we’re the butt of the joke, and we don’t care

Please watch the videos as they are part of the post!

As a blogger in the United States, it would seem negligent to avoid the topic of the recent shooting in Las Vegas. Everyone wants to voice their opinion on that, right? Well . . .

Those of you who know me know that I don’t like controversy — especially here on my blog. It has taken me a few days to collect my thoughts. If I’m going to approach this topic at all, I’d better have thought things through, right?

This time, however, the more I’ve thought, and the more arguments I’ve heard for and against stricter gun control, the more hopeless I’ve felt. Even when presented with statistics proving the relationship between the growing number of guns and gun-related deaths in the United States, a large percent of the population still feel their rights are being violated if laws are passed to make it harder to obtain guns. Many of these people grew up with guns. Many shot guns in their backyards as kids. Many enjoy hunting. Many want to be able to protect their families if someone ever invades their homes.

Okay, I get that. I do. But what about the other side of the coin?

It occurred to me on a run the other night. I have this bad tendency to run later than I should, and it’s crossed my mind that someone could pull out a gun out and shoot me through their car window at any time. It’s an awareness I’ve grown used to, but it was something of an epiphany when I realized recently that, if I were in Australia, for example, this fear would be unfounded.

But the problem isn’t guns, people say. Guns don’t shoot people, people shoot people.

Umm, exactly.

But even if you take away guns, crazy people are still going to kill people. They can use knives, bombs, cars, all kinds of other sh*t.

True. You’re absolutely right. Stricter gun laws won’t keep crazy people from doing crazy things. But, as was illustrated in the video at the beginning, there is no disputing that more guns means more deaths, period. Also, it’s interesting that driving is a “privilege” while owning a gun is a “right,” is it not?

Capture2

So what do I propose? I have no idea. I’m just tired of being laughed at. I’ve talked to a number of friends around the world who can’t understand America’s obsession with guns and denial of their harm in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. I also agree with an American friend who referenced The Onion on his facebook page recently.

Capture

“This is an associated cost of the 2nd amendment and the culture that has grown up around it. So far, it seems to be a cost Americans are willing to bear. If that continues to be the case, at some point the calls for prayer, thoughts, and sympathy following yet another tragic incident of mass gun violence begin to ring very hollow indeed.”

I’ll close with a video from Trae Crowder* **, the “Liberal Redneck,” an up-and-coming comedian who’s making a career in Hollywood by playing off of his Southern roots. (I actually hesitate to do so. Studying Rhetoric has increased my awareness of the damage labeling does and the ways in which it perpetuates stereotypes and other negative phenomenons in society. It cannot be denied that stereotypes do exist, however, and Crowder contests pro-gun arguments from a perspective I cannot, as I have never owned a gun and originate from the “left coast,” “wrong coast,” and the “land of fruits and nuts” [a.k.a. California].)

 

*Interestingly, in researching Crowder, I realized he’ll be speaking in downtown Knoxville tonight and tomorrow night. You’d better believe I just bought my ticket. (There are some real benefits to living in a college town!)

**Please note that some may find Crowder’s language offensive. He makes some d*mn good points, though, and while I may not agree with everything he says, I appreciate his perspective.

 

p.s. You’ll only give an angel wings if you’re respectful of others’ perspectives in the comments section. 😂

 

 

 

16 thoughts

  1. There is a huge fallacy that a hero with a gun will rise up out of the crowd and swoop in to save the day. It is a plain fantasy.

    I respect law enforcement. Many of the gun owners claim they do too. I feel it is downright negligent to place a member of law enforcement in a huge disadvantage (disadvantages in these cases are death sentences) because the shooter has armor piercing bullets and is wearing a flack jacket.

    This is not about owning a hunting rifle. It is about owning a munitions depot.

    • Agreed. It is also tragic that an innocent man could be shot by a law enforcement officer because he “might” have a gun, a scenario that happens here every day.

  2. As an Australian, I can simply say two weeks after Port Arthur (1996) our conservative government enacted sweeping gun reform, buying back weapons and draining cities and towns of an ocean of guns. We have not had a massacre since.

    From the Washington Post

    So what have the Australian laws actually done for homicide and suicide rates? Howard cites a study (pdf) by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University finding that the firearm homicide rate fell by 59 percent, and the firearm suicide rate fell by 65 percent, in the decade after the law was introduced, without a parallel increase in non-firearm homicides and suicides. That provides strong circumstantial evidence for the law’s effectiveness.

