What follows is essentially a conversation I heard between 2 gun-owners in North Texas about the NRA's new commercial, their opinions on Obama's recent policy statement on gun regulation, and most of all: how they feel about their guns.
But first... context!
I work as a disability advocate in California; however, my work sent me to Texas to cover some recent slack in Tyler, Abilene, and Paris, with a week-long of traveling and a spate of hearings with some Very Confused Republican Social Security Disability Benefits Applicants.
Anyways, post-hearing, I'm in a small conference room at the Paris, Texas, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) filling out some paperwork before making the drive back to my Dallas hotel room. In progress, I hear the two Social Security guards talking in low, hushed voices, as if they were afraid of speaking too loud but simultaneously apathetic to anyone's criticism.
1: "... So now I've got this AR that I don't trust because I haven't fired it before buying."
2: "That's a shame."
1: "But oh well, I've got two 30-round mags coming in that I ordered online. Probably the last I'll be able to buy 'em!"
2: "Well, did you see that new NRA commercial?"
2: "There was this guy on Fox, saying that it was disgraceful and immoral that they were attacking the President's kids."
2: "Well, y'know the NRA guy said that it wasn't about Obama. And I'm thinking, exactly! It was about all those elitists, those representatives and politicians whose kids have armed security at their rich schools."
1: "But, of course, they'll try to turn it around. Try to pick it apart."
2: "Of course. But I don't care what your name is, if you're named Obama or Biden or Smith. You shouldn't be able to have armed guards on your kids and then say that mine shouldn't."
1: "Yep, but, of course, they'd try to pick it apart. Make it look worse than it is."
2: "Yeah. Y'know, I saw this YouTube video from this guy -- and I guess he did the same thing I did -- he left his AR by the door, two full mags right next to it, left the door open just a crack and left the camera recording. Then he says, 'well, my gun didn't go on any rampage!' Same thing I did. And my gun didn't go on any rampage!"
1: "Exactly, and that's what these politicians don't understand. Criminals don't care about the laws. They'll do it all anyways."
2: "Yeap, and meanwhile ordinary folks ain't got nothing to protect themselves with."
1: "Lord help us then..."
The conversation cuts off there, as the second guard goes back to his post by the front door. As I walk out, pretending like I heard nothing, I say my goodbyes politely and friendly as you please. But inside my stomach is lead and my head full of fire, just BEGGING to say something smart at their ignorance.
What's sad is that these two guys were quite nice and decent to me the few hours I was there. Chatty, making fine conversation. But in the privacy of their own circle... out comes the idiocy.
Couple of points they missed:
1. The NRA commercial is disgusting because it singled out Obama, by name, (and his kids) for being supposed "hypocrites" because he let his daughter be guarded by Secret Service and therefore apparently doesn't care about the kids of regular Americans. The presumption has no evidence other than that all president's families receive Secret Service protection. Why? For the same reason as the president: to prevent hostage taking and assassination attempts and all other manner of Bad Stuff that happens to people who are seen as targets.
2. Why the HELL do you need two 30-round magazines for your AR? What the fuck are you shooting at that requires 60 bullets to fucking kill? Also, why do you have an Assault Rifle (hence the AR) in the first place? Either you have a handgun for self-defense, or a rifle for hunting. But an assault rifle? That's a weapon used only for one thing: to kill people. You sir, scare me.
3. You said criminals don't care about laws, right? So then how do you believe that armed guards at schools would stop gun violence? They certainly didn't at Columbine, despite the officer's best efforts. Same for Virginia Tech and Taft Union High School. But regardless, I find it funny you'd want to add more guns to a situation filled with innocent bystanders, rather than keep guns out of the hands of the criminals in the first place.
4. The guns used in nearly every major shooting massacre? All legally obtained. Guess killers don't need to steal or buy guns illegally when they're so easy to get already, right? Wrong. Gun regulation would significantly reduce these shootings because then LESS (not more) crazy/evil people would not have easy access to firearms.
5. Most importantly, your scenario about your gun not going off by itself to rampage is completely fucking idiotic. True, guns don't kill people. But you know what? They sure as hell make it a lot easier! When was the last time we saw a massacre done with a pocket-knife? .... Exactly. Also, sure, this one time nobody stole your improperly stowed gun, but, in the future, PLEASE DON'T BE AN IDIOT TO MAKE A POINT! Someone could have very easily stolen your gun and used it to kill a bunch of people. And you would've probably gone to prison, asshole.
Anyways! Now that I know the inner-workings of idiotic gun-nuts, I feel more passionate than ever to do my part to stem gun violence through reasonable gun regulation and law enforcement. But in the meantime, hopefully the contents of this conversation make the rounds and convince people to do something too.