Is Being a Republican a Symptom? (Part II)

I’ve had some time to reflect.  I’ve had some time to take in some opinions from various people, from various walks of life, and also with various political leanings.  Some of you have commented, and I enjoyed hearing your responses to the first part of this.  To also address the elephant in the room, a massive school shooting has happened since the last time I posted about this, and I’ve heard a whole lot of short-sighted, self-absorbed arguments from Republicans.

I’ve already spoken a couple of times about my thoughts on guns, gun controlgun violencepolice gun violencemore police gun violenceetc.  Hell, even my virgin post was about guns.  I hope that in this time I’ve grown not only as a writer, but also as a person.  It’s hard to think that I’ve been writing this blog since August 2015, and here we are in 2018.  I initially made this WordPress account so I could make snarky comments on the NBC sport page, mainly the MLB side of things.

Anyways, on to the beef, right?

We, yet again, have had another school shooting.  We, yet again, have had another mass shooting.  We yet again tell ourselves that we’re going to send “thoughts and prayers” while being told that, “It’s too soon to talk about gun control!  Let people mourn first!”

My biggest question to this is ultimately when will the right time be?  Now that Florida has happened, can we talk about Sandy Hook?  Really, the only difference between Florida and Sandy Hook is the age of the children.  They’re all still children, however.  Isn’t all life precious?

The short-sighted, MAGA hat wearing fanatics, are now taking up the usual, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!”  This is short-sighted argument number one.  Yes, guns don’t kill people.  Yes, spoons don’t make people fat.  Yes, you can also kill somebody with a baseball bat or a knife.  We know this, we are not stupid.  Thing is though, when you take your short-sighted, self-absorbed thought away from this, take a step back and see the bigger picture you will realize that people kill people, and guns make it the easiest.

Back when the 2nd amendment was drafted, guns could fire maybe 2 rounds in one minute.  Back in these days, perhaps a blunt object, a knife, a saber, etc. was a more effective way of killing people in larger quantities.  Today, however, the AR-15 (which is commonly referred to as being very user friendly) can allow any untrained person with access to a Walmart, Cabelas, etc. access to a military styled weapon, that has been described by some veterans and being close to a M-16 or M-5.  Regardless of your opinion, I am going to state that an AR-15 is a military styled, semi-auto rifle.

Let me preface this next paragraph by stating that I do own guns.  I have been known to be a hunter from time to time, as well.  There is absolutely no need for any civilian to own an AR-15.  Even in the military, they do not let soldiers bring their M-5 or M-16 into the barracks.  They keep these locked away from these men and women.  The military realizes that these highly trained individuals have ZERO need for these weapons, except for on the target range or the battlefield.  If the military can realize this, why can’t our NRA backed lawmakers?  I do not need an AR-15.  Don’t get me wrong, if you gave me an AR-15 I would take it to the range and put a lot of holes into a lot of sheets of paper and have a blast.  I would be a responsible gun owner.  Every person starts out as a responsible gun owner until the day they flip.

Another short-sighted argument I’ve been hearing is, “Let’s put armed guards in every school!” or even better, “There are thousands of unemployed Vets, let’s give them jobs protecting schools!”  Schools are already heavily under funded. Who would pay for it?  Also, as a teacher, I’d rather that money be spent to update our curriculum, update our technology, and perhaps give paraprofessionals a raise so we don’t have most of them quitting after one year, among other things.  More guns shouldn’t be the answer to a gun problem.  Who would pay for the training of these vets or guards?  Also, as anybody in education will tell you, dealing with children is hard.  Having a man or woman in my school with a semi-automatic rifle dealing with teenagers scares the living hell out of me.  Kids can be mean.  I’ve seen professionals who have been in education for years lose it and walk off the job.  We’ve been trained to deal with children.  Would these armed guards have the same training to deal with children?  Also, do you really want your child at a school where they walk past a man at the door wearing body armor and holding a military grade rifle?  What kind of mindset does that student bring to math class?  How can a child learn in that environment?

More importantly with that argument; why is it that Canada, U.K., Germany, Japan, Australia, etc. do not have armed guards in their schools, yet we don’t hear about school shootings from them every year, and nearly every month?  Think about it.  They had a problem, they solved the problem, instead of throwing money and guns at it.

