Time to Stop Mincing Words About Gun Control

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1.

Two years ago I was sitting at a red light, fucking with my iPod, when these two guys walked up to my car and one of them pointed a handgun at me through the window. Tinked it right up against the glass and smiled at me when I looked up. His buddy tugged his arm and they both laughed and strolled off and the light turned green and I drove to WaWa and freaked out in the parking lot for like thirty minutes.

Let’s say I’d had a gun with me when that happened. I would have fumbled for it and been shot in the face, because I’m not John McClane. Let’s say I had a gun and that it was at hand and the safety was off and I had some miraculous quick-draw skills. I would have shot that guy. And then I would have shot his fucking friend, too, regardless of if the friend was armed. I would have shot those guys until I was absolutely positive they were both dead.

What bugs me is this: this all happened really fast and at night. What if what the dude pointed at me was actually a water pistol?

2.

I saw some pictures the other day from an open carry rally where these gun-goons were strolling Wal-Mart with their assault rifles. They all looked like the human equivalent of fetal pigs, if you can imagine that, like too fleshy and pale and kind of curled up into themselves, not fully formed, with misplaced tufts of hair. Only, unlike fetal pigs, they were carrying rifles that could fire like 800 rounds a minute or something.

It made me want to stay away from the X-Box games and Hot Pockets and out of the direct path between the two in every Wal-Mart, forever, because looking at these goons, that’s where the shit is going down if it does go down. These goons were ready for World War III to break out when what they really should have been keeping an eye on was their insulin levels.

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3.

Now, that’s some mean shit to say. What a cruel dick I am. God, I should be punched and kicked and spit on. But okay, I’ll take it, because I’m sick of pretending that this shit has to be taken seriously and I’m sick of getting nowhere acting reasonably when it comes to these shitty, selfish buffoons; I was watching these guys walk around Wal-Mart and I realized, they just think this is cool. They like doing this because it’s antagonistic, and they think they look awesome. They can claim all they want that this is about self defense or the 2nd Amendment or whatever, but God damn, it’s at least partially fashion, isn’t it?

4.

…So how about this: a new law that states you can take whatever gun you want wherever you want, as long as the gun is prominently displayed and painted hot pink. And maybe also the barrel is bedazzled. Or maybe this: you can take whatever gun you want wherever you want as long as it’s prominently displayed and is emblazoned with the logo of your least favorite sports team. And then let’s see if they’re still so keen on lugging their junk around.

5.

Here: I know this guy who is super opposed to gay marriage, civil unions, all of it. One time he told me that his major problem with the whole thing was that if we made it easier to be gay, if we made it more socially acceptable to live as an open and out homosexual, then more people would come out of the closet and engage in homosexual relationships and over time this would lead to a decrease in the population until the continued existence of the human race was threatened.

Now, how the fuck do you argue with that? I mean, there are ways. But what can reasonably be said in response to that argument other than “I’m sorry you feel like you need to hide who you are and I hope that one day you find a way to be happy?”

And I didn’t say that, of course. I think I just shrugged, and this guy walked away thinking he won.

6.

As someone who is even a little bit thoughtful when it comes to social issues, who also has access to the internet, I feel like I’m fucking drowning in bullshit like three times a day. And that kind of argument is why. The opposition is super, super good at spewing garbage that sounds real but is in fact basically nonsense. Here’s one: no to gay marriage because it might undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage. I don’t hear anyone trying to outlaw divorce, though, or proposing that infidelity be criminalized. No to gun control because then only criminals would have guns. Holy shit. Forget that researchers have found that the murder rate is 114% higher in the states with the highest numbers of gun owners, that people who drive with guns in the car are 44% more likely to get aggressive with other drivers and 77% more likely to actually fucking follow other drivers aggressively, and that the instances where a gun-toting civilian has prevented a mass shooting are so rare that it’s debatable whether it’s ever even happened.

7.

But, cough, cough, what about this:

“9 Potential Mass Shootings That Were Stopped by Someone with a Personally Owned Firearm,” via Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed is not a real news source, ding dong:

“9 Things Wrong with Buzzfeed’s Article”

8.

In a version of 21st century America that made sense, every argument about guns should go like this:

Argument: New gun laws might inhibit the right to self-defense.

Reply: Newtown, 26 real human beings with friends and families and hopes and dreams killed.

Argument: We should be doing a better job enforcing the laws we have.

Reply: Virginia Tech, 32 real human beings with friends and families and hopes and dreams killed.

Argument: An armed society is a polite society.

Reply: Go fuck yourself.

9.

Being nice and trying to be reasonable is getting us nowhere. Every time some shit goes down there’s a tiny little groundswell of, “You know, this sure doesn’t happen in other countries all that much, maybe we should…” and then the goons start in on the Constitution and we start scratching our heads on a response and then there’s another mass shooting and we’re all like, how the fuck does this keep happening?

10.

I have some civilian gun owning friends and some non-civilian gun-owning friends, and all of them say the same thing: they don’t bring their guns out with them, because when they do they get tense and realize that being armed in public makes them feel like they’re looking for trouble.

11.

I’d be uncomfortable with any situation where the government came and took away people’s weapons. Maybe they should become hard as fuck to purchase, though. Because sometimes I’ll think I’d like some frozen yogurt but then when I get to the place and I see that the line is super long I’ll suddenly realize I don’t really want frozen yogurt at all, you know? Maybe making the process by which one gets a gun really arduous would either give potential maniacs some time to chill out or inspire them to pull whatever they’re planning with a knife, instead, and knives are much easier to run away from.

