Thought Free Zones

It seems as though this most recent mass shooting is having a bit more staying power than the last couple of hundred. Sure, it’s fading out, but it gives me a little bit of hope that the conversation may grow over the next couple of hundred mass shootings. We may actually do something about it in the next twenty years or so.

But doing something is tricky. You see… I’m a gun owner. I own several guns. Hell, three of them are assault rifles. I do not classify myself as a ‘gun nut’, however, nor do I associate myself as being involved in any big national ‘gun culture’. I like to hunt. I enjoy getting out in nature and taking my kids hunting. Target shooting with the kids is fun as well. And to top it off, I get some peace of mind knowing that I can use a firearm to protect my family in the unlikely instance that there would be a middle-of-the-night home invasion. I have no desire to give up any of that. None at all. But here’s the thing… I haven’t heard anyone saying any of that had to go away with some common sense legislation. It’s all just rhetoric and scare tactics to get people angry. Angry people vote.

We’ve all heard the talking points. The big one this time has been in reference to this school being a ‘gun free zone’. Well, no shit. It’s a school. If you think people should be able to bring guns to school, then click off of this blog. I can’t get through to you. No one can. We’re past that point. You’re so far gone down that road in your f**ked up armed Utopia that nothing will reach you. You’re in the same crowd that thinks all teachers should be weapons experts with a Colt .45 in a shoulder harness while teaching that evolution is a theory on even plane with the Garden of Eden. I can’t reach you with the same sense of reason that most in the world possess.

The reason that a ‘gun free zone’ doesn’t work in the heavily-armed-society wet dream is tied directly to another big right-wing NRA funded talking point: Criminals don’t follow the law… that’s why they’re criminals. Again, no shit. Seriously. No shit. This is the reason I’m 100% in favor of the right of Americans to protect themselves with firearms… Just not f**king everyone, and not f**king everywhere. And just because criminals don’t follow the laws doesn’t mean that we don’t need laws. This kind of rhetoric has clogged the ears of the willing to the point that they are no longer capable of doing the smart thing, being proactive, and has forced them into a dystopian apocalyptic mentality where everything is a fight for their life and the only option is to be reactive.

I have news for the people who will not listen: We are not in the end times. The four horsemen of the apocalypse are not drawing nigh. Also, our country is not collapsing beneath our feet due to a Muslim Marxist dictator in the White House. It’s just not happening. Sure, we have problems, but seriously… Get a grip. You live in a fantasy world. Unfortunately, your fantasy world is tied directly with the ‘gun culture’ that has grown massively in recent years. You need to recognize that it is very unlikely that you’ll need to be ‘running and gunning’ at any point in your life. You can’t continue to build this patriotic-crusader mentality and expect it not to take a toll on everyone. The chances of this scenario becoming a reality are incredibly low, and are in no way deserving of fashioning your entire life around. You’d have a far better chance of being struck by lightning, and I’m assuming you don’t live in fear of lightning. I’m guessing you don’t make several social media posts daily about the stupid liberals that don’t understand the dangers of lightning. We already have soldiers and policemen, and they’re awesome. We just need you to attempt some level of normalcy that doesn’t involve a life of armed anger.

I remember my dad telling me about a fly-fishing trip he took in South America several years back. Everywhere he went, he said, there were men armed to the teeth with automatic weapons. They carried machine guns everywhere in town as well as at the lodge where he stayed. He said that it made everyone on the trip extremely uncomfortable. And yet that’s exactly what many on the right are yelling loudly for… Everyone being armed. Can you imagine how that would feel in America? If your answer is ‘awesome’, you need to have your f**king head checked. You are the problem. You want the fear of the gun to keep order. And that’s the same ‘gun culture’ fantasy that many of the mentally ill mass shooters have bought into. The fear of the gun will fix their problems.

The problem with the ‘gun nut’ arguments, though, are the occasional nuggets of truth… the ‘no shit’ things they throw in, such as the aforementioned ‘criminals break the law’… Because of this, it is true that we will never have the option of being a gun-free society. It would never work. There are far too many guns. That option should be off the table. And this is where the big fracture in the debate occurs. The gun lobbies, politicians, viral memes, talk show hosts, etc., have convinced the masses that increased gun regulation is the first step to taking your guns away. It’s part of the fantasy. It’s actually the biggest part of the fantasy… “from my cold dead hands,” and so on.

This Mad Max universe they live in involves some monumental final stand, where the patriotic man fights off the government in a standoff as the tanks roll down the street to disarm society. They live in a world where this is a real possibility, which is why it’s so difficult to reach them with a reasonable argument. But I would like to repeat to the folks that won’t listen: That’s just not going to happen. Relax. Unclench your buttcheeks. Please. F**k. You’re making us all nervous.

All that we want to do is talk. That’s it. We want to be able to have a conversation that doesn’t involve end times prophesies. We just want to find a way to keep guns out of the hands of people who might use them to kill innocent people. That’s all. Keep on hunting. Protect your home and your property. That’s a-ok. But let’s see if we can prevent a few more gun murders. Is it a mental illness problem? That’s certain to be a big part of it. So let’s find a way to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. That won’t happen if we arm everyone. Sure, it’s great when someone shoots the crazy armed f**ker who just took out eleven people, but isn’t it more great to have the eleven people alive? I look forward to a time when we can have this conversation, full of thought and intellect, and absent of absurdity and rhetoric. But that involves compassion and compromise, so maybe I’m the one in the fantasy world.


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