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Monday, June 13, 2016

Trigger Warning: Fucking Guns


From Facebook - Uncredited
In the wake of yet another senseless mass shooting, social media has erupted in the expected din, self-righteous advocates on both sides of a hot button issue feverishly posting their little hearts out. It's a futile loudness war fought online with Tweets and memes and platitudes flying high, nobody winning and nobody backing down. Candlelight vigils, thoughts and prayers.

Fuck the candles. Ban the guns.

On one side of the war, logical human beings who would prefer to go to the movies, concerts, and class without getting shot at, who wish their children to attend a gun-free school, and who understand that "the right to bear arms" as originally written is egregiously outdated. This is a concept from another era, one during which the deadly power of today's automatic assault weapons couldn't possibly have been foreseen. If you can't understand that, you need your head examined. Put simply: you're fucking nuts.

You're pissed off that I said that? Then I don't know what to even say to you. It's like...I can't even...don't you understand how old your guns would have to be in order to be covered under the Constitution? You are referring to a document from 1792. First of all, it doesn't even say what you think it says, and secondly, even if it did, that was written down 225 years ago.

Maybe you need some context. Apparently American brains are wired to marvel over the vast changes since the 1980s than the changes since 1792. Maybe the span of time is too big, it's like trying to imagine what a hundred billion dollars in cash looks like, or the distance from earth to the Mars. You're laughing at websites that let you nostalgiacally play Pong, then you go back to playing *Doom on your Xbox. Pokemon Go on your phone and feeling pretty good about being alive in such a rapidly advancing age.

1792 is before alarm clocks. Before refrigerators. In 1792 there was no such thing as ice cubes, man. Ice cubes.  Electricity in your home wasn't a given, neither was a flushing toilet -- outhouse city, pal. 1792 is a hundred and fifty years before the first mechanized elevator, in the 1930s. The elevator, or lift, was originally a small rattling car on pulleys in which you'd find an Elevator Operator. Ask your grandma, because surely in your lifetime you've never seen an Elevator Operator. You've also never seen a gas lamp lighter walking down your street at dusk, a milkman, or a guy knocking on your window to wake you up for work. These used to be people's jobs. The guys who penned the bill of rights, if Bill and Ted were to bring some of them back in a phone booth, would be shocked and appalled to find women voting, working, leading corporations and...wait, they didn't even know what a "corporation" was yet. They'd only gotten as far as "trading company," but you wouldn't find a woman leading one of those, either. Or even wearing pants. Women weren't counted as citizens and wouldn't be voting for another 130 years yet. Those men owned black people, as property you could buy and sell.

Society advances, countless devices and ideas and standards have undergone sweeping changes to the point where today's version barely resembles its forebears. Because science and technology.

So how can you sit there and crow about your right to stockpile your AK-15s, AK-47s, rapid-fire, magazine-fed weapons? Clips that hold 30 rounds and fire sixty times a minute? These are not the "arms" intended as your "right" to bear. It's not the same thing at all. If you're so sure that it is, then stop icing your drinks and using electrcity. Stop using indoor plumbing and take the stairs, because clearly you're all about living in 1792.

The single dumbest thing I saw online today -- and it was all I could do to stay my fingers from drawing my only weapon (words) to smite this person. But I try to avoid causing trouble on friends' Facebook pages anymore, however idiotic the person posting might be. This woman replied to an anti-gun post and said, and I paraphrase, "My husband and I own AK-15s. We take the kids to the firing range for fun. It's a good gun because it is lightweight and fires easily. We enjoy it and don't think anyone has any say in our choice."

Okay.

Think of some things that have been banned or made illegal, either for health and safety reasons or simply because we have evolved as a civilization and have updated the terms of our social contract. In no other circumstance is there a national association of anything that is keeping these things around when it's clearly the wrong choice to do so, because we're trying to have a society here. Now substitute any of those things for what this person claims in her Facebook comment. "My husband and I enjoy..."

"My husband and I enjoy smoking cigarettes in restaurants and at our desks at work. We don't think anyone has any say in our choice." 
"My husband and I enjoy keeping our children out of school to work in our fields and don't care if they remain illiterate. Workers, that's why we had kids in the first place. We don't think anyone has any say in our choice." 
"My husband and I enjoy getting good and wasted and driving around whooping it up on speedy joyrides in our un-insured, un-inspected car. We don't think anyone has any say in our choice." 
"My husband and I enjoy buying and selling people of color for doing all the chores around the place and forcing to live in squalor. We don't think anyone has any say in our choice."

Oh, and also? They take the kids? To shoot guns? I know some Quaker families who don't even let their kids read Curious George because the Man With The Yellow Hat carries a gun. Yours are shooting semi-automatic rifles as recreation?

If you can look at an assault rifle, whose very name describes its intent, and lay claim to wield it "for fun" because you "enjoy it" and appreciate how "lightweight" and "easy to fire" it is, and for those reasons you're opposed to banning them, you're just not thinking clearly. Your priorities are all asunder. Furthermore, I don't even buy it. I think you know deep in your heart that the entire country should mobilize to confiscate every last one of them, melt them down and build a steel monument to peace in every town square.

Ban them.

*Update September 2016. See how fast shit moves?