Gun Control. Let’s Be Reasonable Adults
Some people freak out about the dumbest things. And when they do, I know I must be saying all the right things. If people are outraged by my words, then I have clearly found something that needs to be said. I have burst someone bubble, and rather than look at their own actions and views, they get defensive.
When a friend of mine, Antitheistangie, posted on twitter, advising motorists to be aware of motorcycles around them (I imagine she did so in the same vein as “look twice, save a life,”) she was surprised at the responses she received as a result. People were apparently incensed that they were actually expected to be responsible drivers. Apparently, it’s completely intolerable for Angie to interfere with anyone’s right to be an unsafe driver who endangers the lives of others.
Not long after that, a blog post written by another friend, Jessica Sideways, was beset by angry trolls because she had the sheer audacity to say that domestic abuse was not, in fact, any more funny than it was acceptable. Not only are men justified in beating women who anger them (seriously, someone responded with that,) but it was perfectly acceptable to mock victims of abuse, according to the respondents. And Jessica? Well, she’s every unpleasant name you could possibly call a person and deserved to be threatened with violence, and have her address made public (luckily, the troll used the wrong one,) for her “crime” of pointing out unacceptable, yet common, behavior.
Really, humanity? Really?
As for myself, despite being a veteran who knows my way around multiple weapons big and small, occasionally (although not recently) goes shooting recreationally, and has a few guns in my home (they’re my boyfriends, I don’t own any myself,) I am apparently an anti-gun “extremist” and “fanatic.” Why? Because I don’t join the Chicken Littles of the world who get hysterical over every single common sense gun-control measure, that’s why. The sky isn’t falling all over the second amendment if the state requires background checks and reasonable waiting periods. Nor are anyone’s rights to bear arms unduly infringed upon by not being able to use flash suppressors and armor-piercing rounds without having a very good, lawful reason.
When I was connecting my Amazon account to my iPhone today, it gave a number of pre-made security questions (I swear I’m going somewhere with this.). One of these questions was, “Where were you on New Year’s Eve, 2000?” Well, that’s easy to remember. I spent New Year’s in the hospital. Why? Because I’d been SHOT!
I was eleven years old, at the park late at night with my family and my best friend. We found a spot on the hill where we could see the Centennial Bridge on the Mississippi River, and laid down our blanket. I sat in my mother’s warm lap, as I had incorrectly thought that my sweater was an adequate substitute for a coat. We made a few jokes about Y2K and listened to some patriotic music on the radio as we waited for the show to start.
I only saw a few seconds of the fireworks display we’d been waiting for before I had to be rushed to the hospital, a bullet wound going all the way through my shoulder. My next few weeks were spent in a foster home. I’ll never forget that experience. I don’t think that anyone who suffers the pain of being shot, or of being wrongly removed from their family ever does.
All of this happened to me, to my family, because of a single idiot who I will never know. Somewhere, someone was celebrating the occasion the completely wrong way, by firing a gun up into the air. What comes up must come down, and the shooter might never know where the bullet will finally land, or who is hurt or even killed because of it. Hardly a New Year’s goes by where I don’t read a story in the paper about someone being injured or killed because of some irresponsible gunman’s celebratory fire. It’s sick, and irresponsible.
Will mandatory classes on local gun laws (like how it’s illegal to shoot within city limits) and gun safety (like DON’T SHOOT UP INTO THE DAMNED AIR!) prevent such shootings? Would it have prevented what happened to me? Maybe. Maybe not. But do such classes infringe on anyone’s right to own a gun? No. Hell, no one bats an eye about similar (actually, more prohibitive) requirements to get a driver’s license, and cars aren’t even intended to be weapons.
Yet people freak out while, ironically, accusing me of being the extremist. Frankly, the people who can’t be reasonable about gun control are exactly the kind of irresponsible, unstable idiots who shouldn’t touch firearms anyway.
If you’re not intelligent and responsible enough to understand the need for reasonable gun-control measures, then you aren’t the type of person who deserved to be trusted with a gun. having reasonable gun laws is not the same as banning guns. Calm the fuck down, people.
And you can take that from a rational, reasonable, and responsible person, trained in weapons use and safety. I don’t want to take guns away from anyone except those too unstable to own them.