I am about as anti-gun as they come. Friends and family know this. And since many members of my family are pro-gun, whenever the topic comes up, I usually admit straight up that I can’t have a rational discussion about guns because I am so completely opposed. That usually does the trick. And I’m not lying when I tell them this. It’s one of the few topics I can’t keep a rational head about. I just get so worked up, I stop making sense. It’s as if my brain won’t even consider the other side.
I liken my intense opposition toward guns to those staunchly opposed to abortion. You know how there is NOTHING you can say to a person who, at their very core, believes abortion is wrong? They see it their way, perhaps irrationally so, and you will never, ever change their mind? That’s me when it comes to gun ownership.
I have learned not to discuss it very often. And I realize that’s a bit of copout. But back when I did actually argue with people, nothing changed. I still remained staunchly opposed; they remained very much for; and both parties left the situation feeling agitated.
(To quote my previous post: What good can come from this? Probably not much.)
So, I don’t really talk about guns anymore. But I will say this here and now: if I could amend the U.S. Constitution, I would. I would change the hell out of the 2nd Amendment. I don’t agree that people should have access to the guns we’re capable of making today. I don’t believe people need more than a rifle for hunting. In my perfect America, guns (all but those used for hunting) would be a thing of the past. They’d be melted down and turned into playground equipment, new (electric!) cars, art, jewelry, anything that isn’t a gun.
The recent shooting in a Florida movie theater has me remembering why I became so opposed to guns so many years ago. I lived in DC at the time. Two “soccer moms” got into a massive fight while driving. (If memory stands, both were on the Beltway in Virginia.) Their road rage escalated to the point where both ended up on the side of the road. (I can’t remember if they got into an actual accident or simply wanted to duke it out one-on-one, but they pulled over.) Well, it ended with one of the soccer moms shooting the other. She lost her cool and, blink! just like that, ended someone’s life. (She basically ended her own as well.) That story haunted me for years. An otherwise calm, normal mother lost her shit and shot another mother. It seemed so… easy?
It pains me knowing that a man felt the need to bring a gun into a movie theater. Had he lived in a state where carrying a concealed firearm in public was illegal, chances are this 71-year-old father/husband/grandfather wouldn’t be spending the rest of his life in prison. And another father wouldn’t be dead. And a 3-year-old girl wouldn’t be without a dad. That’s the thing with guns: a quick, irrational reaction can leave us with a most final, tragic result. And I feel so sad for everyone involved including the shooter and his family.
We all lose our temper. I know I do. (Especially these days with all these surging hormones.) I have seen people get into fistfights on the subway. I have seen people fight in bars, restaurants, at birthday parties, soccer games, in line at Starbucks. People lose their cool. We all do. And when we do, we can only hope the other person isn’t armed. Because it’s so easy to get lost in that moment of pure rage and simply react. And a gun makes that outcome horribly final yet surprisingly easy to get to.
I loathe your guns. And your right to bear them shouldn’t trump my right to adamantly and loudly oppose your right to bear them.