(I swear a lot in this post. Please keep reading to the end.)
How in the fuck have we regressed, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, to the point where we keep adding more and more guns, and more powerful guns, and the fucking death toll keeps going up, and we don't wake the fuck up and realize we're going in the wrong direction?
|From the Daily and Sunday Express|
Oh, I know, 2nd amendment. "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." We hear a lot about the "not being infringed" part, but not so much about the "necessary to the security of a free state" part, or the "well regulated part." Do some people need to own guns? Yes, that does add to our security. Should there be registration and training that goes along with that security? Fuck, yes. Should there be regulations to guide the use of guns in ways that are helpful, not harmful, to society? You fucking bet. Should there be screening and laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who can't be a part of a well regulated force? Why the fuck not?
We've reached an incredible level of tolerance for gun-rights groups, particularly the fucking NRA, pushing to remove any limits on personal gun ownership, and using fear and hatred to sell more fucking guns. Have you seen their fucking ad that sneers at and whips up irrational fears about "the liberals" to get you to buy more, bigger fucking guns in resistance? Let me tell you something. This is incredibly fucking stupid and unbelievably fucking irresponsible. If you believe this ad - no, I'll go further; if you aren't embarrassed by this ad - then you've been manipulated into an alternate fucking universe. I am a liberal. I hang around with other liberals. Sometimes I even work on organizing things with other liberals (although less than you might think, because I can't stand political parties). Contrary to what this fucking ad says, I do not hate America, I'm not cheering for ISIS or communism or chaos or anarchy, and I don't want to take away your way of life and everything you hold dear. You know what I do fucking want? I want a society where everybody has enough to eat, a safe place to live, room to raise their family like they want, freedom to be who they are, and encouragement to make a positive difference in their own way. How fucking scary is that?!
There's also a lot of nonsense going around about how all these fucking guns are making us safer. Sorry, you're exactly fucking wrong. If you're still quoting the book More Guns, Less Crime, do some research from different sources about its statistics. Or just look at a catalog of gun violence. In these recent years, with restrictions removed and concealed-carry permits increasing, the Gun Violence Archive (http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/past-tolls) reports increases in the number of incidents, number of injuries, and number of deaths from 2014 to 2015 to 2016 - and 2017 is well on its way to setting even higher numbers. We're fucking killing ourselves.
And don't tell me I have to be a fucking gun expert to propose gun control. I'm not an expert in nuclear bombs, but I know I don't want a bunch of them in Kim Jung Un's hands. Do details have to be worked out by people who are gun experts? Of fucking course. But it doesn't take a fucking expert to look at the way things are going and say, "What the fuck? Enough!" We are already way down the fucking path of having too many fucking guns and too much fucking firepower out there. Let's cut down the increase, so we can have some honest fucking conversation about how we can rein it all in before we all blow each other's fucking heads off.
There are proposals being floated to allow concealed carry in more places (schools! churches! why not fucking everywhere?), do away with bans on high-powered assault rifles, allow silencers in more places. While some of us might say "What the fuck?" at any time, these few hours right after our deadliest fucking mass shooting (I should say, deadliest fucking mass shooting yet) represent a time when the NRA has paused running its ad, and sponsors of these measures have delayed bringing them up for a vote. "It's not time to politicize guns, so soon after a tragedy." Well, fuck that! Politics is what we call it when we make decisions about how to live together in a society. The fucking tragedy is that we can't seem to have that conversation all the time. In the wake of so many gun deaths, this is the perfect fucking time to talk about the broken fucking system that lets all these fucking guns get out there and gets people so fucking passionate about them, while the problem just keeps getting fucking worse.
You might have heard about the words of Caleb Keeter, a member of the Josh Abbott Band playing in the concert the night of the shootings. Take a look at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/10/02/i-cannot-express-how-wrong-i-was-country-guitarist-changes-mind-on-gun-control-after-vegas/ and read for yourself. The bottom line:
"I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with [Concealed Handgun Licenses], and legal firearms on the bus ... They were useless ... We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power. Enough is enough. Writing my parents and the love of my life a goodbye last night and a living will because I felt like I wasn’t going to live through the night was enough for me to realize that this is completely and totally out of hand. These rounds were just powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this fucking coward received shrapnel wounds. We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it. We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac."You got that fucking right, Caleb Keeter.
Or you might have heard about the words of Bill O'Reilly, who said, "This is the price of freedom." He could not be more fucking wrong. Mass shootings are the price of a way-too-powerful gun lobby and a way-too-fearful-and-money-grubbing political systems. How can you fucking call it freedom when we're living in more danger and fear all the time? We're making our own fucking prison here.
Or maybe you heard the words of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said, "There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country.” Okay, Bill O'Reilly, I apologize - she may be even more wrong than you. Should we unite as a country in grieving for the dead? Of fucking course. Should we unite against the evil (even Donald Trump used that word to describe the shootings) of mass shootings? Abso-fucking-lutely. But to unite in saying this is the wrong time to try to set things right, and work to see that more people aren't killed in the same way? Sorry, that would be fucking evil in itself.
At least 59 people are dead, hundreds wounded. Have you heard the words of their spouses, parents, children, friends? Have you heard the stories of what good people they were, how they represented the best of America by giving of themselves for the good of others? Do you honor them for that, and want us to do better?
Me too. Let's wake the fuck up. Open our fucking eyes and see that we've hit a point where dozens of innocent lives can be fucking snuffed out in a moment, because we're too wrapped up in fucking gun rights and making fucking enemies of each other to pause for a fucking moment and have a fucking conversation about how to do a little fucking better. Let's not wait until it's our loved ones getting shot.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope you'll use your own words, voice, vote, and influence with politicians to say enough. Observe a moment of silence if you feel it's right, but follow it up with a lot of moments of speaking out. Let's rein in this gun violence.
About the swearing: I used the f-word 59 times in this piece. (And quoted it once in what Caleb Keeter wrote.) Did that bother you? Distract you? Offend you? Well, that's nothing compared to the bother and offense of the loved ones of those 59 people who are now dead. If we can go on about our day after hearing of the needless, senseless deaths of 59 people, but be shocked or shaken up by a pastor dropping the f-bomb, that's an indicator that we've been conditioned to pay attention to the wrong things.
Please be a part of making things better.
Some other resources: