Thursday, December 3, 2015

Guns for Brains


I don't pretend to understand guns. I just don't understand them, period. I watch the news every single day, multiple times a day, and the more I watch, the less I understand. I don't understand the urge to hold one, shoot one, and I don't get the sex appeal. I sort of get the hunting thing, seeing as many deer just hanging around Bergen County, when growing up, I don't think I ever saw one in person. Clearly, since stealing all their land, they're displaced and overpopulated. And according to Darryl Hall, just carriers of Lyme's Disease. Pro-hunting can be argued though- it's for food. We need food. Most of us can go to a supermarket but you want venison, killed yourself? Fine. It's not my thing but the argument makes sense.

I'm not a dummy. I don't live in a bubble. While I don't live in a bubble, I can only go by my own experiences and what I see every day on the news. What I see happening daily are gun massacres, gun accidents resulting in death, children killing children. In just about every case, the guns were "bought legally". So when I hear or read pro-gun folks cry about how gun laws aren't going to stop criminals from getting guns illegally, I don't even know what to do with that. Well, no, gun laws probably won't stop anyone from getting guns illegally. BUT WE STILL HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE LEGAL ONES.

I am not up to illegal weapons on my priority list when it's ones that are obtained legally that are killing people every single day. It's common sense that if you don't have anything to hide, and you're relatively sane, then you shouldn't care if the gun laws are strict.

2nd Amendment, blah blah. The 2nd Amendment was written in the 1700's! There has to be some sense in what holds up and doesn't two hundred years later! I want to be able to protect my family, blah blah. Obama wants to disarm us to take over like Hitler. Blah, and blah. I'm pretty sure it's not Obama's fault that Henry W Bartle, 18, of Rome, NY killed his girlfriend's seven month old baby with a shotgun he was cleaning...NEXT TO THE BABY.

How about the fact that I just googled "boy shoots friend by accident" and pages came up. And the dates were like a week apart. All different incidents. All different ages, from little kids to teens. Then I googled "home owner saves family by shooting perp" just for comparison. Yeah, not that many. Not even close to how many "accidental" shootings there have been. I'm not even including purposeful just-white-man-on-a-rampage-ones. I'm going out on a limb to say that we're not talking about the illegal weapons trade either. We're probably talking Walmart specials. Or gun show wares. Makes no difference to me.

I'm forty-one years old. I've never seen a gun up close, held one, shot one, or been close to anyone who has one for protection. How? Why? BECAUSE THERE HASN'T BEEN A NEED. If they're stored the way they're legally supposed to be stored, and someone breaks into my house, am I going to be able to get to it, get it loaded, and shoot? I don't think so. Nor would I want to try. We installed dead-bolts. We have an alarm that's on home or not. We have cameras watching the outside of my house. Groupon mistakenly sent me five cameras. Groupon has terrible customer service (another post entirely), so I couldn't even get in touch with anyone there to tell them I got five cameras sent to me out of the blue. So I put them up. I have a panic button thing. I think I'm set to leave the shooting to the professionals. I don't even live in a high crime area, AND our police, despite what you may read lately, are extremely competent.

I have seventeen hundred Facebook friends. Some of them are pro-gun nuts. Yep, I said it. Nuts. Not just legal gun owners, but people unwilling to listen to reason, standing their pro-gun shoot-em-up ground, 2nd Amendment twisters. I've yet to hear of one story of anyone I know personally having saved themselves from a home invasion because they had a gun. 

I do know that in most of Bergen County, NJ, there is no need to have a gun. Especially if you have little kids. I guarantee your little one gets into the gun stash before you ever actually need or can use it on some mythical perpetrator coming to invade your house. Unless you're sleeping with a loaded gun under your pillow every night, you're never getting to that gun fast enough to do anything correctly with it. If you do sleep with a loaded gun under your pillow, I'm taking the bet you shoot your face off before it protects you from an intruder.

I don't pretend to know what it's like to live somewhere else. I only know what it's like here. There is no one that can convince me that stricter gun laws would make any negative difference to any law abiding citizen that isn't planning an attack on anyone. Maybe in high crime areas with gangs in on illegal gun trade, I can sort of understand where it could be a problem if it's harder for the Average Joe/Jane to get a gun to feel safe in their own home. Even so, I'm not saying to get rid of guns completely, but it should be more difficult to get them. Also, the KIND of guns sold to civilians is a problem that needs to be corrected. No one needs an AK-47 or whatever assault rifles are. I can't come up with one good reason someone needs to have that hanging around their house. Anywhere. If you have that, you're just one postal moment away from being a psychopath on a shooting spree.

We can't police stupid and we can't police mental health. So we have to police weapons. That's the only logical answer. I've heard all the stupid arguments that come up about not blaming the car when someone runs someone over or crashes and other analogies. However, most of these analogies don't make any sense. A gun's only purpose is to kill or maim. A car has a main purpose of getting someone from one place to another. Having nothing to do with killing or maiming. If that happens, it's unfortunate, tragic, sad, etc, but it's not the actual purpose for existing. Guns have no other purpose but to do damage. I don't understand why that fact isn't common sense. That I even have to type that out is tragic.

Stupidity and mental health are huge problems facing society. Our mental health system is broken beyond discussion. Every time there is mass shooting or some other tragic shooting in the news, the pro-NRA nuts start yelling about how it's mental health that's the problem and not the guns. "IT'S NOT GUNS THAT KILL PEOPLE! PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE!" Most of these nuts consider themselves Republicans. Republicans don't want to pay for mental health programs. THAT, friends, is where the system is broken. Certain groups not only don't want to pay for mental health programs, but actively vote against any mental health reforms and rally others to vote against. So what then? We just blame mental health problems, shrug, send out a tweet of "Prayers for the shooting victims of the week" and go on with our days? How insane does that sound?? I'd like to see the NRA put up the billions for mental health programs. Then they'd have a leg to stand on. Maybe.

We don't know why this couple, this week, decided to shoot up the husband's work place and kill all those innocent people. All we do know is that the guns were obtained legally. We do know there has to be a better way. Let's hope someone has the balls to implement that better way. Soon.

I'm just going to leave this here:

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