Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Don't take your guns to town, son, leave your guns at home, Bill."

 Political nonsense, so run away if that's not your bag. Also, I am not entertaining debate on this subject. I just don't want to, I don't feel I owe an explanation why, and that's that. Deal with it.

 I found this via Twitter. It's one of the always excellent Mother Jones's occasional interactive graphic on issues of the day, specifically the huge amount of state-level gun control laws that, in a nutshell, make it much easier for folks to carry guns. We got concealed weapons, elimination of record laws, felons with guns, "stand your ground" laws, guns around schools, guns in bars, and Missouri's apparently passed a deal that allows for "stand your ground" exceptions when the shooter is intoxicated.

 Now. I have no desire to get into a debate about gun control. I agree with Dan Perkins and his comment on the 2011 Tucson Shooting, the "gun control debate" is over. We're going to have more access to guns and there'll be more scenarios when letting someone be packing might be somewhat misguided, and unfortunately more instances when a big chunk of innocent people are caught in the crossfire of some complete asshole's temper tantrum. That's just how it is in this foul year of our Lord and barring some significant shift in the American cultural no√∂sphere, that's how it's going to be for the foreseeable future.

 For the record, I'm cool with gun ownership. I own guns. I used to hunt and I still have several shotguns and rifles, most of which are being used by various relations. The notion of owning a gun for either personal security or protection of property makes perfect sense. It's a scary world out there. I don't really mind concealed carry in public, but I will admit to getting uncomfortable past that.

 From what I understand, the modern interpretation of the Second Amendment is in favor of personal gun ownership and doesn't really worry about the whole "well-regulated militia" bit so much anymore. Thing is, the militia aspect really hasn't been much an issue since the early part of the 19th Century. In the beginning, the newly minted American Citizen was cool with neither a standing army nor a localized police force. That, of course, changed with the passing of time as did the general perception of a "militia".

 I don't really buy the idea that gun owners, as a group, keep the jack-booted thugs of either the United Nations or the United States from clamping down on our freedoms and liberties and forbid the making of apple pie or whatever the hell is supposed to happen. I don't buy it for a couple of reasons. For one, the U.N. is too ineffectual and the U.S. too disorganized for anything like that to happen. Seriously, the government can barely keep the mail running, you expect me to really believe they're this far from going all Franco on us and the only thing between now and then and will hold back the military and the police ('cause let's not bullshit ourselves here) is a relatively small, completely unorganized subset of the population.

 It should be noted that not all gun owners think this way, of course, nor do the vast majority look under every rock for creeping liberal fascism. And to be frank, I don't feel confident that my interests would be adequately represented by them that do nor do I think they will protect the interests of innocents who do not fit their picture of "acceptable". They do not fill me with confidence and I've yet to come away from a conversation with such a person feeling anything but more certain in that respect. I could be selling them short, and I will be the first to apologize if that's how it works out.

 I am cynical by nature, so I hope it's just that when I think the whole "gun situation" will get worse before it gets better. Our problem really isn't guns. Guns are a tool. A tool with only two uses - shooting folks and looking cool - but they're a tool nevertheless. It's what we do with them that matter. More guns or more gun control won't matter if a society is sick inside, and we definitely are. I don't have any answers, but I won't live in fear of either gun owners or why they own guns. I refuse to.

 That all being said, I have one final stroke. I think it's extremely interesting that the Powers That Be are making guns easier to obtain and carry for folks all across the mental health spectrum at the same time they're actively trying to make it harder for average folks to express themselves through voting. That doesn't seem like a good idea to me, but I figure there's plenty of money being made through both strokes. That's all the PTB really cares about anyway. In any event, it should be an entertaining sight once that all comes to a head in a few years.

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