Okay, since it’s been how many times.
Guns are weapons meant to kill. They have no other purpose.
They come in all forms and all varieties, but functional firearms are deadly weapons that kill. That’s IT. They are not “tools” in the same way a hammer is a tool.
A hammer is a tool designed to drive nails into wood. That is its intended function.
You can kill a person with a hammer.
You can kill a person with a crowbar.
You can kill a person with a pair of bolt cutters.
You can kill a person with a shovel.
You can kill a person with a baseball bat.
You can kill a person with a hockey stick.
You can kill a person with a Hattori Hanzo sword.
You can kill a person with a piece of paper, if you’re good enough and have a hemophiliac target.
You can kill a person with a car. A car is a deadly weapon in the hands of the wrong person, but its primary function is transportation.
A gun is a weapon whose purpose is to kill. It is made for NO OTHER FUNCTION.
And guns make things easy. They don’t require skill to use, at least, not a lot of skill.
It’s surprisingly hard to kill someone with a sword. There are all sorts of variables. Length of the sword, weight, sharpness, strength of the person wielding the sword, skill of the person wielding the sword, what the target is wearing, is the target a fast runner. Even a lethal stroke can become non-lethal if the victim moves the wrong way.
Same thing with knives. You can stab someone a surprising number of times and not kill them, and even a cheap pair of jeans can foil a knife blade.
Yes, you have to know how to hold a gun, how to aim, how to shoot, but that’s something that can be learned in a matter of minutes, and if someone is close enough, you don’t need hours of practice to be able to hit them. Most guns fire bullets as fast as your finger can pull the trigger, and once you fire that first shot, I’m led to believe that the rest come easier.
They fire hot pieces of metal into a body, where the velocity of the bullet causes internal damage enough to wound or kill a person. The mechanism has been in existence since the seventeenth century, but really only got rolling in the nineteenth, when the American Civil War started with musket-loaders and ended with gatling-guns.
Pistols and handguns, rifles and shotguns are so tied into our culture from the very beginning, from necessity, where guns were needed in wild areas that could be dangerous. But when we reached a time where we didn’t need guns at our sides constantly, we kept them anyway because they were just part of the landscape.
But at some point the gun started becoming less a tool for hunting or protection and more of a fetish, an obsession, and as more and more people wanted in on the orgy, the gun makers saw vast fields of green and guns went from something that just exists to something every American needs to have.
To feel safe.
To feel proud.
To be American.
Tying pride and protection with deadly weaponry was a disaster, as many Americans willingly believe that the right to own deadly weapons without restrictions is fundamental to freedom. They fear a tyrannical government taking their weapons and leaving them defenseless against whatever boogeyman they decide on—the government, gangs, criminals, immigrants, ISIS, clowns, fruit vendors, who knows.
(It’s useless to point out that even if they bought every gun they could get their hands on they would only last a few seconds against a single military platoon.)
(It’s also useless once they start in on “well if you take our guns then the criminals will overrun us because they don’t care about the law and they’ll have guns and we’ll be defenseless” because pointing out that many people live without guns in cities with criminals who do have guns and somehow they aren’t all getting mowed down won’t fit into their pre-programmed narrative.)
So now, we have a nation held hostage by rich gun makers who own politicians; it’s in their best interests to keep people scared, paranoid, and buying guns. It’s profit to them to have lesser and lesser restrictions on guns.
They don’t care if people die.
It will require enough people—both sensible gun owners and non-owners—to stand up and demand reform, and replace paid-for politicians with people who are strong enough to stand up to the gun lobby and say “You’ve taken enough blood.”
It doesn’t have to be zero-sum; another frustration I have with the gun-humping crowd. They see it as all-or-nothing, when the reality is that you are not going to magically zap all guns out of this country overnight. And I don’t even know that I’d be in favor of that, as much as I’d like to live somewhere where if someone wants to take me down I have a shot at being able to survive. I have no problem at all with people who are intelligent and capable of understanding the AWESOME responsibility of having a gun, and who take the time to learn how to handle them safely, who store them safely, and who basically don’t even let you know they have one because to them it’s not something to brag about. Those are not the people I worry about. They’re also not the people who get nasty and defensive at any suggestion of gun control because they understand the responsibility they have and are probably just as tired of the open-carry brandishing overcompensating fools as I am.
But there is absolutely no reason, aside from an NRA-beholden Congress, for there not to be a sensible, universal set of regulations passed on who can own guns, and what kinds of guns should be available to civilians. That it should be at least as difficult to buy a gun as it is to obtain a driver’s license. We put more barriers up for people who want to learn how to practice law, to drive a car, to own a business, to enroll in college, to get a costmetology license, to be licensed to tattoo or pierce people, to CUT HAIR!!
Than we do to own a deadly weapon.
In many states with no waiting period, no requirement for licensing or competency or any demonstration that you are capable of handling a weapon that can kill someone in an instant.
It’s this way because the people in power are owned by the gun lobby.
And nothing will change.