There is something chilling in our national adoration of guns and gun culture. Something that goes beyond a simple appreciation of shooting, or a desire to honor and champion the Second Amendment and freedom in America. What was once something that people had, a gun for hunting, maybe a handgun for self defense or home defense, has turned into a sickness that has lead to proliferation and absurdity. The need to have not just hunting weapons, or something for home/self defense but to have many guns, even stretching towards those use primarily for war or crime, is a new thing. An American thing. It has become obsession and greed. If there is a mass shooting you will see gun enthusiasts run towards their outlets to load up on whatever weapon or shell is held responsible for the crime to make sure they can load up before the right to own those things is taken from them.
There is a fear, lurking like the boogieman under a bed, that someone will come and take the guns away.
Something that, at its base level, bears no logical weight.
The idea that the nation has the resources, or desire, to actively head out into the field to take weapons is insane. Sure, certain guns could be pulled from market but the effort to track them down and reclaim them is not something that is going to happen. It just isn’t.
Still, the fear persists.
This isn’t about freedom, not really.
It’s about greed.
It’s about the need to own and have things that others don’t want you to have or own.
And there is no discussion about this.
There cannot be.
It is too ingrained into our culture now.
Guns are America.
We claim to want to show the world we are strong and free but we are showing we are frightened and slaves to this fear.
We have young people standing up and voicing their concerns and fears and they are being shouted down and mocked.
We want them to be more mature, but not too mature, and not in the wrong way.
How can they win?
And we lose sight of the fact that we don’t have to agree with the reasons these young people are rising but we have to support them.
THAT is freedom.
THAT is honoring what founded our nation.
But we don’t want to see that.
We don’t want to see beyond our issues and our freedoms.
We cannot allow others to be free if it means we have to reign our own freedom in.
We look at issues with the reasoning – how can that person be allowed to do that if it offends me?
We look at issues with the reasoning – how dare they take something from me and give someone else something in return?
What have we become?
Or is it more…what have we always been?
And this supercedes religion or politics.
We have to rise above those things.
If we tie everything to those narrow scopes then we are simply building a very long noose that will eventually choke the life from the nation.
Faith and social/moral mores are part of what forms us and who we are, and yes, they guide our views and beliefs but if there is no room for us to change our minds or become enlightened then there is nothing to talk about.
But there’s a deep hubris on that path.
There is a presumption that our way is the only way.
Our belief the only belief.
There is a presumption that our faiths and politics are without reproach or doubt and that arrogance makes us fools.
Ideals and faith are beautiful but in human hands they are damaged because we are imperfect beings. We are always growing and learning. Always bettering ourselves.
And we have to allow some elasticity to the growth of ourselve and nation.
Or we die and rot.
And then back to guns.
And the thing is that it isn’t that guns are bad, yeah, they are tools, but they are also weapons. And we need to ask ourselves – why do we need so many?
Do we mistrust one another THAT much?
Did we come by that mistrust honestly, from experience, or is it second hand, rousted by others who have a reason to make us fearful?
Who pulls those strings?
There are oceans of safe, sane, and conscientious gun owners.
There are also gun zealots.
And ther is a national organization that preaches the way of the gun above all else.
An organization that turned from a fun sporting club to a powerful lobby.
I don’t like guns.
I hate them.
They are made to destroy.
But I am not looking to take your guns.
I just want some common sense to what is sold.
We still struggle over pot being legal but have no issue about weapons used primarily in war zones being legal.
Because those guns are neat.
Legally you can only fire them at a range.
Does anyone really think that this is an effective way to protect a home?
For me, you take weapons made for war off the market and let gun dealers and sporting shops rent them for range shooting. And in that you rent all manner of crazy guns to people. And you license those shops and you make them responsible if those guns are lost or stolen but we make it so that if they reappear they will be found and reclaimed.
The fallacy of good guys with guns is a fairy tale crafted by people more interested in being cowboys than they are being shepards to our future generations.
I realize that people grew up with guns and around them but can anyone say that the vision of America they had, the era of greatness we seem to always be looking back towards, was one where people carried weapons of war openly on the street?
Is that your America?
It isn’t mine.
We need to step back and ask why?
Why do we need them?
Why do we want them?
There is no league of baddies proliferating weapons and readying an attack.
No foreign nation is waiting for us to put our guns away before they strike.
Why do we let fear drive us so much?
And maybe I am wrong.
I know I am writing for an echo chamber here because this is not something that one voice or opinion will change. It is something that you have to change yourself through experience.
I just wish everyone had to return to our public schools to see what these kids are going through, living with, and being raised around.
I wonder if it would help sober us all up.
I know it opened my eyes, heart, and own fears of what comes next for us if we won’t change.