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.

Posted on 2012/04/24, in People, Twitter and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. It’s only a certain class of people who have trouble with self-control, oops I mean gun control. ;-P

    Seriously, though – I’m freaked out by a recent decision that makes it LEGAL to carry concealed weapons on campus, if you have a concealed carry permit. You’d think that the whole Columbine thing would teach people…

  2. If women are forced to have a ‘waiting period’ and jump through hoops for an abortion, seems only rational we expect some sort of equal expectations before handing out firearms. I agree completely, the same people who protest gun-control measures which keep us all safe are the same ones who shouldn’t own a firearm.

    • Julie Was Here

      I don’t think there should be a waiting period for abortion care. Waiting periods for guns allow time for back-ground checks, and allow for a “cool-off”period, as no one should purchase weapons designed specifically to kill just on an angry whim.

      But the purpose of waiting periods for abortion care is to make abortion harder to get, abortion being something very time-sensitive in a way that gun purchases aren’t.

      • Plus waiting periods on abortions often increase the costs out f reach, like if one must cross state lines and pay for a motel. A wait can make it impossible to afford. Especially when the guidelines are not promoted, so many women end up in a strange state/town with no money and have to turn back and g
        o all the way home and start over again.

      • silentscope47

        You do not always need a gun to kill on an angry whim. Knives, fists, rocks, etc, will all do nicely. Just ask victims of domestic violence who were NOT killed with firearms. Crime has existed long before the advent of gunpowder.

        • Julie Was Here

          People kill people, so lets all have more efficient weapons to do it? Is that your argument? I don’t think you thought this through.

  3. AntiCitizenOne

    Do you realize that calling for more law enforcement just means that there’s going to be more guns on campus?

  4. AntiCitizenOne

    How is this “absurd,” Julie, law enforcement officers do carry guns, you know.

    • Julie Was Here

      For one thing, better law enforcement does not necessarily mean more officers. That would be a very lazy and inefficient approach.

      For another, the number of guns isn’t necessarily a problem. Indeed, more guns in the hands of responsible owners would be acceptable with better law enforcement. You’ve framed my point to be something that it simply is not so I can fit a narrative you wish to construct.

  5. AntiCitizenOne

    Then what exactly is your concern with concealed carry on campus by licensed, vetted gun owners?

    Or a better request – please state your real point if you really think I was trying to pigeonhole you into a narrative.

    • Julie Was Here

      You mean besides schools being a prime target for gun violence (unstable youths, large population density, confined spaces,) and school rules being made and enforced by appropriate government bodies as the school is responsible and liable for the safety of students and faculty?

      Arm the security and police. There is no cause to have the whole of the student body armed on campus ( which, btw, is likely private property.)

    • Julie Was Here

      Read the blog post

  6. AntiCitizenOne

    “unstable youths” – first of all – college students are at the age where you trust them with cars, with money, with legal contracts, with votes, and with weapons (because they’re at the age where they can join the military or be drafted should one be reinstated). If college students really are unstable youths at heart, why should we trust them with all of the above? Is this how we got Dubya and Obama? Is this the reason why there’s a lot of traffic accidents? Or perhaps why a lot of them get into debt? I’d rather get to the root cause of your “unstable youth” in colleges as well as promote carrying of weapons on campus by responsible, licensed individuals, some of which are MUCH older than the typical college student.

    “the school is responsible and liable for the safety of students and faculty” – we have the largest campus police force on the east coast – and yet they haven’t prevented crimes from happening to students on and off campus – the crimes mostly happen off campus – because what’s the point of bringing your own carry weapon back and forth to school if you can’t even legally/academically have it with you? The escort services are not always available to us even though we try and push for expansion of both the police dept and the escort service. I’m going to say that my school does not do a good job of this matter.

    “There is no cause to have the whole of the student body armed” – where was it said that everyone on campus was going to be armed? It’s still a choice everyone must make for themselves.

    “private property” – unless your school is defined as a state agency, which receives state funding – it is thus public property.

  7. AntiCitizenOne

    And as for the original post regarding “oh we’re not infringing on rights if you can’t have this and this”

    ask the original American colonists, ask the WWII partisans, ask the residents of Athens, Tennesee in 1946, ask the Viet Cong, the mujahideen, the Libyans, and the Syrians. Just ask them if they think their rights are being infringed.

