On Guns, Gun Ownership, and Owning up to the responsibilities that go with

I had the idea of doing another story-based post here. It's the whole point of the blog after all; get feedback and improve as a writer. Thing is some things are just too big and have too much of an impact to sit and go about the day to day without at least a nod at these things happening.

For those that don't know, are reading through the archive at some later date and can't connect the dots, or really just for the sake of restating the (at this point) obvious; I'm talking about what happened with this guy gunning down people in a theater during a midnight screening of Dark Knight Rises.

Before I go on though I would like everyone to stop and have a moment of silence. If you feel the need to pray for those that died or the injured feel free to do so. Just a small moment no matter what else as a matter of respect.

Alright then. Moving on.

I'm going to leave the analysis of the guy's mental state, any possible motives, and the like to one side. I'm no headshrinker. I am also a firm believer in the right ot carry guns as something that is rightfully enshrined by the American Bill of Rights. However with that right comes a few responsibilities.

Now this is aimed mainly at the people wishfully thinking that this would be like the elderly man stopping a robbery by shooting the would-be robbers. I've no idea if these people realize what they're suggesting. Your average person is not trained or mentally equipped to sit and pull the trigger on somebody, much less can think clear enough in the moment to aim for some area that either leaves the would-be perp alive, or more importantly (in this situation) not hitting anyone standing behind or near your target.

Does this mean I'm in favor of what's going to be reactionary fear-based cries for tougher gun control laws (or more likely people using the hysteria of the moment to further their own greed?) No. What I"m suggesting is anyone who wants to own a gun, and this goes double for anyone wanting a conceal and carry permit, think about what you've got for a minute. You want a device that is created to end something's life. Give it the respect it deserves.

And for those wanting to finger wave and point and crow at this being why we shouldn't ever ever EVER have guns. Shut up. Get off your soap box. Stop feeling so smug and self-important. You didn't tell us so. I'm tired of somebody, anybody, trying to use some crazy going off the handle as justification for feeling a little smug around the water cooler. It's not helpful. Before you open your mouth stop and ask yourself if you're wanting ot speak because you have something worth saying, or if you're just wanting to nag and parade that you're right and everyone else is an idiot. If it's the former then by all means share. If it's the latter. Mouth Closed. At least til Monday keep your trap shut.

We already have systems and checks in place to try preventing people who have obvious mental problems from obtaining arms. Obviously this broke down, as all systems fail now and again. However, and not to put too fine a point on it, people will get guns even in countries where it is illegal t oget them.

Instead let's look at educating the public (and preferably our law makers) that gun ownership should come with having it drummed into your skull just what it means. I'm not talking make a person feel guilty for wanting a gun in a lock box by the bed as a just in case, or someone that wants to go hunt deer a couple times a year. I'm talking 'if you have a gun then you should take to look at why you have a gun.' Won't work with anyone who's reasons include 'I want to murder lots of people' obviously, but anyone with a quick temper, or keeping one to feel a little macho, think about the why.

Before I go I'm going to leave everyone with a quote from Marylin Manson on the Columbine shootings because it seems relevant today.

When it comes down to who's to blame for the high school murders in Littleton, Colorado, throw a rock and you'll hit someone who's guilty. We're the people who sit back and tolerate children owning guns, and we're the ones who tune in and watch the up-to-the-minute details of what they do with them. I think it's terrible when anyone dies, especially if it is someone you know and love. But what is more offensive is that when these tragedies happen, most people don't really care any more than they would about the season finale of Friends or The Real World. I was dumbfounded as I watched the media snake right in, not missing a teardrop, interviewing the parents of dead children, televising the funerals. Then came the witch hunt.
Man's greatest fear is chaos. It was unthinkable that these kids did not have a simple black-and-white reason for their actions. And so a scapegoat was needed. I remember hearing the initial reports from Littleton, that Harris and Klebold were wearing makeup and were dressed like Marilyn Manson, whom they obviously must worship, since they were dressed in black. Of course, speculation snowballed into making me the poster boy for everything that is bad in the world. These two idiots weren't wearing makeup, and they weren't dressed like me or like goths. Since Middle America has not heard of the music they did listen to (KMFDM and Rammstein, among others), the media picked something they thought was similar.
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