Alright, gun advocates, what am I missing?
Where is the anecdotal evidence that guns, and more specifically, that military-style assault weapons are a benefit to society? Because here’s all I’m reading about on the subject:
a) Guns are slaughtering innocent children in drive-by shootings everywhere, many of them in my own back yard: Chicago.
b) Guns are being used by people with mental health/excessive rage/extreme loneliness/hella grudges to commit acts of mass slaughter. According to the Huffington Post, in the past eighteen months, there has been one school shooting a week in this country.
What am I missing?
Also, for my five year old son, “bad guy” drills in his elementary school are now standard operating procedure, something new to the American childhood experience.
I know that in this day and age, when someone announces there’s been “another shooting,” I hold my breathe until I hear the name of the school. I’m in this thing, now. I'm vulnerable.
I know that when nothing changes, nothing changes. In my mind, we have no right to be surprised when another public massacre takes place in Hometown, USA. And it will.
And yet still, the winningest voices in this country scream for the “right’ to bear arms that look like props from the “Men in Black” franchise.
From "A guide to Mass Shootings," Mother Jones, May 24, 2014: Of the 143 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally. The arsenal included dozens of assault weapons and semi-automatic handguns with high-capacity magazines. (See charts below.) Just as Jeffrey Weise used a .40-caliber Glock to slaughter students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did James Holmes, along with an AR-15 assault rifle, when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater. In Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza wielded a .223 Bushmaster semi-automatic assault rifle as he massacred 20 school children and six adults.
What am I missing, gun advocates?
Where are all the stories about where a semi-automatic weapon was the difference between tragedy and "happily ever after?"
I've got to warn you: I'm a tough sell. I've seen the Defensive Gun Use (#DGU) Reddit thread, and thwarting off a home invasion here and there is not enough to balance out hundreds of unexpected funerals for small children. You're going to have to give me more than that to win me over.
I want to be clear as Windex, here. I am not looking for a discussion about that damned amendment. I so got it that there’s a “right to bear arms” in this country. For the purposes of this discussion, let’s push past this Rabbit Hole about what exactly our musket-bearing forefathers meant when they said Americans should be able to own guns.
Let’s leave the military and the police force out. If I call 911 because I am being attacked, I want the man in blue to have a firearm. (A semi-automatic? Not so much)
Hunters are off the table: I am not a huge fan of hunting (those deer have families!) But that is considered a sport, and the victims don’t trace their little hands onto paper plates, then make them into adorable turkeys for Thanksgiving. (And in a huge twist of irony, I would bet that hunters would consider it immoral to hunt deer with an automatic weapon.)
I know guns aren't going away. I'm not an idiot, nor do I think firearms should be abolished.
I am posing a simple question: why are guns, and more specifically, assault weapons, a good thing? Why is it worth fighting so hard to keep them legal? I need you to tell me stories. I need anecdotal evidence that makes me say, "Thank God for the assault weapon!"
Because, see, I am beginning to sense that this gun debate is more about flexing ideological muscles and “winning” than it is about guns. I smell money. I sense a power trip. And that sucks.
Because anyone with a beating heart has to see those now-routine pictures of our friends and neighbors standing outside of their children’s school, their heads in their hands, sobbing and destroyed, and think, “There’s something wrong with this.” Deep down, we must know our child's school could be next.
Something must be balancing this out in your own hearts and minds, gun advocates.
Here is your chance to tell me.
Any name calling or platitudes will be ignored, and possibly erased. This is not the subject for petty "keyboard bravery." And that goes for both sides of the argument. Any sweeping slurs I feel are rooted in ignorance and gleeful mud-slinging will be removed from this conversation.
To beat a dead horse: I prefer stories, not ideology. Ideology = Idea. Reality = Real.
Shall I say it? Yes. I shall. Give me your best shot, gun lovers. Because I. Don’t. Get. It.
That is my piece, and today, I don't have peace. Thank you for taking the time to read my words. It means the world. Carry on...
Old Single Mom
That was a dark one. Oof. I write other stuff, too. Like how I lose all control at Target. Or how bad my Mom is at making pancakes. If you would like to stick with me, please feel free to type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. I would love to have you along for the ride. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.