Guns Aren’t the Problem; We Are

March 5, 2018|Posted in: Uncategorized

I try very hard not to get political in these little missives of mine, but I’m having more and more trouble understanding the deep rift between sides in the “Gun Issue.”

Let me first state that a) I know how to shoot a gun. I was raised on a farm and taught early; and b) I do not own a gun, nor do I want one. That is not any kind of edict against guns themselves: I just have no need for one (the whole “self-defense” argument is pretty shallow and naïve, in my opinion), and there are other things I would rather spend my money on. It’s not a gun issue, it’s a me issue, OK?

Now. Having said that, I can see the wisdom of (and I don’t really see the problem with) taking steps to ensure that guns are acquired and used responsibly.

My conservative friends (and I have more than you’d think. Surprises me, too, but there ya go.): “You just want to take away all our guns and abolish the 2nd Amendment and let the government have all control of us!!”

Um, no I don’t.

I mean, don’t get me wrong: I have other friends who actually talk like they DO want that (usually the same ones who scream the loudest about prisons being inhumane. I have weird friends. But I digress.).

My point is that there’s a lot–a LOT–of ground between “Maybe we should look at this; maybe this isn’t the best we can do … ” and “Everyone give up your guns! NOW!”

And folks argue: “That’s a slippery slope!” Well, OK, let’s say it is: that doesn’t mean the slope doesn’t still need to be traversed … just means we have to be extremely careful. I’m as much against censorship as the next guy–probably more so, if the truth were known–but I’m also intelligent enough to realize that there are over 300 million people here with about as many different ways of thinking. To protect ourselves and each other, there has to be some ground rules.

But having a rule is not the same as prohibition. In fact, haven’t we already done a pretty good job of proving that prohibition doesn’t work? I just don’t get why so many people seem to want to jump to extremes on this issue.

Let’s look at another industry. Say, tobacco. There are a lot of similarities, actually: The products of both industries are best suited to hasten death, but still bring enjoyment to some people. There are people at one extreme who think all tobacco products should be banned, and some at the other extreme saying it’s a personal choice, live and let live.

Except …

… it’s also a personal choice for you to blow smoke in my face, which could hasten MY death. And walking into an elementary school and blowing away the kids that didn’t vote you prom king? That’s a personal choice, too.

It took a long time, but we finally wised up on the tobacco thing. Smoking isn’t illegal, but you have to put in a little extra effort if you want to practice it. Smokers complain, but the fact is, if YOU derive the enjoyment out of it, YOU should bear the onus of making it happen.

It’s much easier to kill someone with a semi-automatic weapon than with second-hand smoke … but it’s probably easier for a kid to get his hands on a gun than to buy a pack of Marlboros.

That doesn’t make sense to me.

What would make sense is to take a serious look at the situation and find some middle ground. But the word is already out: anyone who does so will be punished.

I mean, think about it: when we have the governments of entire states (Georgia, we’re looking at you) taking punitive actions against major corporations who simply say “We would rather not sponsor this LOBBYIST GROUP that should have no actual power within the government!”, are we really so blind as to believe that the actual government is still in control? How exactly does the State of Georgia benefit from pissing off a corporation that brings $43.5 billion to the state economy annually?

Politicians are way too quick to play the “customer is always right” (which they aren’t) card when they don’t want to take an unpopular stand. So maybe … just maybe, mind you … maybe it’s time we actually DID start paying attention to the man behind the curtain. Maybe then the situation will seem clearer.