    Heck, you should probably ask the ghost of jose guerena – http://www.wallsofthecity.net/2011/06/the-killing-of-jose-guerena.html

    Or maybe you should ask the civilians that were murdered by Robert Bates or by any of the other twisted US Army soldiers (the thrill killings)

    because in the end, LEO and military are just as human and able to make mistakes on what their target really is.

    Look up all of the cases of police misconduct you can find – here’s a start: http://waronguns.blogspot.com/ – and with the increasing militarization of police (which the criminals have already begun their own arms race ahead of the police) – are you sure you’d rather be helpless against a police force when wrongfully accused?

    • Julie Was Here

      Hyperbole.

      Reasonable limits are not the same as taking your rights away. I doubt you’d argue that banning gun sales to kindergarteners is unreasonable. Likewise, I doubt you would argue against the private ownership of nuclear weapons. Restriction =/= ban.

      As I mentioned in my post, we have many restrictions on driving cars, but no one throws a hysterical fuss over it. Hell, we even have limits on voting rights and the freedom of speech, yet hardly an eye is batted at these. We understand that limits must sometimes be imposed on our rights in order for our rights to be protected.

      As I called for in my post, let’s be reasonable.

      • AntiCitizenOne

        I am seeing that I am about to reach an impasse here, because there are so many variations on what is “reasonable” for everyone.

        I remember those days when the ACLU came out firing on all cylinders against the PATRIOT act and against warrantless wiretapping – and it was all justified by Dubya in the name of security.

        And what was it the Martin Luther King said….”a right delayed is a right denied?”

      • AntiCitizenOne

        Wait a minute – if the amendment has “bear arms” in it – and then I cannot carry on a certain part of public property – then I can’t actually exercise that right at that point in time.

        • Just like I have a right to “free speech” but if I went into a Microsoft store and started shouting about how Windows blows and how the Mac is a superior computer, they have the right to kick me out. It’s not an infringement on my rights.

          • silentscope47

            They can certainly kick you out – but the thing is that they cannot duct tape your mouth before you go into the store – which is the equivalent of prohibiting concealed carry on any premise.

  8. AntiCitizenOne

    I understand you are a veteran and I don’t know if you have seen front-line combat.

    I understand and I’m sorry you suffered a bullet wound because of an irresponsible gun owner. This is honestly the best I can do at empathy without having the means of a face-to-face conversation.

    But I am going to disagree on many of your points, and I honestly don’t have the motivation for name-calling and bloviation, because all the energy for that I’d rather save for working out, studying, or doing martial arts or (god forbid) expending it all on an assailant.

    If am truely am “Chicken Little,” so be it. I’m not offended by that mischaracterization because fretting about “reasonable gun-control laws” doesn’t impair me in my daily functioning whatsoever.

  9. AntiCitizenOne

    FYI – our campus police is armed and is trained to the same standards as the city police. Our security guards are not armed. I don’t know why the antigun group on our campus opposes the security guards being armed.

    • Julie Was Here

      Is there really an anti gun group against armed security? I doubt it.

      It just so happens that I’m currently employed as an unarmed security officer. The reason we don’t carry weapons is because the company that employs me, as well as the facility that contracts that company to provide security, has decided that armed guards for that given contract was a grater liability than it was a protection. It’s entirely the call of the company that contracts us whether or not we are to be armed.

      • AntiCitizenOne

        I’m just going off of what I heard from the previous campus debate for our SCCC group and the antigunners.

  10. AntiCitizenOne

    If a person is so unstable that you cannot trust them with a firearm – perhaps they should not be trusted with anything or let out in public without a custodian to guide them.

    • Julie Was Here

      If that’s what you think, start a movement.

      • AntiCitizenOne

        If you would like to change your mind, you can always join Students for Concealed Carry.

        I think people from both sides of the aisle are trying to figure out how best to flesh out what defines “mentally incompetent” without messing up cultural considerations or any of the other myriad factors of the biopsychosocial model that come into play for such a diagnosis.

        • Julie Was Here

          That’s a dumbass idea. There is NO reason to carry firearms in school unless you’re a police officer on duty there. A school is probably only beat by courtrooms and in the vicinity of notable politicians in terms of the worst places to allow firearms.

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