I really didn’t want to get into this debate and I still don’t. I think trying to take a stance on policy so soon after a tragedy not only marginalizes the victims but is not going to be done with any level of clear headed thinking. We are all acting and speaking far too emotionally to really allow rationality to play a role. Myself included, otherwise I would wait a few more weeks before posting this.
Because having a conversation about guns without the context of the shooting is fucking awful and in the context of the shooting there should be no one who is saying, yup guns are a good thing. Because even if club goers were armed and shot back, there would still be dead and injured. Violence is always abhorrent. It’s part of our nature that we can’t remove but we should strive to prevent it’s necessity in any situation and grieve when those situations occur. Regardless of your stance on guns, you should acknowledge that had they not been in play here the likelihood of similar death tool was much lower. Bombs and fire take time to set up and without the great equalizer overpowering him would have been way easier.
So it’s beyond tempting to say, what can we do to get rid of guns in the hands of bad guys? Or even in the hands of potential bad guys. It’s a natural response, one that our emotional state almost demands. And yet I’m about to talk completely out of context, which is bullshit, arrogant, tone deaf, and completely lacking in sensitivity or empathy. Because there’s a problem with that natural. We aren’t thinking straight. We aren’t considering all the facts. We aren’t ready for the consequences.
No, I’m not about to list the reasons civilians need guns for protection, whether from criminals or tyranny. No, I’m not going to repeat the arguments about how laws don’t prevent crime. No, I’m not even going to bring up the other weapons used for killing in countries with strict guns laws. These are strong arguments but there are also strong counter arguments for them. Where you stand here is almost completely a value judgement and I don’t think there is a right answer.
Those points don’t really matter though. What matters is that “sensible” gun control laws, which are essentially a ban on certain types of guns, will never pass in America. I know you might think it’s similar to people saying we’ll never have gay marriage or govt healthcare but it’s not. Guns are a fundamental part of the American Culture. It’s baked into our DNA, from before the country was even founded. Guns were necessary for so much for so long and that history and tradition isn’t going anywhere. Our culture is a gun culture. It’s also a Fuck you, I’ll do what I want culture. We don’t, as rule, do well with authority. Again this predates the revolution. The people who came over were not the nod meekly and obey types. They were revolutionaries, adventurers, and criminals. Our country, more than any other, has a culture of Fuck the government and Gun Worship. What does that mean?
Taking away guns will lead to an actual civil war. There are millions of Americans, armed and ready, to defend the “right to bear arms” against any who would take it. You will not be able to just pass legislation and all of sudden have people give up their guns. You will fracture the nation like we haven’t seen since the 1860’s. Only there will be no convenient geographical line to draw borders on. The insurrections will be numerous and spread wide. And many of the people rising up will be members of the armed services. It will be a long, bloody, ugly struggle that could easily destroy the nation.
The important thing to know about this, is that your liberal representatives are aware of it too. It’s why they campaign so hard on gun control, because they know they’ll never have to really try and pass federal laws that address the issue, because if they did, they’d have a literal war on their hands. And if for some reason you think that’s worth it, go look at the death, destruction, and years of ruin afterwards the civil war caused. 1 in 50 Americans died in that war. Are you really ready for that kind of loss? To look around and think that for 50 people you know, one of them will be dead before it’s settled? And that it may not even bring the change you want? Your politicians aren’t ready for it. It’s a talking point they can use to make completely meaningless change to appear tough but they know they’ll never push it all the way. They know there is too much political pressure against it and it’s not going away and they don’t want it too. So they’ll never push that hard. They’ll never give you the reforms you want.
The gun control debate is a purely philosophical one. It really doesn’t matter if gun control is good or bad. Because it’s not gonna happen. So if we want to fix this we need to look at it from other angles. How do we reduce the desire to perpetuate mass killings? How do catch people before we do it? And how do we make our population more safe against them? The answers to these question may not be enough to eliminate mass killings but they are the ones we can make progress on. So instead of spending countless hours trying to debate a point that not only won’t convince anyone but won’t matter even if you do, how bout we try and come up with solutions that actually are workable? Or we can just fall behind our tribal lines and keep repeating our dogma to the world, knowing full well it’s as meaningless as spitting into the ocean.