Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wanted: Safety From Guns and Firearms

Here's an unpaid word in favor of banning guns and firearms in America.

For some bizarre and unhelpful reason for the millions of victims of gun violence, CNN has an article called "5 things gun owners want you to know" that disturbs me enough to write this piece. These ideas certainly don't result in a more peaceful and safe country, as some statistics here prove.

I'm going to take each supposed reason in favor of the gun culture and unpack why guns and firearms are not good for America and refute each argument one by one.

Now I'm not going to use the actual quotes of Americans from the article. These are not new arguments; they are the reason why firearms are around.

1. If you love your children, you'll teach them to handle a real firearm...

There are so many things that I find distasteful about this idea, as a mother: --

        1) Why is loving your own children so different from loving other people's children? Are your children just clearly better than other people's children, and more deserving of the best, including better education than other people's children? Yuck. Arrogant in posture.

        2) How on earth is the average person qualified to teach another person how to use a firearm? If firearms are supposed to be used safely, then why not stop teaching how to use them yourselves? Teaching how to use firearms should not be a do-it-yourself learn-by-doing project. Better yet, why waste time taking them anywhere to be taught unless you expect them to actually use firearms, even if for legal purposes?

Why not teach them something harmless that will serve them better, and will not contribute to youth violence. I'm thinking of the harm done by the movie theater killer, Oklahoma bomber, the Columbine killers. I suspect all of them had firearms in the homes where they grew up. It's just a wild guess and I might be wrong. In which case, I'm sorry. I doubt I'm wrong, though. Having firearms in the home is always a bad idea. I believe they contribute to multiple acts of violence. This myth is the opposite of what Americans should do.

2. Some Americans prefer to sleep with revolvers next to them. 

Not sure where spouses, children, and other family members and the cleaning lady fit in here. Definitely not welcome in the bedroom at minimum. More likely, they'll be chased out with a gun.

People who get guns legally supposedly have to agree to store them properly in a locked container. Sleeping next to a gun is illegal and a bad idea. I would suggest a teddy bear for comfort. Here's why: an intruder can pick up firearms and use them against you before you've awakened from your deep slumbers. Intruders might very well be stronger than you even if you are awake.

3. Some Americans assert they want to be prepared for trouble, not that they're looking for it. 

There's something about looking for trouble, like happiness, that makes it happen. Studies show that if you want more happiness, you need to consciously think happy thoughts. If you're looking for trouble, you might just find some.

Seriously, if you're going to get your handbag stolen, or worse, your skin is slashed or your body raped, it happens before you realize it, too late to use a weapon anyway. Studies and experience back this idea with mountains of evidence.

4. Some people think they have a standard of living that includes firearms as a matter of right, and as a "way of life".

As my earlier post states, the Framers of the Constitution did not believe that all Americans have the right to bear arms, contrary to popular American belief.

For those who like to use guns to upgrade their standard of living, there are millions and millions of people internationally who would not agree. Absolutely not. Firearms don't raise up the standard of living even one iota to them. In fact, many, many tourists, starting with my own Canadian brothers, choose other countries to visit for vacations rather than America (thus rejecting America), and any study disputing that is likely paid for by a tourism company.

5. Owners of firearms don't take it lightly.

Phew, I'm relieved about that. But to say those who are unfamiliar with firearms are "fearful" and need "respect" and "understanding" of firearms is clearly disrespectful and inaccurate. Yes, I (we) fear roadside and nuclear bombs, but it doesn't mean I'm (we're) going to take them home and keep them.

There's not anything wrong with that visceral fear of danger, by the way. I fear lots of things, including predatory wild animals, tornadoes, and falling off high buildings and cliffs, but it doesn't mean widespread animal killing, driving into tornadoes or jumping from heights is going to inevitably help overcome my fear of them. Many things should always be feared, and rightly so. These situations are inherently dangerous and kill people, just as guns do, incontestably, intrinsically, on purpose, and by nature.

Sorry if you find my views extremist, but to me and lots of people they're basic humanitarian common sense. I'm simply generally in favor of human and animal longevity, and I like to say what I think. Truth to power.

As a final side note, someday I want to tell readers to take the initiative and put a stop to genital mutilation around the world, too (it's always unnecessary), but right now, I'm too timid! I'm working up to it, though.

1 comment:

  1. Shelley, while I understand your beliefs and reasonings, I feel the need to express a few things:
    1. Even if there is a country-wide ban on guns and firearms, it will not get rid of them, it will only make situations worse. It will disarm those that have obtained these legally, leaving them unable to protect themselves. Firearms will still be on the streets with criminals and those that have obtained them illegally..with those that have not been properly trained on how to properly handle a firearm and firearm safety. More likely than not, you will have individuals committing robberies, rapes, etc because they will know that the victim does not have a firearm to protect themselves with.
    2. If there was somehow a way to get rid of all public possession of firearms, crimes, on any scale, will still happen...those criminals will find a way whether it be by knife, bomb, chemicals, etc.
    3. I agree with you that there is no way an average Joe is qualified to teach an adolescent how to properly handle a firearm (even if that person has taken a firearm safety course). All of that needs to be taken care of by professionals. If parents want their children to know how to properly handle a firearm, sign them up for an approved course taught by a professional, and take it with them - it can't hurt to take the course again, to brush up on your knowledge as well.
    4. I DO believe that there needs to be a way to better track and handle purchases of firearms in order to prevent them from going to individuals not qualified to own or handle them. However, there is always going to be a way to "get around the system" so these plans need to be forever evolving.