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It's a familiar scenario by now. A person, probably a white male, insisting that the government can't take away his access to guns because of the Second Amendment, the Founding Fathers, and all the freedom ever.

He probably agrees that we shouldn't let the mentally ill and unstable have access to guns and that gun violence is a national problem, in principle, but when it comes to anything that might inconvenience him personally, he is against it.

He knows what the problem is: in this country, just about anyone can get a gun. But I speculate that at least some of the push against gun control stems from the disbelief that he himself is "just about anyone." He is different. He's not a bad guy. He believes that every individual is responsible for himself. So why should he have to suffer or be inconvenienced in any way because of the actions of others?

Like a man who approaches a woman in a dark alleyway, and doesn't understand why she is wary or frightened. "But I'm not a bad guy! Why would she be afraid of me?"

And he probably isn't a bad guy! But he is not especially unique either. To almost everyone but himself, he's just some guy. And he is part of a country and culture where a handful of people, most of whom are "just some guy", use firearms to murder each other, sometimes spectacularly.

So I am awfully sorry that he wouldn't get an exemption from the rules, that the world doesn't revolve around him, that his rugged individualism doesn't preclude him from laws and social contracts. Sorry that privilege only goes so far, and now his personal freedoms are under siege by people who want to prevent another 12/14 massacre.

Living in a society is such a drag.

Originally posted to MarthaPeregrine on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:35 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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