I know what you’re thinking. You are probably rolling your eyes because you think this is another anti-gun rant. There are millions of these on the internet and it’s quite popular right now so it would be smart for a struggling blogger like myself to capitalize on it. This is not one of those however. For those in the anti-gun camp that just let out a groan, allow me to elaborate.
I’ve been researching guns, gun violence, and the second amendment quite extensively for a few months. Let me start by saying I absolutely agree that we should keep the 2nd Amendment in tact and we shouldn’t get rid of it (cue groan by anti-gun groups). the discussion about guns usually gets distorted because everyone is so passionate about their view, they refuse to listen to the other point of view.
Let me encourage you. Do what I did and read some books and articles from people you don’t agree with. I’ve done this on a number of subjects from the creation of the universe to the use of stem cells for medical and research purposes. Knowledge of the opposition is not only important when putting together counter arguments, but also to understand why that side feels as strongly as they do. This is where I have been.
I feel as if nobody really wants to address the elephant in the room. Gun violence and what causes it sets off a firestorm of debates and arguments all over social media and the internet. What I’ve learned from reading, research, and participating in these debates is that both sides actually have a common ground.
Guns are not the root cause of gun violence.
OK, the anti-gun camp doesn’t necessarily use those words exactly, but it’s quite clear that both sides of the debate feel as if broken people are the problem. Those who wish for harsher gun laws argue that limiting the access to these guns will keep these broken people from acquiring them. Those who wish for more relaxed gun laws argue that guns are necessary to protect us from the bad, broken people that will hurt and kill regardless of any laws.
The reality is, neither side is willing to take responsibility for any of it.
The Walk-outs and Marches against gun violence were cute and encouraged political activism. But outside of that, the message was empty and hollow. So we get rid of guns. That’s great, but what about all the lonely, broken people that still are broken, lonely, and violent? Did all that go away because guns are harder to get? “I want to feel safe at (fill in the blank).” That’s cute. We all do. But what have you done to make sure everyone feels not only safe, but welcomed and loved? I’m not saying you have to agree with everyone or everyone’s lifestyle, but you should still treat them like a person. Where was the “anti-bullying” walk out or marches.
Now that I have the gun lobby back, where are your massive demonstrations against bullying? It was a news clip about NRA supporters that made me wonder about this very thing. They were saying how guns aren’t the problem and they should be standing up against bullying and what not. But nobody on that side was willing to plan a protest or walk out against bullying. They instead wanted to criticize and make fun of kids. Regardless of your beliefs, it was nice to see them engaged in the process however misguided it might have been. Wouldn’t it be better to lead by example? Instead of bullying these kids and hurtling insults, what if we staged our own rally? Our own walk out and march on bullying.
Not surprisingly, there is pretty much zero coverage about the massive anti-bullying march because there isn’t one. I searched and searched and while I did fine smaller rallies with a similar theme, it was difficult to find because not one major media outlet thought it was worthy enough to talk about. This includes not just the alleged “fake news” outlets, but the “trusted news sources” as well (I used both terms loosely and don’t necessarily agree with such titles as all news is biased).
So what I am saying? We don’t actually have a gun violence problem. We have a violence problem. We have a bullying problem.
If you are anti-gun, then you are part of the problem. By focusing on the guns, you are deflecting and avoiding the root of the problem. Maybe that’s because most anti-gun arguments come from the left and it’s hard to admit sometimes that true liberalism, the idea that we have to tolerate everyone and everything, does not actually work. I’ve got news for you. Gun control is like weed control. When your answer to ending violence is to take guns away, you are just pulling the top of the weeds while leaving the root system in place. The problem is still there. It grows back and brings friends with it. But the problem with killing the root of the problem is that you have to be able to tell people when they are wrong. Liberalism down’t like to do that because you might offend someone. You might trample on their belief. You would have to admit that their are absolutes and that morality is objective regardless of one’s belief or feeling on the matter.
If you’re pro-gun, you are also part of the problem. I get it. You want the ability to defend yourself. You want the ability to fight off the government that is coming for your guns (which probably a drone strike, but hey, good luck with those bullets). Guns are NOT people. When you care more about your gun than you do people, gun violence gets worse. I find it interesting that gun advocates will tell me how they have a “God given right” to a gun but people don’t have a right to life-sustaining, clean drinking water (I’m looking at you Flint). When people are second to your gun, you’ve lost the argument in mind mind. But those who are pro-gun tend to be conservatives who think that a corporation often has more rights than citizens. Case and point, if they had it their way, they would be OK with all the water in the nation being under the control of private companies. I quote one as saying “private companies handle everything better than the government”. Yes, for a fee. And they don’t care about rights because unlike a government (that work for the people), they don’t have to honor the constitution. Like sell guns. They don’t have to. They are not the government.
So think about these things. I realize I made some broad generalizations to certain groups. I realize that there are those on both sides that don’t fit into those groups exactly. That’s great! Let’s move forward then and work on the root of the problem instead of just clipping the stem.