Another favorite short-sighted argument we always hear once a month when these events happen is, “Gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens!  Criminals won’t follow them!”

This is stupid, short-sighted, and self-absorbed for a number of reasons.

First off, by that logic, why have any laws?  Why have anti-discrimination laws if people will still discriminate?  Why have speed limits if people are just going to speed?  Why have laws against assault, battery, domestic violence, etc. if people are still going to be violent?

The U.S. started to notice that there were many traffic deaths with automobiles, first mass produced in 1908.  This was a new thing.  We literally had zero laws to regulate these horseless chariots.  Eventually localities started setting up regulations about where and how fast automobiles could drive.  We saw a change in our transportation technology, and we decided to protect our citizens against it.

Here is the thing.  I consider myself a great driver, despite my driving record which is full of speeding violations.  When I drive, I am in complete control of my car.  I can drive fast and not destroy property or put lives at danger.  Do I feel like I am the victim of an over-reaching government for keeping my speed to 30 mph in the city?  Absolutely not.  I realize that even though I am responsible, not everybody is.  We need to protect citizens from reckless individuals, and also from their own self.  Do people still break these laws?  Every f**king day they do!  Does that mean we should not have them?

Speaking of protecting people from their own self.  Seat belt laws!  When we first enacted seat belt laws in 1984, the statistics showed that requiring drivers and passangers to wear a seat belt lowered the number of vehicle deaths.  Crazy concept, right?  Are there still people who break this law every single day?  Yes, I’ll be honest… I am one of them.  (Mom, if for some reason you’re reading this, please don’t text me and tell me to buckle up.)  Despite people still breaking this law, this law started saving thousands of lives every single year!  Whether it saved your life directly, because you were an idiot and drove your vehicle into a wall, or saved your life because some other idiot drove his car head-on into your car doesn’t matter.  Lives were saved by creating a regulation.  Do you feel like your liberties have been infringed upon?  No.

Note: Please don’t tell me that cars aren’t in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  I f**king get that, really.  That would, again, be you being extremely short-sighted and self-absorbed.  Please also remember that when the Bill of Rights was created we did not have cars.  Please also remember that when the Bill of Rights was created, guns were muskets that were not very accurate, and could maybe first 2 bullets in 1 minute if you were really f**king good at it.

Secondly, if there is an issue, does that mean we shouldn’t try to fix it?  Let’s just throw our hands in the air and accept that this is just life, and nothing can be done about it.  I’ll dig to the bottom of my “thoughts and prayers” barrel and throw more of those at the problem.  I warn you, however, my barrel is rather empty these days.  Will Costco have a sale on these soon so I can stock up?  I fear that if we cannot fix this problem, and we’re taking the approach of not doing anything about it, I might need some back-ups.

Lastly, and this goes a little bit with the first, criminals will still get guns.  Yes, this is true.  If we have any sort of gun control, or gun reform, or a ban on certain types of guns, however, it will make it harder and more expensive for criminals to get guns.  Let’s talk about marijuana for example.  Marijuana isn’t cheap.  Why isn’t it cheap?  Well there is a certain amount of risk to buying and selling marijuana, as it is illegal.  There is a certain risk for transporting marijuana, as it is illegal.  You get the point.  Funny thing about marijuana, however, is that it grows like a weed.  If that were legal, and marijuana could be mass produced, you’d find it is a very cheap plant.  Because it is illegal, however, it is harder to obtain, and more expensive to obtain.  Same goes true for lots of illegal things.  Creating a black market for guns by making laws and regulations can go a long way in cutting down on some petty crime.  That pissed off father isn’t going to go out of his way to buy an AR-15 that now costs $10k on the black market to threaten his family when he’s drunk.  That 17 year old will no longer have access to his dad’s unlocked AR-15 to shoot up a school, but instead might grab his bolt action hunting rifle, instead.  Now instead of killing 15+ people, and injuring another 20, he’s maybe shot 5 people, as his rifle only holds 5 rounds and is slower to reload.  Lives. Would. Be. Saved.

I’m sorry to say to you folks that there will have to be a Part III to this post.  Please continue to give me comments, whether you agree or disagree with me.  Please feel free to ask questions.  Please feel free to bring up points (for or against) that I haven’t written about, or perhaps haven’t even thought about.

 

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