THAT’S the headline that should be on the news. Instead we hear about a lone gunman, thoughts and prayers, and a vast array of people saying the following two things:
1. “There’s not much we can do.” Followed by Chicago statistics of how strict gun laws do nothing to deter or reduce gun crime.
2. He was mentally unstable.
In regards to #1:
This has been the attitude for years and once for a change, I’d like to see someone at least try to do something. I hear people defending the second amendment while chanting mantra-like "you won’t take our guns", but what I don’t see is someone (ANYONE) implementing things to try and deter these horrendous events from happening. That this happened is a tragedy, that we’ve lost count of how many people have been lost because of terrorist events like this is heartbreaking and infuriating. Because we let the dust settle and do nothing. I'm not saying what I or anyone else suggests is the way to go... but let's just try something. Anything.
I have gun owning friends. I have gun loving friends. I have friends who hunt. I’m not for any of these things but they have the right to do so responsibly and I don’t think less of them for their decisions. I know men and women who want to carry firearms and hell I have a friend who knows how to handle a crossbow pretty damn well. But they all have gun permits and do their best to be responsible gun owners because they know this is a serious matter.
Throughout the years I’ve seen a LOT of pushback in regards to new gun laws and as recent as this year, new legislation has passed to make purchasing a firearm even easier… which obviously makes me twitchy. Imagine you want to put new and better drug testing procedures in your company and a ton of people fight it tooth and nail. What would your reaction be? That’s my stance in terms of firearms.
I don’t understand how the resistance can be so solid and insistent and I can only see two things in this equation: gun lovers that don’t want people to know what they own or to be questioned why they own it and gun manufacturers who don’t want to lose business. Different people have been targeted and on this occasion it was a white terrorist opening fire on mostly white Americans. There was a white terrorist who opened fire on children in a school in Connecticut and killed 28 people, including defenseless children. There was an American terrorist who opened fire in a gun club in Orlando killing 48 people. A white American terrorist opened fire in a theater in Colorado during the screening of the Dark Knight Rises killing several people in the process. My question is what is the line that needs to be crossed for there to be action taken.
Now after the above paragraph, some people might be shocked that I used the terms American terrorist and white terrorist. For me, I’m shocked at the amount of people who have died because of firearms in the hands of people with bad intentions. Which brings me to my second point.
#2 Dialogue of mental conditions and terrorists/murderers
Calling the terrorist from Las Vegas mentally unstable, a lone wolf, or crazy is a knee jerk reaction. I’m not saying it’s OK, I’m saying it’s a natural reaction… but I do have something to say about this. I know people who are bi-polar, have massive anxiety, chronic depression, have had suicidal thoughts, have attempted suicide, and some who have unfortunately succeeded. I know people in the autism spectrum, that are gender fluid, bisexual, asexual, agender, that have severe eating disorders, and suffer from severe insomnia. I know people who have post-traumatic stress disorder, who have been abused by relatives or family friends, who have survived sexual assault, who have been shot, who have had a stroke, who have Parkinson’s Disease, who have lupus and lime disease, who are fighting cancer, are undergoing chemotherapy, have been left for dead, are recovering addicts, are currently fighting addiction, and countless other things… and many of them are some of the kindest, most selfless, most genuine, hard-working, pay it forward humans I know and because our language is limited, we put them under the same box than a white terrorist.
This is not only wrong, it is bullshit.
We need to take of the veil off in regards to yet another “isolated” case which isn’t isolated. There’s plenty of precedent of people who have done things like this and we keep hearing “well what can you do?” or "this is not the time to talk about policy, we must respect the victims in this." And to me, any answer is better than what is being considered, which feels like a big pile of nothing. In addition, I'm wondering when the right time to discuss gun policy is because there never seems to be a right time for people who don't want to do anything about this situation.
I’m not saying my ideas or what people whom I support say is what has to be done… but something. Anything. Is better than thoughts, prayers, and turning the page yet again with no action.