Friday, October 2, 2015

What is it going to take?

I never ever talk about politics on this blog, but in the wake of the shootings at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon yesterday, I have to speak up.

Last night I posted this meme on Facebook (shared from Left Coast Lucy):

Let's be clear here. I grew up in the gun culture. My father is a lifetime member of the NRA. I went to NRA conventions when I was a child. I know about guns. I respect them as the tools they are.

But what I'm seeing in the gun nuts is a pervasive belief that their right to their guns is higher or stronger than other people's right to their lives. If you truly believe that your right to your gun is a higher purpose than the right of all this year's mass shooting victims to their lives, you are insane and I will not engage with you.

If you don't truly believe that, and yet continue to defend your right to your gun, then I have this comparison for you.

In the rape culture debate, there is a thing called #notallmen - the idea that not all men are rapists, that men shouldn't be automatically assumed to be primed to attack women at any moment. The problem is - how can women tell which men are potential rapists and which are not?

It's the same with guns - #notallguns still leaves us with the question of which guns are going to be used in mass shootings and other homicidal crimes. You may say that your gun is not the problem. Fine, but how can we know that? How can we know that any particular gun or particular gun owner is not going to be a problem?

I don't know what the answer is. I have no magical solution to the problem of gun control that guarantees that no mass shootings will ever occur again.

What I do have is a certain knowledge that what we are doing is not working, and that something has to change.

If that requires prying your gun from your cold, dead hand, quite honestly, at this point any issue I might have had with that is shrinking rapidly.

If you can look at the continuing occurrence of mass shootings and not want to change access to the weapons that cause them, then you are either heartless or insane, and again, I will not engage with you. But I will question your humanity.