I’m a coward. I have got some solid, powerful opinions about the world right now, and I am afraid to share them. That’s mostly because I can’t argue for shit. That was a pretty frequent feature in my marriage, and it comes across on the Internet as well. I know that, if I express myself online with something I believe in strongly, one of my friends will disagree with me, and I won’t be able to adequately express why I believe they’re wrong (lack of evidence is my usual sin), and I’ll look stupid. I recently saw a friend post that she didn’t want anybody arguing with her as she expressed her perfectly rational fear given the frequency of gun massacres, and one of her friends posted, “I can think of several points where you’re dead wrong, but I won’t argue with you because you said not to.” That kind of thing would ruin my entire day. I don’t want to have my raw feelings that I’m expressing to my friends challenged by someone, and I don’t want to challenge anyone else’s either.
I know that the likelihood of being killed in a shark attack is slim. It’s even slimmer because I never go more than shin-deep into the ocean whenever I’m there. I’m more likely to be hit by a bus, and I jaywalk all the time. And I know that I am statistically not likely to be killed in a mass shooting. But I do know that nowhere is safe. Shopping, movie theaters, church, school, none of these places are safe. Statistics would not save me if someone with a bump stock walked into The Container Store. I know that a lot of these massacres would not have been prevented with the gun laws that are being proposed and passed. I know that an AR-15, the Big Man Rifle of choice, isn’t technically an “assault weapon” so Sandy Hook wouldn’t have been prevented. Also, he stole the weapon from his law-abiding mother, so background checks wouldn’t have worked on him.
But I’m a believer that a mother in Connecticut had zero reason to own a military-style rifle in the first place. See, you hear that knives kill people. Look at Charlottesville—a guy without a gun went on a killing rampage. But cars have a purpose outside of killing people, and they regulate the hell out of those. Fertilizer has a purpose outside of killing people, but after Tim McVeigh killed over a hundred people with it, they regulated that really quickly. Handguns and military-style and assault rifles are created for one purpose: to kill people. You can kill deer with them, I guess, but they already have rifles for those. You can go target shooting with them, which is a lot of fun, and I wonder if I’ll be able to do it again.
A few years ago, after the Aurora, Colorado massacre, a friend on Livejournal complained about how gun laws hurt the wrong people, because her husband couldn’t make a working replica of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shotgun in Terminator 2. In the interests of keeping the peace and because I’m a coward, I didn’t respond, but if I did, I would have said, “So what?” So what if you can’t have the replica of a gun from a science fiction movie that could literally blow someone’s skull off of their body. Why am I supposed to feel sorry about that? I can’t kill someone with marijuana, and that’s illegal. But I kept that to myself because I like these people.
Another reason I don’t argue is because I probably don’t have anything productive to say. Every single time I see someone post that these massacres were only caused because they happened in gun-free zones, or if they were there with their concealed carry permit, everything would have been fine, I don’t want to debate with them. I don’t want to trade facts and statistics, I just want to call them a moron. I have a great imagination and fantasy life, and they’re imposing theirs on a situation where people pointlessly died. Do they believe this is an action movie? That more bullets flying around is going to keep people safe? That, if they miss, that bullet isn’t going to go somewhere else, possibly into a panicking, fleeing shopper?
Seriously, what is the deal with this country and guns?