I have written extensively on guns and gun control. My opinions are well known to any long time reader. I am 100% in favor of stricter gun laws, and I continue to find it revolting and mind-boggling that after all of the shootings and massacres over the past few years, we have still done absolutely nothing to even try to find a solution. No laws. Sandy Hook happened, and we didn’t change a thing.
But nothing I have written against guns has amounted to jack squat, clearly, and I can’t pretend that another diatribe will do anything, either.
Instead, I’m trying my best to understand the people in this country who believe our right to own firearms is so sacred and holy that it must remain sacrosanct, even in the wake of the tragedies that continue to happen here. Yes, they have their talking points. Yes, I’ve heard them all. No, I don’t believe they hold any water at this point, but they clearly do.
So what’s something I hold dear, and that I wouldn’t want to give up? What if people kept killing other people with video game systems? What if it turned out every time someone turned on a video game, there was a chance someone in the world would drop dead? What if study after study found that in America, high video game use was translating into a huge spike in our mortality rate?
Yes, I realize it’s a silly theoretical. But would I be willing to give up video game systems on the chance that other people would stop dying so much? I’d like to think that I would. I would be okay with legislation restricting their purchase and use. I am okay limiting some of my rights if that might help solve a much bigger problem.
I get that my gun owning friends wonder why in the world they should need to give up their guns just because evil people elsewhere in the country are using other guns to do terrible, despicable acts. They haven’t killed anyone, and perhaps they’re worried about someone with a gun trying to kill them, and so they’ve decided the best solution is to have a gun of their own. Others just talk about how much they love shooting guns. Or how they come from a “gun family.”
Honestly, I’m done arguing the point. Until gun control laws are enacted and allowed to stay for a few decades, I’m unwilling to listen to arguments that “gun control laws won’t work.” I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it now: gun control is THE political issue I care most about at this point in this country. When I vote, I first look to see what a politician’s record is on gun control. I respect Susan Collins for much of what she’s done in the senate. She’s thinking about running for governor. I think she would likely make a great governor. She voted against stricter gun control laws right after Sandy Hook.
I will not vote for Susan Collins again. Not if she’s running against someone who favors stricter gun control.
I encourage everyone to support Everytown for Gun Safety and other organizations working against the insanity of the NRA, an organization which still hasn’t made a statement about the Vegas shootings. At the very least, guns that are designed to kill people in mass quantities should be outlawed.
The saddest thing for me is that, as with healthcare, I seriously doubt anything real will be done to try to address the problems facing our country. Our legislative bodies are doing nothing to help. They wring their hands about very real problems, and then proceed to ignore them.
“Addiction” seems to be a popular word these days. You can be addicted to any number of things. And in some ways, slapping that term on a person seems to allow the person an out. An excuse for abhorrent behavior. They had sex with a string of prostitutes because they were addicted to sex. They played video games for hours on end, losing their job, because they were addicted. They maxed out five credit cards’ worth of debt because they were addicted to shopping.
I’m not a medical expert. I don’t understand how addiction works, though I do believe it’s a real thing, and I believe there are definitely people who are addicted to sex, video games, shopping, and the like. Certainly there are people who end up ruining their lives by their behavior in those areas.
It seems to me, then, that the country is suffering from a gun addiction. And maybe we need a 12 step program to kick ourselves of the habit. The first step (I’m told) is to acknowledge we have a problem. Many of us in America have long since done this. Apparently we need even more to do so. Because until we can all agree that guns are a serious problem for us in this nation, we’re never going to get to a place where we can come up with solutions.
And I suppose that’s all I have to say about that for now.