns kill. Whether by intention or accident. They kill. Doesn't matter who the person behind it is, or what mental state he's in. They kill. Has nothing to do with legality or anything. Just saying that they kill. So we should take this very seriously and realize that guns are not all fun and games. They should be rigorously legislated because of their nature. If gun owners are completely serious about their intentions for having guns, then having all sorts of laws and safeguards over their guns should not stop them from doing what they want to do with them. And for the rest of us, it would make things somewhat safer and less risky. At least we could begin to tell ourselves that we were doing all we could to prevent gun-related tragedies. Can we honestly say that now?

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