Sorry, gun owners, but calling yourselves “responsible” is really just a nicety you apply to yourselves. I totally appreciate that you aspire to be responsible with your firearms. If you spent money on a gun locker or safe in which to store your weapons when not in use? Good on ya! That was a (relatively) responsible thing to do. But, the problem is, you can’t predict the future or guarantee that an accident could never happen. Or will never happen with your gun. The truth is, as responsible as you’d like to be, your gun could still hurt someone – intentionally or unintentionally. Just like that, your “responsible gun ownership” could vanish – alongside somebody else’s life.
Remember Nancy Lanza? She considered herself a “responsible gun owner” right up until the moment her son Adam Lanza shot her dead with one of her own legally registered firearms. Then Adam headed to Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered twenty-six more people. Adam murdered his mom in her sleep. Nancy Lanza never knew that she stopped being a “responsible gun owner” and became one of the really, really irresponsible ones.
The margin of error for “responsible gun ownership” is microscopically small.
Maybe the problem’s more linguistic. The word “gun” doesn’t really describe the thing gun designers design guns to do: kill more efficiently than the weapons that preceded them. Firearms really were the first ever “death machines”. Perhaps that’s what we should call them instead…
The whole point of a gun is to propel a piece of metal at great speed toward a living human target. That’s it. The whole shebang.
That guns also threaten people? That’s gravy! Virtually immediate death. That’s the mashed potatoes.
Just as handguns were designed to put death into one’s hand, military assault weapons were designed to kill on a military scale. No one hunts with an AR15 – not if you intend to eat what you kill. Killing’s the whole point of an AR15 – hunting and killing other humans. Why on earth would anyone not in the military need such a death machine?
The fact is they don’t.
Why is America the only place that thinks they do?
This lands at the crux of America, its gun laws and its ghastly fascination with guns. Stone cold fact: they have nothing to do with “protecting one’s home” and everything to do with racism, protecting it and promulgating it.
I’ve pointed out on this blog that, in fact, it makes zero sense to use the Second Amendment to justify individual gun ownership in the first place! The word “own” doesn’t appear anywhere in the amendment. James Madison, the 2A’s author used “keep” and “bear” instead of “own” for a reason.
The amendment frames guns in the context of militias – what we’d call “The National Guard” today. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” the Amendment begins, “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
That seems simple enough. States need militias (to secure themselves – in Madison’s context – against the Federal government). That being the case, says the amendment, the “well regulated Militia” will arbitrate who can “keep and bear Arms”. As part of the militia. Because that’s the context in which Madison framed the question.
If I were to join the National Guard today, I wouldn’t take my gun with me, the National Guard would provide it – while I was serving them them. And then, when my service concluded, I’d hand back my arms before heading home. Because – per the amendment – I don’t own the firearm. The well regulated Militia does.
This is not a small thing. Gun lovers have shoved a heavy dose of bullshit down America’s throat – that the 2A is a gun free-for-all. It absolutely is not! Want to know who agrees with me? Antonin Scalia – author of the SCOTUS’s Heller decision. Heller overturned Washington, DC’s right to control guns within its borders.
But, read Heller from start to finish and you’ll notice one word’s missing: “own”. Scalia knew damned well he couldn’t put “own” on the table because, to do so, first he’d have to explain why Madison didn’t write “own” in the first place!
America keeps proving every day why no other nation on earth has gun laws like ours.
Here’s a question. We insist that anyone driving a car have liability insurance – in case they hurt anyone with their motor vehicle. Cars were designed to transport people from point A to point B. That people have accidents in them is entirely “accidental”. Cars aren’t designed to hurt or kill. Guns, on the other hand, were designed to do that very thing.
I really do appreciate that the last thing my gun-owning friends want is to hurt anyone with their weapon. But, if that was really the case, they’d get rid of them! The majority of Americans get along just fine without them. Gun owners could make that leap, too.
It’d be the responsible thing to do.