I really don’t have the time or energy to write this. I shouldn’t even have to, except for the fact that another person committed a heinous act of terrorism that destroyed hundreds of lives with firearms. An act that might (or might not) have been prevented with specific laws. An act that bombards my social media feed with articles, memes, and opinion posts by people in an already divided country.
So here I am, trying to be a voice of reason and education, drawn into this because of my status as a gun owner.
Oh, I know people will take that status and make assumptions about my character. Without reading further, they’ll presume what I’m going to say or defend, what my political affiliation is, what I believe in, etc. Without ever knowing me, I’ll be labeled and ignored.
And that’s part of the problem. That’s why we can’t get a unified front against gun violence.
For us to move forward, to force Congress to listen despite the lobbyists and corporate puppet masters lining their pockets… we need to be united. We can’t presume what other people say or believe just because they might be or do something we oppose. We need to listen and learn about an issue before shouting our opinions on blogs, in letters, and at public hearings.
So, let me be clear about something: I want gun control.
I fully believe there should be regulations in place to restrict who can get firearms, what types are allowed, etc. Then again, I also believe there should be stricter regulations on who can drive and be a parent. Either way, contrary to people’s presumptions, as a gun owner I am completely behind reasonable firearm legislation and even have valid suggestions.
But to get by Big Guns & Ammo, and the NRA, and the politicians in their pocket, you need to have a reasonable, educated, united front. You can’t just spout whatever you think, read in some article, or some random statistics. You have to know what you’re talking about and present your suggestions with critical thought.
So, consider this the prelude to several pieces I’ll write, in the hopes of helping people better understand the issue, the terminology, the history, and each other. Maybe then we can get some fucking reasonable laws in place that will help prevent the rising number of tragedies that have occurred in the 21st century.