Guns and Safety: A Shot in the Dark

  So when I have maintenance at work I won’t be able to post those nights usually. The way I’m going to “game” the system is to post them at “13:37” the previous day with live writer. I’ll also try to post a new post about something else for the day as well at whatever actual time I write it.

  I just wanted to momentarily talk about gun violence and gun regulation, that way I can get it out of the way for the year and be good to go. This is a tough subject to talk about with people who like guns, not always, but at least in my experiences guns in the US are not just liked but they are worshipped.

  There are multiple reason I imagine this is the case, probably has something to do with our military worship culture, or perhaps an older generations obsession with foreign evils, xenophobia, wars etc.

  Something to keep in mind when discussing the situation is a sense of scale. Often people cite the second amendment because, I assume, they are lazy. So just to get it out of the way I’m going to mention it now.

  A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  This was written in an entirely different world technologically. The coolest gun that existed in this time was a musket. They could not fathom the kinds of weapons we have today and had they I’m sure they’d have been more technical in their rhetoric.

  Something to note is that this amendment was made in the interest of “security” and generally when people cite it they talk about guns as something that makes them safer. I think I’ve mentioned this before but data does not support this argument. Guns to not make you safer, they merely make you more dangerous. I’m only citing CNN, but if you find just about any research since 2000 you will find that nothing supports guns actually making you safer.

  The reason for this is probably pretty simple. We have an illusion of power in the US when it comes to guns, we believe that guns give us magic powers and make us safe. This illusion of power creates a feeling of invincibility in people and leads them to not act in a manner that is conducive to survival. Basically if you are unarmed and get confronted by an armed thief, you are likely to act in a way that will keep you alive.

  If you are armed and confronted you likely will not.

  I can say with sincere certainty that anyone reading this is probably going to die if they are ever confronted with a situation that requires them to use a firearm they purchased and carry. When the situation arises you will die and it will be sad because it likely could have been avoided.

  The problem with gun regulation is that it pokes at the xenophobia, at fear, people fear that if they cannot own assault rifles they will suddenly get invaded by the current governments secret military or something similarly silly. The thing about assault rifles, in particular, is that they are horrifying. These things are high power, high clip, high range, killing machines.

  You don’t use them for hunting, there is no positive purpose behind them. And on my previous point if you enter a situation where you need an assault rifle to stay alive you will die. There is no maybe about it, I am 100% telling you that you will die. The worst part is in the time before you die you are going to be unloading a high range high power killing device that, for each time you miss, you are potentially going to kill an innocent person.

  So you will not only die but you may end up dying a murderer.

  But if we can’t regulate Assault Rifles I must ask where the line is drawn? Should we let people have grenades? How about missile launchers? Flame throwers? Landmines? Chain Guns (which I think are technically legal just cost prohibitive).

  How about fight jets or apache helicopters?

  What about tanks or armed humvees? All an armed humvee is is a truck with the gun attached, that shouldn’t be a problem. Guns are legal, trucks are legal, is this ok?

  In the vast majority of cases where powerful guns are used to kill large quantities of people in the US they are done so with legally acquired guns. They are also done by people who are wearing bullet proof gear or otherwise armed to survive small arms fire. If anyone tells you “you can’t regulate them because criminals don’t care” they are being disingenuous or just entirely ignorant. This is not the issue, we don’t have a pandemic of illegal guns being used to mass murder. We have a problem with military grade firearms being purchased by people who have no need for them.

  Basically every major school shooting since the assault rifle ban was lifted has been with an assault rifle that was purchased legally. This leads one to believe that if you were to ban these items again you would, over time, reduce the amount of mass school shootings.

  But what about handguns and shotguns? Other small arms? These things may still happen but the casualty rates should (in theory) be considerably lower. There is no need for anyone to own a gun with a clip in the double digits. If you are going to be in a situation where you need something with that many bullets, unless you are a professionally trained soldier, you are going to die.

  Even if you are a professionally trained soldier you are probably going to die.

  What you do after this is then work on mental health. Try and find the signs of mental instability that tend to lead to these sort of crimes and try to help these people before they become dangerous.

  After you’ve done that stop treating guns like they were minted by the hand of god. Firearms are tools of cowardice. The only time a gun is going to save your life, with a few exceptions, is when you understand that the gun will not make you safer.

  The gun will merely make you more dangerous.

  If you can accept that you are merely making yourself dangerous, go ahead and buy one, but never for a second think that it gives you power or safety.

  Once you do, you are one incident away from death.

An Illusion of Grandeur