Let’s see if I can hammer this out and get all of my thoughts out there, as well as piss off some of you. You know I always enjoy that. Today is the writing that I promised on Sunday that got put off because I saw that the cat finally ate the cheeseburger and the internet is over. Well, that and my boy got sick, I was not getting sleep, and I’m all full of angst waiting for The Walking Dead to resume so that I can go back to living in my fantasy world where my ex turns into a zombie and I get to hit him in the face with a shovel, while Team Prison roots me on and finds a magical tree that dispenses beer, with leaves made of bacon. Then, Daryl Dixon finishes him off with an arrow to the head, which he’ll simply wipe off on his pants and ask how I’d like my squirrel cooked. I’ll laugh, knowing he’s not talking about dinner and, well, you get the picture. Hey, a girl can dream.
Today, let’s chit-chat about guns while we suffer through the atrocity that was the 1985 Chicago Bears singing (and dancing to) The Super Bowl Shuffle. http://youtu.be/2B74ii2F0Bw That’s your link to the actual video. First, open it in a new window and hit “play” on that bitch. I used it as my inspiration for this note, so you can read it while listening to the whimsical lyrics and rapping skills of both white and black men all coming together in the spirit of winning and making fools of themselves. It’ll be like that whole idea of watching The Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”. It’ll work best if you’re stoned (those of you in WA and CO who can legally fire up a blunt should do so), but you can give it a go stone cold sober as well. This is not a well-organized hunk of writing, but more akin to stream of consciousness, because bacon.
The gun control argument irritates the piss out of me. Some people get all, “The government isn’t going to take my guns!” Others get all, “If there weren’t guns, people wouldn’t be shooting up schools and movie theaters!” I’ve got something to say – shocker, I know.
Nowhere, in the history of ever, has it ever been suggested that all guns be made illegal or unable to be purchased by citizens. They’re talking about background checks, appropriate limits to ammo, licensing requirements and the like. If you are going to get pissed about that, realize that we have all these laws involving driving down the fucking road in a car and yet, somehow, the majority of us who are fit to do so are still allowed to drive. As a private citizen, you still can’t drive a tank down a street, and no one seems to be getting pissy about that, although maybe we should. I mean, wouldn’t driving tanks down the street be much safer in the event of a crash? Think of all the lives we could save if everyone was driving a tank, instead of a tiny little car. Better yet, let’s arm the tanks! It’ll be like the old Atari game, creatively named “Tank”. The bottom line is this: Even with strict laws in place, governing the purchase of guns, if you’re fit to own a gun and buy ammo, you’re still going to be allowed to do that. If you’re concerned about a background check or not being able to purchase some ungodly amount of ammunition all at one time, there may be a deeper issue there. And yes, I know the second amendment guarantees you the right to bear arms, but perhaps this was just a typo and what they really meant was the right to bare arms, in which case, you should get your tank tops out and represent, yo. Wait, what? You want to be prepared in case of a zombie apocalypse, nuclear war or some other chaos that may envelop the world, wherein you’ll need to protect yourself? That’s what looting is for. Get with the program.
To you people on the other side – there will always be guns. There will always be senseless violence. It has nothing to do with who can buy a gun legally. It has nothing to do with where armed guards are. It’s all really quite simple. If more people taught their children how to be empathetic to others and, quite simply, to not be assholes, then much of this problem goes away. Armed guards at schools are not the answer to keeping kids from bringing guns to school. Having responsible adults lock up their shit so that their kids can’t get a hold of it? There’s the answer to much of the problem. Is that really so difficult to understand? Apparently, it is. If you’re a gun owner and a gun ownership rights advocate, and you’ve got your weapons and ammo where your kid can get at them, then you’re a god damn idiot and probably shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun, no matter how many classes you’ve taken or what licenses you hold. Plus, you may have raised an asshole. Think about it.
The problem is not violent video games. The problem is not violence on TV and in the movies. The problem is more along the lines of not setting appropriate limits for the people in your life and failing to recognize when someone you’re close to may need help from a mental health professional. It’s about children not learning consequences for their own actions because mom and dad sue the school when things don’t go junior’s way. It’s about being open to ideas and realizing when there is a problem with a family member or friend that may require a phone call or a doctor visit, or a temporary detainment in a mental health institution. It’s about being an asshole of a parent and teaching hate and anger to your children. It’s about not being aware of the world around you. If you take away video games and violent TV shows and movies, even if you take away guns, you’re STILL going to have people who can’t seem to hold their shit together and will find a way to get weapons and hurt other people. It’s a shitty fact of life, and one that everyone needs to realize isn’t going to go away if you make semi-automatic guns illegal. Case in point: illicit drugs are illegal and yet – surprise – people still get them.
Now, I’m all for regulating who can purchase a gun. That’s because I’m all for regulating who can drive, who can fly a plane, and who can do surgery. I think they’re all in the same category of “shit that can kill other people if you don’t do it properly” and all need to have some form of legal mumbo-jumbo to attempt to regulate their use and safety. These regulations keep the avenues for doing these types of things open to everyone, unless you have a medical condition (yes, that can include mental health) that would make it unsafe for you to do so. They don’t completely prevent kids or drunks from driving, unlicensed pilots from crashing planes, or people posing as surgeons from doing whatever it is they’d like to people. Regulating gun ownership isn’t going to prevent unstable people from shooting up whatever it is they plan on shooting up. However, as with everything in this country that one claims is a right, there are always going to be regulations regarding it, so why should this be any different? We have freedom of speech, but not really. It’s still regulated. Think of things like libel and slander, hate speeches, prayer in public schools, cursing on TV – yes, your freedom of speech is highly regulated. We have freedom of expression, yet public nudity is punishable in our society. The freedom to assemble, but you often need a permit and there’s all those pesky laws governing where and when you can assemble. Even our right to vote is contingent on more than just your age and your criminal record. So you see, freedom is a great gift, but none of it goes unchecked, nor should it.
I’m aware that this argument goes way further than this surface complaints I’ve got, but you know what? I really don’t care all of that much, because I can currently go out and legally buy a gun if I’d like to and even if there were regulations in place, I could STILL go out and buy a gun because I don’t have a history of violent criminal activity, nor am I mentally unstable (contrary to popular belief).
In closing, I’m a total white girl when it comes to dancing: I move awkwardly with the grace of a penguin. My overbite is phenomenal and 90% of my “moves” involve raising the roof and pretending to hula-hoop. However, I could have moved it a bit better than the ’85 Bears in this awkward, but catchy, video. Much like listening to a gun control debate, it is uncomfortable to watch and experience. All this posturing, for who and for what?
What did we learn today? Absolutely nothing. I warned you that you’d be disappointed.