Friday, July 20, 2012

Gun Control Means Using Both Hands

I'll tell you that when I went cowboy hat shopping I was one of only three people in the entire store who wasn't wearing a Glock 9 semiautomatic handgun on a waist holster. I mean, seriously, almost everyone carries a handgun in Texas. And I did not feel the least bit afraid because you can instantly look at someone with a $100 cowboy hat and a holster that cost more than my van and know he's not wasting any bullets unless a punk with a video game fantasy wants to test his luck in a real life shooting gallery. The crossfire would be bad but there will be one or two casualties and not two dozen. And I promise that the trial will be postmortem.

This debate goes back a long long way for me, at the very lip of my departure from Red Sox devotee into a land of critical thinking. Fortunately, I met a man named Robert in 1990. We were both 19 years old and working at Yosemite and instantly the fireworks went off. We debated for three consecutive months on this topic and his arguments will always stand as the best ones I've heard. Or maybe he was the role model, gun loving sane person that I can't argue against. They are also tired old platitudes that the NRA will use for eternity, but they are good platitudes so why change them?

Guns don't kill people. People kill people.
When you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns
Educate, don't legislate

I heard and tried to refute them all because I was young and innocent and my gut reaction to gun violence and drug crimes was, "Ban the guns, ban drugs" and Robert patiently and loudly wore my arguments out until I had to agree that people who were trained with guns and certified to carry them was better than a failed effort to control access to them. Because the cat is out of the bag. Drugs will never be curtailed and guns will always be available to the evil doer. So, what then? Shit, the FBI can't even keep track of 200,000 assault rifles* sold to cartels and later used to kill federal agents. You are on your own. Mama is in the cold ground. The war on drugs is as costly and ineffective as alcohol prohibition in 1926. Gun control is totally useless when it's not effectively policed with security. You have a movie theater where guns are not allowed even if you are licensed to carry a concealed weapon. So, law abiding gun owners don't bring their guns. So the one fucking person who is carrying a gun IS THE LUNATIC. That would not have happened at the cowboy hat store. Plain and simple. No one is going to try to rob or shoot up a western wear store because there is no sign that says "All Weapons Prohibited" The guy might forget his wallet but he remembered his .38 special. Am I the only one who thinks it is ironic that a movie theater prohibits using video devices and those video devices would've been the evidence to use against the suspect? You know who uses video devices in theaters? Movie Bootleggers.

In a perfect world you could keep guns out of the hands of lunatics. Or we could call on Batman to save us. Unfortunately that's hopeless, so the next best thing is to arm every man, woman and child and hope for the best.

Drugs are basically the same argument. In a perfect world drugs would only be used by patients. Since that isn't going to happen then you treat them like any other commodity and hope for the best. Any other policy contorts the problem into something totally out of touch with reality and it really becomes a black market political chess piece evolving into gangs, cartels, mobs and death.

I don't see another solution for these problems. If you live in society then you should get a gun and get trained and only go where you can carry your gun. If you want safety then move to Labrador. If you live in America then arm yourself. It's a brotherhood and in a land of blood brothers that's the best it can get. I'll twist JFK's old words on negotiation into a new slogan the NRA can use.
"Don't use a gun out of fear, but don't be afraid to use a gun."

It really pains me to see semi-annual gun slaughters. We are failing ourselves by raising mentally ill kids in a mentally ill world and we are failing ourselves by not protecting ourselves. 4 year olds and 4 month olds being brought to an ultra violent movie? Is it any wonder that in 20 years the kids go on a shooting spree? I almost feel like the suspect was only doing what he was trained to do by the media...which is to make news. It's really a fucked situation and a real crisis that only a mind-numb nation would ignore.

* Probably more like 1000.

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