  3. One of the aspects of this you should be aware of is that the culture surrounding guns in America is based on a mythology about what the 2nd Amendment means. Those who support unlimited gun ownership, like the NRA, pay attention to only one clause of the Amendment, ignore the rest. And also ignore the history and the reason for the 2nd Amendment. I had this epiphany since the Las Vegas shooting. This country was originally formed under the Articles of Confederation, which created a very weak federal government and, essentially, independent states. After a few years of that, the founders of the country realized this was unworkable. A nation made up of independent states. How the hell does that make sense? So they got rid of the Articles of Confederation and replaced it with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The new structure created a stronger federal government. Yes, the states still had a lot of rights, but the federal government was stronger. One of the things they did was adopt the Bill of Rights, rights held by individuals that could not be violated by Congress. For decades, these were rights that States could infringe if they so chose to do. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that the 14th Amendment was adopted and then over the decades that followed the Supreme Court extended the protections of various individual rights to state action as well.

    But, what was the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. It references a well-regulated militia. Back then, militias were essentially armies created by the States. There wasn’t really any kind of national military force. If you go to Gettsyburg, look at all of the monuments. They are tributes to all of the state military forces that fought there. So, again, what does this mean for the 2nd Amendment? The purpose wasn’t to preserve each individual the right to keep and bear whatever arms they want. The purpose was to provide the States the continued ability to form and regulate militias. And in particular, against the fears of a dominant federal government that would run roughshod over the States. This history and the reason for the 2nd Amendment has been completely ignored by the NRA and the pro-gun lobby.

    I don’t ever want to take away somebody’s right to have whatever guns they believe they need to have to protect themselves and their families in their home. What I believe though is that once you cross your property line and are in the public square, we absolutely have the right to limit and regulate what you carry with you when it comes to guns and weaponry. As far as I’m concerned, anybody I see on the streets with a gun (except the police and the military) is a bad guy. I also don’t want to take away the ability of people to hunt, but again there are reasonable limits on what people need to hunt.

    Interestingly, I went on a hike today along the south fork of the American River. It was a new piece of trail I hiked along. I reached my turn-around point and started back. From out of the brush stepped a man with a rifle with a scope. He appeared to be a hunter. I don’t care. I didn’t want to be anywhere near him. When I got back to the parking lot, I asked somebody if they knew if hunting was legal there. He said it was because it is BLM land (Bureau of Land Management). I marvelled at the idea that hunting would be legal in an area filled with hiking trails that are busy on weekends like this one. I probably saw 20-30 people on the trail in the 90 minutes I was there. How does that make any sense at all?

    • Thanks for that explanation, Mark… It’s been a while since I’ve visited that part of American history, and yet I knew instinctively that the reason behind the second amendment was not so that just anyone could purchase an AK-47 — or ten of them — and use them whenever and however they liked. A well-regulated militia back then was a bunch of men with muskets.

      I don’t see why gun ownership should be a right if a driver’s license is not. That said, if you prove you are worthy, then hell yes, by all means get your gun and protect your family. I also agree that it’s absurd that hunting should be allowed in a public place or national park when hikers are around. In Tennessee they clearly post signs when hunting is allowed and tell hikers to keep out. That’s out in pretty rural places, though, not at local parks.

    • Terri not sure if you’ll see this message, but I can facebook you if not. I just got out of their show, “wellRED: From Dixie with Love.” It was quite entertaining… I think you’d enjoy them!

  4. Good points in your post and the comments. Over the pond here of course we have a totally different mindset regarding guns, which I’m happy for. But we are not laughing at your country on this issue, just sad for the victims, sad that ‘normal’ people can’t feel safe without a few guns around the house, and completely bemused at the stupidity of not having rigorous background checks on people before they’re allowed one. Loved the liberal redneck! I’m going to leave you another video which I think is brilliant, but there is some colourful language so don’t click on it unless you’re OK with it, and delete if you feel it’s inappropriate.

    • Lol, no he was great!! I agree with much of what he had to say. One thing he may not know about Southern culture, though, is that many Southerners always have a gun locked and loaded under their beds. How they keep these out of their childrens’ hands, I have no idea. It’s just what they were brought up to do.

      And by no means was that video too colorful! I just went to the Liberal Redneck’s comedy show tonight — Phew. Talk about colorful! They were funny and dead on about many things, but I sometimes wonder why comedians love to talk about dicks so much!

      Glad to hear the *whole* world isn’t laughing at us. But again, I agree with my American friend: If the United States government and its people don’t step up and actually DO something to keep this from happening, at what point do we become the ones to blame?

      • I think the people are always the ones to blame, the people who are too apathetic to vote, or vote with only their own agenda in mind, or lack the education to be forward thinking, I guess that’s the same in all democracies, certainly is here!

An angel earns a pair of wings every time you comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s