Guns… how do we fix this?

Ever since I got rid of my cable (for the third time), I’ve been completely out of touch with current events. I get my news from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Last Friday, after the alarm went off, I checked Facebook, which is literally one of the first things I do in the morning. My friend Leigh Anne had posted a news article about the ‘Batman Massacre,’ as they’re calling it now. It was the first thing I saw, and I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

I’m a fan of midnight showings when movies are released. I’ve been to plenty. I went to The Dark Knight at a midnight showing, in fact. Two of my closest friends went to a showing of The Dark Knight Returns on Thursday night here in Dallas. I tried to put myself in the shoes of those moviegoers. Of course I would have thought it was a special effect… a promotional stunt. Most of the midnight showings I’ve been to have catered to people’s fanaticism about the movies. They give away t-shirts, buttons, posters. They want to make the movie experience a little more special than a regular old showing. After all, in many cases, you’ve waited in line for hours and hours to get a good seat.

When you go to the movies, it’s escapism. It’s dark, the screen’s huge, the sound overwhelms you, and you leave your own little reality for a couple hours at a time. In a way, it desensitizes you. It’s frightening. In any other setting, you want to chat with the best friend sitting next to you, but it’s annoying at the movies. It’s not because they’re too loud, or that what they’re saying isn’t important– it’s that it takes you out of the fantasy. It reminds you that you’re not a player in the movie, but rather just your normal self in a theater. We go to the movies to leave that behind for a bit.

It’s horrible that this happened to the people in Aurora, but the fact is, this horrific act could have happened anywhere. What frightens me the most is that it still can.

Friday at work, one of my coworkers and I were chatting about guns. I was voicing my disapproval for current gun control laws. My friend said it wouldn’t matter if laws banned all firearms. He said, “If there is one thing humans excel at, it’s new and horrible ways to kill each other.” What a sad reality, but it’s true. We’re constantly shocked by things that happen. It’s not something we even consider, someone walking into a safe place like a movie theater, but now that it’s happened, it will always be something I fear. It expands your imagination for other things that *could* happen, but still, things will surprise us. Every time a tragedy like this occurs, it chips away a little more of the freedom most Americans take for granted.

I’m not very patriotic, I’ll admit it. I have waived my right to vote numerous times because I don’t feel passionate about most issues to give a damn one way or another. Gun control is one of the few areas that I have a definitive opinion. I just see no point in civilians having semi-automatic or automatic weapons. I personally don’t want a gun in my household at all, no matter what kind it is. But having these high-powered weapons– what in the world would anyone need one of these for, except to blow people away? These aren’t sporting guns. These are mass-killing guns.

There’s an argument out there that civilians need access to these because the bad guys are going to find a way to get them, laws or not. If they are, I doubt any ‘good guy’ is going to be quick enough or mindful enough to fight back anyway, unless we find ourselves in total anarchy, which who knows? I guess it could happen. If we end up in that society, though, I don’t want to be a part of it. I’ll be the first in line to take a bullet, because I don’t want to watch mankind become the savage animals that we’re fully capable of being. Another friend made a comment that they believe every citizen of our country should be able to carry around a concealed handgun wherever they go. Can you imagine? It’d be like the wild, wild west, wouldn’t it?

He took my parking spot. BAM!

She called me a bitch. BAM!

They ran out of the iPad. BAM!

We are too emotional and reactionary to be trusted with guns, especially the kinds that can kill or harm 70 people in 90 seconds… not only that, but keeping them out of the hands of children… I can’t imagine how difficult that would be. Already too many kids ‘play’ with guns with horrific results. Imagine if you could carry a gun like you could an iPhone. How many kids do you see playing with those?

Anyway. I know that mad people will find a way to carry out their evil plots, regardless of laws. They’ll do things we never even imagined… but why do we have to make it so damned easy, by making these killing machines so readily available to people? We don’t.

Our laws need to be rethought. Things have to change.

4 thoughts on “Guns… how do we fix this?