12.

Google “Chicago” and click on the “News” tab at any point in the day and see what it says.

13.

You have the right to own a gun. Maybe owning a gun makes you feel safer, even though statistics show this is an illusion. Are you really not willing to give up that right if there’s a chance that doing so would save the lives of real human beings? It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s far from ideal, but neither is being shot in the face for the crime of wanting to see The Dark Knight Rises opening night.

14.

How about, take your gun where you want, as long as the barrel is pointing at your own face and nothing else.

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21 thoughts on “Time to Stop Mincing Words About Gun Control

  1. Obviously your opinion on policy is incorrect, because there are people who’s job it is to oppose such policy.

  2. Why does having the right to have a gun mean you can or should walk around Walmart with an M-4? I am an adult. I have the right to have sex. I don’t do it in Walmart! Clearly the problem isn’t the guns – it’s the assholes dragging them around grocery stores.

  3. “Two years ago I was sitting at a red light, fucking with my iPod, when these two guys walked up to my car and one of them pointed a handgun at me through the window.”

    “Let’s say I’d had a gun with me when that happened. I would have fumbled for it and been shot in the face, because I’m not John McClane.”

    Two words: situational awareness.

    You are out in your car (was it night?) not paying a bit of attention to what’s going on around you and playing with yourself, I mean your iPod, and two guys sneak up on you?

    About 10 million Americans now have a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. I am one of them. People who haven’t always seem to think somehow that makes you feel like a “cowboy” or something. They haven’t a clue.

    What it does do is make you start thinking and watching what the hell is going on around you. You actually don’t want to have use a gun if you don’t have to.

    As to these guys you see in Texas walking into Starbucks with various long guns slung over their shoulder, it is a _political_ protest. A dumb protest because they should have had a clue how the media would paint them.

    In Texas it is illegal to open carry a hand gun (legal however concealed if you have a CHL). It is not illegal to open carry a long gun as long as it is not intended to scare the shit out of people (like carrying and pointing it at them and laughing). What they are protesting is a call for legal open carry of a handgun.

    So they got the idea to carry these long guns into conspicuous places, and thought reporters would come up to them and ask them why they were doing it and they would get their gripe fairly reported on the evening news.

    Well they miscalculated and probably did more harm than good for their cause. But it was indeed a political protest, a stupid one, but still a protest. Hell, even the NRA rebuked them the other day (and maybe walked it back again, but still came out against it).

    Anyway, maybe you have a little better appreciation now. Let me give you clue. Predators and criminals are always looking for the guy or gal who is _not_ paying attention to what is going on around them. Pay attention. Don’t be dicking with your iPod and not watching. Pay attention. Your chances of being a victim will decrease quite a bit that way.

    Regards,

    lwk

  4. Thank you for your vigilance, Iwk. We are all of us the better for your paranoid, reactionary lifest-OH FUCK, IT’S A COUPLE OF BLACK KIDS! THEY PROBABLY WANT TO TAKE YOUR WALLET AND TALK ABOUT YOUR SMALL DICK! FUCKING OPEN FIRE!!!

  5. C’mon man. You’re hyperventilating. Maybe, calmer, you might be able to make a point we can all give some consideration. As it is, it appears the thing you’re most afraid of (and you appear to be afraid of plenty – stupid people, arrogant people, useful statistics) is yourself.

  6. I’m not sure who you’re addressing with that comment but I appreciate the sort of smug tone you’re taking.

  7. Do you mean ‘this whole writeup IS minced crap,’ or are you pondering how you might prepare this essay should you decide to eat it?

  8. tombatten wrote:

    “I’m not sure who you’re addressing with that comment …”

    Someone who goes by “The Baffler” – though that should be obvious since my comment appears below and to the right of his comment.

    lwk

  9. Kate asks an intelligent question:

    “Why does having the right to have a gun mean you can or should walk around Walmart with an M-4?”

    First off, I agree some of these guys are total idiots. However if you are not from Texas (where all the “Open Carry” folks have been doing this lately) it is unlikely the media has given you an accurate description of why they are doing it.

    Basically it comes down to this. Open carry of a handgun has been illegal in Texas since the 1870s. It is not illegal in a lot of states, especially surrounding Texas. That is what they want, legal open carry of handguns (concealed carry with a CHL is legal).

    It is legal to carry a long gun in Texas in public as long as it is not in a manner “calculated to cause alarm,” whatever that exactly means. These folks feel they are making a political protest in the only way they can, legally.

    Now in the past they have done this at the state capital in Austin and everyone knew they were coming, knew why they were coming, and were pretty damn sure they would be on their best behavior. They even got some almost rational coverage on the evening news.

    But I guess that didn’t work so some of them decided to do it in Starbucks or Chipotlle or whatever. That was an extraordinarily stupid move. I guess they thought the reporters would ask them nicely what they were doing and also put that on the evening news without a spin. They don’t much experience with the media.

    In summary, these guys are being dicks now and not doing themselves or other gun owners a favor. But their real sin is being stupid, not actually dangerous.

    regards,

    lwk

  10. Yeah but you weren’t talking to The Baffler, you were talking to me. So you phrased that in a very confusing way.

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