I am not a gun owner – but I used to be, and my father is. I grew up in gun cultures; those states that are strong-holds for the NRA lobby (Cheney shot a colleague in the face where I grew up – not quite Leave It To Beaver, but it was an OK childhood).
The point being: I’m not anti-gun, or anti-hunting – but I am anti Gun Lobby and the far right within the Republican Party instilling fear and paranoia around something as “powerful” as guns.
Philosophically, I don’t think we humans are mature enough to wield something as powerful as a gun. We have a very strong fight or flight reflex that is thrown off balance when wielding weapons that go boom. Holding a gun tends to make a person fight when the best choice is flight (or at least not shoot). To make this instinct intrusion worse, the gun lobby has exacerbated the problem by doing everything it can to terrify gun lovers that monsters, rapists, and kidnappers lurk behind every corner. Many gun owners in this country are constantly in a mental state as if they are being attacked. That’s why they’re so terrified of even the mention of gun safety laws. Every time I see Wayne LaPierre speak I think he’s imitating an announcer for a horror movie. Where has reality gone?
Decades of fear mongering by the NRA has caused the far right of the republican party to reach this biblical love of guns based on fabricated fear. Fewer and fewer households own guns, yet more and more are being sold. That means stockpiling. People stockpile when they are scared and paranoid something terrible will happen. Stockpiling guns is not good for community or country.
Why are gun rights an all or nothing issue with the far right? Why is it that when people even mention “Gun Safety” we immediately have radio talk show hosts screaming about revolution on CNN? The hyper-knee jerk reactions like that – where extremists are so loud that all of us in the middle, the majority, can’t even be heard… proves that the NRA has done its job very well.
Being a gun collector is one thing, stockpiling to defend against phantoms and ghosts is another. Stockpiling guns agains the NRA-create demons motivates people to start making scary youtube videos. It’s time for the NRA to make its exit.
Gun Ownership is a Legal Right, Not a Human Right
Owning a front-loading musket so there can be a militia is a right as an American citizen. It’s not a human right. The law grants that right and can therefore take it away if that legal right starts to infringe of rights of other people. Simple social contract stuff.
It’s also not a right to stockpile weapons that are designed for mass killing. You don’t need an AR-15 to defend yourself. Technology has changed since the Second Amendment was conceived (divinely conceived according to some gun advocates), so now we need to change as well so that ti fits what, in today’s world, defines “gun”. The Second Amendment was written when it took 20 seconds to load a gun, and it was a miracle if a round ball even hit its target. Times are different. Guns now and not what guns were then. The Second Amendment was written to PROTECT the people of America – now we need to change it so that we can continue protecting the people of America.
I worked overseas for awhile where no one owned guns… and it was a much safer country in which to live – doors unlocked, no mass shootings, zero gun violence or accidents, no gun toting swaggers meant to defend against paranoid threats. Children did not get kidnapped nor wives ravaged by home invaders like the NRA claims happens when people aren’t sleeping with guns under their pillow.
Here in the US, there is no effort whatsoever, anywhere, by anyone currently in power to take away your ability own a gun… so why are the NRA and republicans so damn “gun paranoid” ALL the time. As always: money.
I find it unsettling. Paranoia + guns… this is what the NRA encourages. Anyone who doesn’t make money from gun sales would agree that’s a dangerous combination, and yet the NRA has spent decades pushing people to their paranoid limits. At what point do the rest of us who respect gun ownership, but who also put the safety of our communities above a personal legal ability to own a semi-automatic assault rifle, going to ACT in stead of complain or keep quiet? Why is it allowed that the NRA is the only voice?
My godfather is basically a gun runner (insofar as he’s a huge gun distributor. I’m not kidding.). He LOVES it when Barack Obama (or any democrat) wins an election because the republican paranoia about their guns causes them to all run out and buy more than they normally would. He laughs at it, but he also has made a few million dollars this week, so hey!! – no complaints for him, right?
However, that mad dash rush to stockpile guns should be unsettling for the nation as a whole: it’s a direct symptom of paranoia linked to weapons… that’s not a good thing. Again: guns + paranoia = bad.
Gun owners who buy into all the NRA propaganda need a serious fact check: Barack Obama has NOT done anything to restrict your right to own guns. Nothing. Nada. TWO laws passed in his first term and both of them gave MORE gun rights, not less. So how about you just settle down for a few moments to get your heads straight and stop being so damn paranoid.
There’s a problem with paranoid people: they tend to lash out.
As a country, we don’t want people who value their guns to be paranoid. That’s a bad combination. However, the NRA and Republican Party intentionally make gun lovers paranoid – that is a VERY dangerous, and grossly irresponsible act… yet they continue to do so for one reason: money (or more immediately to get votes, which is to get power, which is to the same end: money). I find that very intentional creation of paranoia very disturbing.
Gun owners: chill out. Seriously. I get that you like to hunt, that’s cool. You might love collecting, and that’s fine, too. I get that deeper down inside your psyche than the love of hunting is the power you feel when you hold a gun. That’s cool, as well. I will even personally be OK with a slight paranoia of “the other” breaking into your house, so you want to protect against that possibility by owning a lot of guns… personally, I wouldn’t choose a gun for that, but if you want to, that’s your right in this country. What’s NOT cool is the intense, feverish, “2nd amendment resolutions” that are a result of buying into all the fear mongering of the NRA and Republican Party. THAT is dangerous in this country.
People who love their guns aren’t dangerous, but people who cradle their guns because they are afraid of phantoms ARE dangerous. The NRA is 100% at fault for creating that environment. Chill the out, people. Maybe in 200 years we’ll grow beyond this insane desire to wield power by fire, but for now: calm down, and lets start passing laws that prevent the default reaction being shoot someone.