Every Gun Is An Accident Or Tragedy That Just Hasn’t Happened Yet

Gun violence is always tragic – and inevitable.

Repeat: every gun is an accident or tragedy that just hasn’t happened yet. And, while we’re at it, there’s no such thing as “responsible gun ownership”. That’s gun owners wanting to put the best possible face on their gun ownership. They’re not irresponsible jerks like the gun owners whose guns kill people. Their guns could never kill anyone they didn’t mean to kill. But, death is the intended outcome of their gun purchase. How can it not be? Guns are literal death machines, designed from the ground up to kill living things. That’s their whole point! It’s why guns were invented to begin with! If you bring a gun into your house, the possibility of death enters with it. That’s why every gun is an accident or tragedy that just hasn’t happened yet.

Guns As Therapy And Therapist

The Parkland Shooter jury sentenced Nikolas Cruz to life imprisonment without parole. Does that compound or mitigate the tragedy? Depends where you’re standing and how you feel about capital punishment. Regardless, this always was a tragedy that was going to end tragically. Cruz dropped from the womb damaged; growing up, his isolation and rage only got worse. Problem one: an angry, isolated young man desperately in need of help who never got it. Problem two: he’s dealing with his emotional trauma publicly, using a firearm as his therapist.

The NRA thinks of this as a “Second Amendment Conflict Resolution Strategy”. Got a problem? Solve it with a gun! That’s the MO of most school shooters. I’d argue anyone who picks up a military style assault weapon before heading to the mall may be firing at random strangers, but they’ve got real people in mind as they go a-murdering. Firing the gun assuages them – at that moment anyway. They haven’t thought beyond that moment.

That’s our problem.

Defending White Hegemony

Conservative gun lovers are doing the very same thing on a much larger scale. Diversity threatens white hegemony. Their solution: put more guns into white hands in order to defend white hegemony to the death. Just as policing in America grew out of runaway slave hunting, our gun laws grew out of white power and money trying to protect white power and money.

The 2A Scam

At their core, all American gun laws are deeply racist. The irony is, there IS NO right to individual gun ownership in the Constitution – including the Second Amendment. The word “own” appears nowhere in it! “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Neither “keep” nor “bear” equals “own”. The Constitution, don’t forget, is written in legalese. It’s the basis for contract law. Private ownership was important to the Constitution’s framers. They understood the difference between “owning” something versus just “keeping” or “bearing” it. If you rent a car, you can “keep” and “bear” it so long as the rental contract says you can. Good luck telling the rental car company that you actually “own” their car because that’s how YOU interpret “keep”.

Antonin Scalia also avoided “own” when he wrote his Heller decision. That’s a tell. In his summation, Scalia uses the word “posses”. Americans may “posses” as many guns as they like. And, while ONE definition of “posses” is “own”, again, the two words are NOT equivalent in contract law. And that’s because they’re not equivalent in law PERIOD.

“Own” is “own”, “keep” is “keep”, “bear” is “bear” and “posses” is “posses”. Scalia knew he couldn’t use “own” in Heller because first, he’d have to explain why it wasn’t in the Second Amendment to begin with.

Madison (the 2A’s author) framed the gun question from the perspective of militias protecting free States, not individuals protecting themselves. Who actually owns the guns? The militias. They are the arbiters who gets to “keep” and “bear” the arms. The modern equivalent is the National Guard. If I join up with the Guard, I don’t take my own weapons when I show up for training. The Guard will provide me with arms as I need and when I need. And then, when my service is finished, I’ll hand back the gun before heading home.

Guns Trigger Gun Violence

Virtually all data about guns says one thing: bring a gun into your house and you’ve increased the chances that someone will get hurt or die in your home because of that gun. If you never brought a gun into your house, no such thing would happen. Guns are very popular with suicides by the way. That, too, is gun violence.

Responsible gun owners argue, as I said, that they are the exception. They keep their guns locked up in gun safes when not in use. Fair enough. But that’s like saying your car never gets into an accident while sitting in your garage. The problem starts the moment you exit your garage or the gun exits its safe.

While your gun may be “safer” in its safe, that’s not what the gun was designed to do. Want to measure how “responsible” you are? Let’s talk about what happens when your gun’s in your hands. Again, you may be the safest person on the planet, the height of “gun responsibility” but there’s one problem. You cannot guarantee that an accident won’t happen. You can’t. That’s not a reflection on you, it’s a reflection on life.

Responsible Gun Ownership Is A Myth

Nancy Lanza thought she was a “responsible gun owner” right up to the moment her son Adam murdered Nancy using her own legally purchased and owned, fully registered weapon. Then Adam headed to Sandy Hook Elementary School. “Responsible gun owner” one minute, partly responsible for a massacre the next.

The face of “responsible gun ownership”

Why would anyone take a weapon with them to the Piggly Wiggly? What are they afraid of? Or is it who? Ironically, all the people Gun-Toting-Guy fears? They’re unarmed. The only person posing a threat to anyone is Gun-Toting-Guy. But then, THAT is the whole point.

Conservative gun lovers want us to normalize something that isn’t even remotely normal. This isn’t the Wild West. There is violence in our cities and culture but more guns won’t solve either – something we keep proving every single day.

If we (could) solve racism, we’d solve a lot of our other problems. At least we’d begin to address our “original sin” (slavery) honestly. You can’t claim “All men are created equal” while enslaving some men. It’s a blatant contradiction. America has used guns – and gun laws – to maintain the contradiction.

I have a sneaking suspicion we could solve our gun problem if we simply stopped using the word “gun”. I’d recommend using “death machine” instead. It’s more accurate to begin with. Then, instead of “gun rights” versus “gun control”, we’d talk about “death machine rights” and “death machine control”. I don’t know if the outcomes would be different, but the arguments sure would be. I bet “toy death machine sales” wouldn’t be anything like “toy gun sales”.

America’s gun lust is madness. Nothing good can come from it and nothing good has. Every gun is an accident or a tragedy that just hasn’t happened yet. We’re living the proof of it every damned day.

Photo Credit: Photo 110319227 / Gun Violence © Skypixel | Dreamstime.com

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