  1. I agree that what happened in Colorado is tragic and we need to analyze what happened to make this crazy person snap and decide that killing innocent people was some kind of answer to his life’s troubles. Maybe we should look at controlling the amount of time each person sits behind a screen and disassociates himself from actual human contact, require psychological counseling beginning at birth for every person, or insert chips in every person that sounds an alarm when they stray from their pre-approved schedule. When do we just recognize that there are crazy and evil people in this world that could be working right next to you every day without you ever knowing what is really in his mind? That man would have killed even without guns and in fact, he used average items and compounds you buy at the hardware store to make bombs. There will never be a law that prevents human frailties or fully predicts what can happen inside every person’s brain. But when you start making laws as a reaction to an anomaly, then you are creating a system that removes personal responsibility and independent actions from the equation. Millions of people in this country own guns of all kinds. The overwhelming majority of those people operate them safely, keep them out of the hands of children and criminals, and take the responsibility of having guns very seriously. As much as you may not relate, some also use them to feed their families. In the USA, we enjoy freedoms and opportunities that so many in the world do not, because centuries ago, some very brave men and women decided that they didn’t want to live under a government that took and took and took without allowing its citizens basic rights and freedoms. They understood what could happen if they were not able to defend the freedoms they recognized came from God, not other men. There is a reason that they wrote in the Constitution that we have the right to own weapons–because without that very specific right, the government would find it easier to create laws that remove all of the other rights and responsibility from its citizens. It may seem farfetched to some that owning guns has anything to do with our daily lives and I hope we never see the day that government’s overstepping controls reach the level of tyranny, but that day would come a lot sooner if we are unable to own the same kinds of weapons that the government uses. Our leaders transition peacefully here and cannot use the military to ignore elections, as leaders in other countries right now are doing. Our government currently doesn’t sanction bands of criminals confiscating land and property from people just because of the color of their skin, as they do in other countries right now. Corrupt governments are a reality and they are allowed to continue because the citizens they control are powerless to stop them. We have the foundation in this country to avoid that kind of situation if we choose to protect and defend that foundation by voting and by being vigilant. Owning guns is a right that comes with great responsiblity and not everyone has to participate, but those who do protect everyone else’s choice.

    1. I love you, Teresa, you know I do… and I don’t like to debate, you know I don’t… but this part- “But when you start making laws as a reaction to an anomaly…” rubs me the wrong way. I don’t want laws because of this tragedy. I want laws because I don’t think anyone can be trusted at all times with readily-available weapons. Period. I know people will still find guns. Fine. But I want them to work at it. I sense a little sarcasm, which does put me off a little, but I’m just going to overlook it. You and I will have to agree to disagree. Guns give power to too many people that don’t deserve it, and as long as we make it so easy to get them, it’s only going to get worse. I’m sad that I won’t live to see the day when people realize how ridiculous that amendment is… when peace is celebrated, pursued and achieved.

  2. Worm had a question for me the other day from Warren. He wanted to know how many guns I have. I had an idea as to what this question was about, and I tweeted back that I have my Dad’s pellet gun, which I inherited, and a toy cap gun which I bought myself as a little girl. Warren was thoroughly disappointed because apparently he had read that Charlize Theron says that everyone in South Africa has a gun. I was a bit shocked at his source for this rumour, but it is one you hear often from foreigners and South Africans alike. Many people think you have to have a gun here, to protect yourself because violent crime is such a problem. Why is it such a problem? Because people have guns. I’m not saying that if I knew how to use a gun I would not use it to protect myself and my family. I hope that I would use it. But the point is that I do NOT know how to correctly use a gun, which utlimately makes it more dangerous in my hands, and more likely to fall into the hands of someone who could hurt me. And that is the big problem with guns.

    PS I also get my news from twitter mostly, and I’ve found that I hear abou things there waaaaaaay before they hit the news here.

  3. I could not agree with you more. I am so disappointed that neither political party is willing to take this issue on. Think of how many more Americans killed by guns, then terrorist attacks. Something needs to change!

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