by Justin Crockett
So yesterday was a, what, Wednesday? So that means there was another shooting, right?
I know, I know, after each one of these tragedies, it’s par for the course to say “gun control won’t do shit!”. Or “it’s not the laws, it’s the people!” Or “there’s a brown torrent of diarrhea spewing from my uninformed mouth!” This isn’t about the “give more people guns” argument. This isn’t about the couple of places in America(the exceptions that do not prove the rule) where there is tough gun control yet still high crime. This isn’t about the president, or either political side. There are ways to look at this without being blatantly divisive. Before you puff out your chest, just look at a couple of things that are clearly bad about gun purchasing.
Hey, did you know that if you have ties to jihadists, you can get a gun? Right now. You could have constant communication with a terror cell in Pakistan, Skype with them while preparing supper, and then drive down to your local ammunition depot and get yourself a shiny peacemaker.
Did you know that in the last eleven years, over two thousand people already on the FBI’s terrorism watch list were able to legally purchase firearms? These people are not you. YOUR GUNS ARE TOTES COOL. These are the bad people. The ones you are ever-worrying about in loud rhetoric, the ISIS’s, the al-Qaeda’s, the ones YOU KNOW are bad. Not the mostly-white people that are shooting everyone, everywhere.
Some ways to combat these issues literally got voted down again today. Why?
This isn’t without precedent. There has been gun control in other places after horrific massacres. None of these places have the inherent gun culture that we have, mind you. YOU’RE FINE, THOUGH. NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU YOUR GUNS ARE OK AND SAFE. But maybe we could try a thing or two? Lift a few ideas from countries where control has unequivocally worked?
There was a horrible mass shooting in Port Arthur, Australia in 1995. The government swooped down, because you do that to help people sometimes, and enacted gun buybacks and outlawed private sales of firearms. There has not been an uncontainable outbreak of crime since. In fact, gun firearm homicides dropped almost 60% since, suicides by gun dropped 65%, and there have been zero mass shootings since.
You’ve likely heard that there have been more mass shootings than days in this calendar year. But when you actually read through the list, it’s a little more sobering than just seeing that link in your social media feed and feeling appropriately bad for a moment. But we can feel better, maybe? There actually are things that could be done to help stop these things from happening almost every day. AND YOU CAN MAYBE KEEP YOUR GUNS?
And none of them have to involve TAKING YOUR GUNS FROM YOU RIGHT NOW. Or changing your beloved amendment(which by its very name and nature, demands constant updating). We just kind of need to make it a little harder for certain people to get weapons. NOT YOU, YOU’RE FINE. I promise. And like, what will it hurt? Wanna just try it and see? Just dip your toe into giving a fuck, helping kids and nice adults not get shot in their faces? Go through the list of the shootings this year, make yourself humanize each one of them. Picture yourself at each peaceful gathering, or quiet country night, or birthday party where these crimes happened.
And what the fuck is it with birthday parties and numerous people getting shot? I counted at least seven in that list. Four happened at dice games. Two happened at explicitly-advertised gun control rallies.
Instead of looking at patterns, or trying to wrap heads around random chaos, let’s instead be open to trying something that might not hurt anything, and could potentially change a lot. NOT CHANGE YOU OR YOUR STUFF.