Imagine I’m at a retreat for people with peanut allergies, and that the absolute worst, deadliest thing that could enter that retreat is a peanut butter sandwich, because that sandwich could kill every single person there in five minutes.
So I take a big bag of sandwiches to that convention, and a lot of people die. The people in charge scramble around wondering how it happened and how they can prevent it from happening again, so they take steps to that end. They make it harder for people to bring dangerous food around, and they certainly don’t sell peanut butter in the retreat cafeteria, regardless of how responsible some peanut butter lovers claim to be. Because isn’t it better to protect the lives of the majority, even if it means inconveniencing a few responsible peanut enthusiasts, than to put the lives of everyone else at serious risk for the sake of pandering to a few sandwich lovers?
That’s where I’m at with gun control. And the longer time goes on, the less I understand why Americans are standing by and letting it happen.
I feel like a broken record constantly writing about mass shootings, but their frequency has reached such epidemic proportions that it’s justified. Three of the worst mass shootings in the centuries-old history of the United States, happened within the past year-and-a-half – two within a few weeks of each other. That’s a finger pointing sharply toward it being a modern problem.
I could drone on and on about the factors contributing to this epidemic, but it’s late, I’m tired, and I’ve grown frustrated of watching most other published writers beat around the bush. Let’s call it what it is, and admit that the most preventable of these factors is that people are walking around with machine guns and the right to bear arms is more highly valued than the right to life.
Machine guns are for killing people. You’re free to make a pro-gun argument, but I’m no longer listening. There is no other weapon that I can think of that will so quickly, efficiently, and spectacularly kills such a large number of people in a short period of time, which seems to be the goal of these loons who do it. Guns that fire 700 bullets in 60 seconds are not made for hunting, they’re made for mowing down a crowd of people. If you can think of another use for them, I’m all ears.
And yet, lawmakers and politicians won’t stand up to the ridiculous, outdated second amendment (written when guns were muskets and took 10 minutes to load one round) and all the gun lobbyists who are driving their industry by are preying on people’s fear of standing up to the bullies.
Because that’s what it is, it’s fear. Yes, people are afraid to get shot. But do you know what scares them even more; speaking their mind. A reporter will write a gun control article and gun enthusiasts all over North America will be frothing at the mouth to tear that person to shreds on-line. Even the suggestion of gun control puts the writer in the line of heavy, heavy fire, so to speak. Between the National Rifle Association, the gun lobby, and passionate, easily-riled gun people, any voice of reason is silenced, stomped on, hung out to dry, and then put to bed. They will refute arguments with irrelevant comparisons. They will discredit the writer. They will poke holes in your peanut butter sandwich story. Whatever it takes to make gun control, the clear solution, seem unreasonable.
Let me tell you a story: in 1996, 35 people in Australia were murdered with automatic weapons in a mass shooting. Elected officials acted swiftly and passed a law banning these guns across the country, despite intense backlash from the gun lobby. And it’s almost 22 years later, and there hasn’t been a single mass shooting on the entire continent since. Not one.
I don’t care if you enjoy the gun range or collect high-calibre weapons: your right to want a machine gun does not trump my right to be alive. It just doesn’t.
This is a common sense problem. It would take a long time for me to stab 50 people to death, assuming no one stopped me after the first few. But as long as there are quick-action killing machines around, we can no longer be surprised when people use them for their intended purpose. My God, why won’t someone do something about it.