Saturday, December 5, 2015

The way I am

This is not an apology. I cannot and will not apologize for the things I am about to say. It is, however, an explanation. If you disagree, fine. I don't need to hear about it. I'm probably in the minority, and that's fine. I am also thoroughly convinced that I am right.

I hate guns. I have had a distaste and fear of them since I was 7 years old. My uncle was shot during the commission of a crime. It wasn't life-threatening, but it affected him for the rest of his life. A number of other gun-involved events, including some with fatal outcomes, continued to happen throughout my youth. I wasn't conscious of the impact guns were having on me, but it is clear to me that they were indeed having an impact.

In my adult life, gun violence has disrupted my comfort and sanity for years. My sleep is often interrupted when images of the carnage and devastation caused by the weapons creep into my consciousness. One of the reasons I left a job early in my career was that I dreamed about being shot on a nearly nightly basis, and I couldn't find a way to deal with it. I now deal with anxiety and periodic panic attacks, both of which can be caused by the daily drumbeat of gun violence in our tragically gun-obsessed society.

Guns are different from other tools. Guns have one and only one purpose: guns kill/murder. That's it. You can't use a gun to build a house. You can't use a gun to make a sandwich. You can't use a gun to fix a road. Guns kill. Period. If you have a gun, you have it with the purpose of killing someone or something. (Don't argue that you can competition shoot with guns. A few hundred people in the whole country actually do that and only that with guns. That's a b.s. argument and you know it.) Guns have daily utility only if you provide all of your food by hunting. I have eaten lots of game from hunters, but I have never known anyone who provided for themselves and their family exclusively through hunting as people did several hundred years ago. Again, no reason to have a gun here.

Many anti-gun people say they don't want to take away guns. I do. Get rid of them all. That way, if you have one, you are breaking the law and you should pay a penalty. Keep doing it and you should get locked up, because your obsession with being able to kill stuff is unhealthy and dangerous. If we could do that, it would be so easy to see the bad guys. If you aren't in the military or a police officer and you have a gun, you're the bad guy. Easy peasy. "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." Exactly. Arrest the people who have one. Problem solved.

If you live near me and have a gun, you are making me and my family less safe. The only reason to have a gun is to kill, and if you have one, I am a potential target. I don't believe that there are people who own guns, but would never use them. If that's true, you don't need one. You just like to play with them, and that's dangerous. (I've done it too. Guns can be a lot of fun. So is Yahtzee. Do that instead.) Private citizens don't ever stop these shootings with their own guns. And if a private citizen starts shooting in such a situation, it is very likely to make the situation even worse. You don't need a gun; you want a gun, and that's very different. I want to not get killed. That's me living versus you having a cool toy. I think my concern wins.

I'm not arguing here. I will never ever think guns are a good idea. I'm just explaining why they are such a bad idea. I have heard all the pro-gun propaganda and it doesn't sway me. Like, at all. I don't need you to rehash them. I probably won't even read them. Like this or don't, but it's just an explanation. If you really love your guns more than other people's lives, I'm not going to convince you with this post. Just delete it, ignore it, or whatever and move on. It's fine. You aren't that worried about my life anyway.