On Gun Violence


I write this in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting. I do so as the narrative is forming that perhaps the heinous act was committed by a Left-Wing extremist. I don't care if he was "on my side", no one that is killing people is "on my side".

I don't want anyone shot.

I don't want Steve Scalise or Gabby Giffords shot. I don't want country music fans, movie-goers, or gay men at a nightclub shot. I don't want disaffected white men, or gang members shot. I don't want college kids, high school kids, or innocent grade school kids shot.

And yet I know it will continue as long as people who want to own deadly weapons, even for good intentions, can do so.

If it turns out this madman was a Left-Winger, it doesn't change the fact that it was Right-Wingers that let him do it. The ability to buy death at a WalMart did it; to buy it at a tent at a "gun show" and not even have a cursory background check did it. The lack of regulation around carrying death on your waist did so; the laws that prevent you from infringing that "right" did so.

Now the right will say that good people with guns stop bad people with guns. I'd like to see that supported by evidence. America has more guns than anywhere else, and always rising, and yet by far the most gun deaths.

Anecdotally I only have seen a few cases where a bystander with a gun stopped a shooter. Those few are swamped by the stories of hot-heads with conceal-carry who lose their temper and become the bad guy rather than the good guy. I remember video of a man at a gas station mad that the kids in the next car over had their music too loud, so he shot them. Just one case, but I'll bet you find more of those than good guy saves the day.

And while I'm on that topic, the good guy can't "save the day", he can only make it less horrific. Especially in states with open-carry, you can't know someone is the bad guy until they start shooting. Which means the situation is always reactive. If the shooter has any skill, people are already dead. This isn't prevention, just a stop-gap, and a bad one.

So why do we have this situation?

Well the second amendment says that we have the right to bear arms. There are basically two schools of thought on this, defense against others and defense against the government.

We've seen above that it is doing a terrible job at the former. And by the way, I don't even want to kill someone who would hurt me. Why do all these defense nuts want to kill others so badly? They should all be carrying Tasers!

And as to the latter, you and your buddies and your AK's aren't going to overthrow the US Government. You just aren't. You'd at least need Howitzers and even then I'm not so sure.

Even if you said it could be tried, what would that look like? It isn't rows of men in uniforms with muskets. It would look like Gabby Giffords and Steve Scalise. Even Right-Wingers decried the latter attack, since this time the victim was someone "on their side".

Would banning guns have problems, yeah.

You can't get them ALL, but you can get most of them. And then you'd know when you saw someone with them that the situation was already bad. And people will still commit violence with knives and cars. But they can't send death in all directions at large distances. I'm ok with that kind of progress.

Short of banning guns, we could at least have some controls. Nearly all of the rights guaranteed to us by the constitution have limits. There are answers to this problem!

So please can we end this? I'm tired of worrying about honking at a bad driver, what if they are pissed off and have gun? I'm tired of going to a movie and checking for exits, and more importantly, something solid to hide behind (yes I do that, you should too). And mostly, I'm tired of the cloaked blood-lust of the gun enthusiast, it is terrifying.