I am so tired of people saying we shouldn’t ban assault rifles—not handguns, not hunting guns, but freaking giant assault rifles, for Pete’s sake—because they don’t kill people. So what were they made for, then—planting daisies?
I suppose we shouldn’t ban toxic substances from our food, either, because they don’t kill people; people eating them kill themselves! Babies deserve to get sick from the BPA laced in their sippy cups; damn children need to pay attention to what they’re drinking from, amirite?
Look, I like to shoot. When I was ten, my dad taught me how to shoot a handgun and I’m not bad at it. It’s fun to shoot cans. I like to shoot bows and arrows at targets, too. But I would gladly give up any of these things if it meant protecting people and moving toward a peaceful world—and make no mistake, we cannot have peace with the prevalence of weapons in our lives. I honestly feel safer with a baseball bat in my hand than a gun, anyway.
Why? Because if you have your gun locked away, on safety, unloaded and stored like you’re supposed to (especially if you have children) how the hell is that going to help you when you have an intruder in your home standing over your bed, ready to harm you? My bat by the bed gives me much more confidence. I have had one since I was a teenager and learned what some men do to women, and it gives me a peace of mind that a gun would only take away.
Here’s something else. I have a seven-year-old, and you can tell me to lock up a gun (we don’t have any in the house, by the way; I don’t even own one) and it will be safe. I will tell you that you are stupid. My daughter is a clever little trickster who can find ways into locks even with my husband and me at our most responsible behavior. Kids do this; it’s how they learn and explore. If you tell them not to go into the cabinet, they’re going to find a way into Narnia with or without your help—and to your gun.
How many have to die before you’re willing to move toward peace, America? States that have passed strict gun regulations have fewer incidences of death from guns, and countries who have passed such legislation show improvements as well. Look, even if you won’t pass a ban, there is absolutely nothing wrong with requiring more red tape to jump through! You have waiting periods, insurance, licenses and other requirements for things like fishing, buying a car, and getting married. Throw all of those in with a gun safety class and I’d be much happier. That mandatory waiting period might just give a possible shooter the day or two he needs to reconsider—and with so much work to do, some unhinged person isn’t going to waltz in, grab a gun, and start shooting right away.
Of course, I also like Chris Rock’s ideas on the issue (language warning).
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