Another day, another school shooting. The 22nd this year. It’s only the 20th week of 2018. At this point, there not being a school shooting this week in America would be a story.
The Washington Post reports that there have been more American schoolkids killed than American soldiers killed this year. Even taking the Parkman slaying out of the totals, the totals are about equal.
So, let’s stop bullshitting about guns.
Shooting up a whole bunch of first graders at Sandy Hook didn’t change anything.
Shooting up a country music concert in Vegas didn’t change anything.
Shooting up a bunch of high schoolers with live video of terrified kids as it happened in Florida didn’t change anything.
So what makes you think this latest shooting in Sante Fe, Texas, is going to change anything?
There exist enough states and enough rabid gun owners in those states and enough political pressure from the NRA that there is no way anything meaningful is ever going to change about guns in America, at least in my lifetime.
For the III%-ers I grew up with, suggesting perhaps we don’t need such easy access to guns is tantamount to suggesting they trade in their pickup truck for a Vespa scooter, piss on the American flag, and drop their trousers and grab their ankles while asking terrorists to sodomize them.
These people really believe that without their guns, they are just asking to be victimized. They believe that you’re no sort of citizen, nay, not even a human, if you don’t have access to the lethal force necessary to protect your family and property from Them.
When they see the latest school shooting on the TV, they see it as an individualized problem with that person. They would never shoot up a school. Their kids wouldn’t. Nobody they know who owns a gun would. They know dozens and dozens of good, god-fearing, law-abiding gun owners who’d never do such a thing.
The problem, they surmise, isn’t with us and our guns. It’s Them.
Them that “snap,” Them that “commit despicable acts,” Them that “go postal” (remember when shootings were rare enough that when a few happened at post offices, we coined a phrase meaning “deranged shooter” after them?)
It’s not a need to control guns for these folks, it’s a need to control Them. More mental health treatment for Them, so we can spot Them before they attack. Better security at the schools so Them can’t get in. Arming the teachers so they can shoot Them if necessary.
It’s never Us. It’s Them.
For these people, there is no concept of harm potential and risk management. To these people, every gun is just an inanimate object, devoid of danger, especially when possessed by Us. Only when Them get ahold of a gun is there any problem.
You can try to spell it out for them. Imagine there is a room with a knife in the corner. You’re in the room with toddler. You know well enough not to grab the knife blade. You may not even go near the knife.
But the toddler might. You can try to teach him not to grab the knife blade, but left alone, he might. Perhaps you keep the toddler on the other side of the room so he can’t grab the knife. Maybe you put the knife up on a shelf out of his reach.
But now imagine you’re in the same room, but with 100 knives and 200 toddlers. Wanna bet you’re going to have a bleeding kid on your hands in no time?
That’s where we’re at with guns in America. There are so many guns in so many places and so many people under so much pressure that it is inevitable one of Us is going to become one of Them.
The measures we often talk about – universal background checks, banning assault weapons, raising gun ages to 21 – are akin to us trying to put all the knives on the shelf and keep all the toddlers in a corner. We might reduce the frequency of bloody kids, but not eliminate it.
But we’re not going to even pass those measures.
Americans have now accepted this perverse bargain where the cost of freedom is measured in shot-up schoolkids. Yeah, it sucks a bunch of teenagers got shot up, thinks the III%-er, but I didn’t shoot them up, so why are you trying to punish me and take my rights to own bullet sprayers and crates of ammo?
So let’s stop bullshitting about guns.
Gun owners, III%-ers, 2nd Amendment fanatics – you win. We just have to accept that public places get shot up and innocent people killed on a weekly basis, because that’s the cost of freedom.
Thoughts and prayers, right? Like we’d offer victims of a hurricane – another natural disaster ordained by God that we have no control over. We live in the gun country and our death may come from a randomly-sprayed bullet. Just as folks living near Kilauea volcano might get brained by a flying boulder, or how folks in the Amazon rainforest may be bitten by a deadly snake, or how mountain climbers occasionally fall to their deaths.
If you want to live in a country where you have right to possess a machine for killing, the price is that you or your kids may be killed by one of those machines. Just own that, righties. Stop pretending that this has anything to do with mental health or video games or how schools are designed. Other countries like us have the same issues, except they don’t have unfettered access to guns and ammo. It’s the only variable that matters here. Be honest that you love the right to possess guns more than other people’s lives.