I’ve been thinking a lot about guns recently. Okay, I can understand how that is a worrisome sentence to start with. And most who know me know I’m very pro-gun laws. You can read the article where I make my defense with all the data, statistics, and death threats, as I won’t bore you repeating them, but I digress. So there I am, lost in “shower-thought” mode after the most recent shooting at UCLA trying to understand how moments after the shootings you have the immediate statuses of “well if they had let the students and admins with permits keep their guns instead of this lib fear…” and “funny how shootings happen in gun free zones only.” Two people lost their lives, and countless people want to immediately point out that on a college campus, full of drunk, young, and let’s face it stupid teenagers and twenty-something year olds, that the answer is to arm them. Now I was young, dumb, and stupid once, and I did have an occasion where a neighborhood kid thought they’d scare some college kids, and brought what ended up being a tricked out paintball gun onto campus. But in the dark, with him in a mask and a hood, that’s not what it seemed. Fun fact, apparently my response to these situations is to go directly towards the individual yelling “are you F***ing kidding me right now?” My friends were not that surprised. I won’t bother with the other stories to prove my point as my mother often reads these and you know, moms worry about their 5’4 daughters approaching people with guns, or having knives pulled on them. Fancy that.
And you have to understand, I’m a contradiction. I love weaponry, I can see the beauty in the finely crafted sword, the care and details of the pistol, the power and majesty of the rifle. I get how interesting and even fun going to the range as a hobby is. And yet, still remain completely for restriction of firearms.
Back to the shower…not literally. One of the most common arguments about restricting guns because of the death toll is to link it, in what is actually a logical fallacy, to the death toll that driving has. It’s true, driving is one of the most dangerous things we do(apart from walking up to potentially/or definitely armed people), and we do it every day. But here’s the thing, let’s let the comparison happen for a moment and see where we end up. We put a lot of restrictions on driving. There are age limits, driving schools which span anywhere from 8+ weeks, testing, and that’s just to get the license. Following that, we must have insurance, and if we screw up we get fined. If we screw up too much, we are no longer allowed to drive. There are police, state troopers, and Sheriff’s departments uniquely dedicated to keeping drivers safe, and pulling over ones who aren’t obeying these safety laws. We go through yearly inspections to make sure the vehicle is safe, and in working order. But so what? Okay, so that proves that we go through a lot to get a car. Yes, I think that it’s not a stretch to say we should also go through a lot to get a gun, but here’s the difference.
We know that owning and carrying a gun makes you more likely to act in an aggressive manner(see the previous article). We also know that having a gun in your home or on you, especially as a woman, makes you significantly more likely to die by a firearm. Now you can also argue the same for cars. If we didn’t have them, they would pose a much lower risk. True. But there is a comparison between driving and cars we didn’t really cover. And that’s road rage. Being in a car separates you from the world, it creates a barrier, much like the internet creates barriers and allows for cyber bullying and hate filled threats or remarks that never would happen in actual life. Think about it, if someone cut in front of you, or even accidently tripped you a bit while walking, more likely than not you wouldn’t curse them out, flip them off, or follow them and get into an altercation. Might you have a word or two uttered, maybe. Or maybe you’d accept their apology and move on with your life. But put yourself into a car and suddenly we blare our horns, flash our lights, flip them off, curse and yell, and in the very extremes, actually use our car as a weapon. Road rage. And if you are found doing this, and especially if it leads into a physical case against you, you can be charged with a much higher degree of issues(assault, murder, etc.) than if you had gotten into an accident and hurt or killed someone. It’s the intent. And it’s using something as a weapon. That’s why there is a difference…because a gun is not a safety feature, it’s a weapon, and we feel much more confident with it to the point of aggression. A car is not a weapon, but used as one, you will be charged with it as such.
So I have what I consider to be my brilliant solution. I’m sure I’ll receive a number of threats which in it of itself prove my point about limiting access, but here we go anyway. You want guns. Fine. But let’s put the same effort into maintaining as watchful of an eye on it as we do driving and safety. And we make it standard(sorry anti-federalists). You go through a real course in gun safety, marksmanship, and have to complete a certain number of hours at the range yearly to maintain that(no one likes a sloppy shot when protecting the masses after all). Gun shops and shows are now also going to be subjected to what retail workers know as “secret shopping,” to make sure proper precautions and legalities are taking place. Individuals employed to make sure checks and sales are being done properly. No more jumping state lines either. As a registered gun owner, you also open yourself to the potential of an “audit” or safety check from time to time to make sure that yes, the guns are properly secured, no safety issues are not in compliance, or you are fined. Too many fines, and you lose your right to own weapons. Too severe of a mishandling, you lose your right. #sorrynotsorry.
Wow, I can actually hear the anger, the outrage, the calling upon our 2nd amendment right! It’s like the computer is a seashell and the threats are the ocean. Our amendment calls for the right of a “well-regulated militia.” Well-regulated. My usual argument is that we already have that as our state’s national guard(state militia)… but we’ll leave that argument out for this. If you can’t be a part of that well-regulated part, than you’re not mature or committed to safety enough for a dangerous weapon. Now, time to get out of the shower, the water has been freezing for like an hour.
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