Earlier today, I Pinned the excellent picture from the front-page diary by Greg Dworkin . Naturally, said Pin was cross-posted to my Facebook account. Also naturally, it rattled the bars, and everyone came out to play.
And it's the same old semantic, pedantic, and fearfully frantic debate changing no one's mind.
I know most of my FB friends. (Odd, I realize, but hey.) And I don't like seeing them fight. Especially, I don't like seeing them having the same old fight all the time. So, I had to say something. Peek below the Dread Liberal Beignet of Doom to find out what!
God, I have to keep saying this.
Okay, friends -- and you all are definitely my friends -- let's get a few things straight right now, please:
I don't mind if you guys go at it on here, as long as you remember two things -- one, PLEASE be civil (which, so far, you are all doing, but it's starting to get a little close to the edge). Also, realize that no one is going to change anyone's mind here. We all believe what we believe, and one or two details one way or 'tother aren't going to change an ideological bent. Hell, one or two Big Sweeping Themes aren't going to change it. Believe me, I've tried.
I am very much in favor of gun control. I want universal background checks, at least as much insurance and licensing as they have on motorcycles, serious controls on quantity purchases of ammunition, ten cartridges or less to a clip, and a civilian ban on certain automatic and semi-automatic weapons. No, I don't know the precise details of makes and models of guns, nor of ammunition. If you start playing those semantic games, I will think less of you. That's the worst kind of hair-splitting (wastes my time and annoys the pedant).
I understand hunting and target range firing; I understand personal protection.
I do NOT understand walking into grocery stores with an AR-15, as has been done once or twice recently, just because you legally can. That's not making a legal point; that's intimidation.
I do NOT understand taking a gun into a church, or a school, or a day care center, or a national monument, or a park. If you want to Kill The Bad Guys that much, join the police or become a security guard or enlist in the French Foreign Legion or something, because you do not GET the concept of church, school, day care, or monuments and parks.
I do NOT understand the notion that we might have to RED DAWN ourselves from an evil government that Takes Over Everything. They already have, they're called the oligarchy, the corporations, the 1%, and it's too fucking messy and too much trouble for them to come at us with weapons -- they have our money, resources, and the job market.
If you think there's a chance of you winning some kind of armed confrontation with the United States Armed Forces, I hope you've made out your will. If you seriously think Kim Jong-Un, or Barack Hussien Obama, or anybody else is going to start sending people to reeducation camps, and somehow only you can save the country, you need to step away from the Hannity and Beck and Limbaugh and switch Fox News over to something comparatively soothing. Like Hell's Kitchen.
As Bill Maher put it recently, "... they actually believe that what protects their rights isn't laws, or courts, it's that they have a gun. They think that's what keeps the government from going too far. Without guns, Obama would become an emperor and force everyone to gay marry, but he can't because a guy in Kentucky named Skeeter has a .22".
(He also noted, "It's not your second amendment rights that are under attack, it's all the other ones.")
Finally, I pinned that pic because it touches on something I've thought for pretty much my whole life. There are, broadly, several different types of gun. But they ALL are designed to do their job by doing physical damage to someone else. You can't get away from that. Even a gun designed specifically for personal defense is, at core, something intended to injure or kill the other guy. And, given how contemptuous most gun folks I've listened to are about weapons with little stopping power, that means intent to kill.
(he whole thing about woundings rather than killings? More hair-splitting. Sheer luck. Bad design, bad aim, whatever. In panic situations, you're simply not going to consistently make the other guy take an Arrow In The Knee.)
A hunk of my childhood was spent in a not-so-great part of Detroit. A pretty darn bad part was just across the Southfield Freeway, a place called Herman Gardens. Last time I lived out there was 1985-86. On New Year's Eve, at the stroke of midnight, I lay in my bed, listening to the gunfire. A lot of it. I saw all the shot-out windows in my schools.
Anyway. We can talk about guns until we're all blue in the face, but we're not going to change each other's minds. I wish that were not the case, but there it is. Now, at least, you know where I'm coming from.
Love you all. Carry on.