Friday, August 23, 2013

Guns (my other OTHER perspective)

I've written one or two pro-regulation/anti-NRA posts, and I think I've made my opinion in regards to those two subjects quite clear. I realize I may come across as a "gun grabber." This is inaccurate. While I know some individuals on my end of the political spectrum would very much like to ban all guns, even they (most of them, anyway) recognize that any legislation of the like is unfeasible, if not impossible.

I don't want to ban guns. Believe it or not, I kind of like them. But before I elaborate on those feelings, I'd like to address the pro-gun crowd once more.

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

If you've ever read a news article on the internet that is about, or even tangentially related to guns or shootings, you've read this in the accompanying comment section. And you've seen it over and over and over again, either as a response to a pro-regulation comment, or an inb4. 

 The two most common counter arguments that I've seen, mostly just on my facebook newsfeed, are as follows:

"We know. That's why we want background checks on people. That's why we want laws for people."


"Guns don't protect people, people protect people."

I think most gun owners would agree with both counterpoints, much like how most of them disagree with the NRA. It has to be frustrating having an organization with so much influence and visibility, claiming to represent you, making you look fucking bonkers. I understand this frustration, because I've tried talking to foreigners about our government. You think you understand how convoluted and degraded our political process has become, but the international perspective is pretty damn sobering. I recommend trying it. If nothing else, it is therapeutic.

But I digress. Gun owners, I'd like to ask that you make an effort to control your urge to prove yourselves responsible. If we're having a nuanced, intellectual discussion, or even just a quick back-and-forth on Facebook, I am more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I think a lot of unarmed citizens feel the same way. We don't buy into the stereotype, because we've grown up with guns as a part of our culture (a totally different topic for a different day). We're used to seeing people from all walks of life protecting their property with guns. In your efforts to prove yourselves sane and responsible, you sometimes come across as too eager (crazy). You've almost created a new stereotype. Almost. I want to do my part to stop you before it is written in stereotype stone.

That being said, I'm both happy and proud to say that the only gun owners I know are indeed sensible and responsible. A few of them are good friends, and apart from their friendship in general, I am ever grateful for their knowledge and perspective. They've shown me the awesomeness of firepower, and I appreciate how this has influenced my view of the weapons themselves.

Guns are not toys. They are meant to kill people. When you fire a gun, you feel that power. Your ears ring, your bones shake, and you know on a visceral level that the power to take life is smoking idly in your hands. I've only ever gone out shooting twice in my life, and both times I struggled to contain my evil grin. In short, both experiences were both fun AND educational. Some folks have an irrational fear of guns, just as some folks have an irrational fear of their neighbors.

Guns can be cool. I object to the NRA's fetishism, but I do fancy weapons. I have no intention of owning one just yet, but my weapon of choice would be a revolver. It's the novelty of the thing. There is a wide array of more accurate and efficient handguns available, but I could do worse. I didn't watch a lot of Westerns growing up, so I suppose my fascination lies in the simplicity of the revolving chamber. There is beauty in there, you just have to be extra cautious looking for it.

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