“Good Guy” or “Bad Guy”, The Operative Is “With A Gun”

After the latest mass shooting, the Gun Nuts have been all over screaming how a “Good Guy With A Gun” killed a “Bad Guy With A Gun”.

Great. That happened in one shooting out of over 400 mass shootings in this country in a single year. Yet the Gun Nuts are going to scream how this means we need more guns in a nation where guns outnumber human beings.

First, let me as the same questions I have asked countless times: HOW MANY more guns will it take for us to be safer? HOW MANY guns will it take before mass shootings number fewer than the days of the year? How many until we have fewer than one mass shooting in a month?

I’m not expecting an answer. I expect diversion from that subject. I expect the same ad hominem regurgitated, memorized, mindless responses that always follow like a recording set on “repeat”.

More than that. I expect threats. Because nothing says gun rights like death threats. Way to change my mind.

Obviously, the responses are what are truly disturbing. Even online, the tone of the responses are explicitly intended to be aggressive and intimidating. You can picture the Gun Nuts being in a room when the discussion comes up, screaming, waving firearms in the air and under your nose while claiming they need their guns in “self defense”. They are the exact people you would be most fearful of to initiate a mass shooting of unarmed civilians.

Meanwhile, they are the ones who want to claim their government-given right to own a firearm for the purpose of defending themselves against the same government that gave them that right.

I’ve made it clear many times. I am in favor of gun ownership. However, not unrestricted gun ownership. Name another country that has stricter laws than our own on gun ownership yet has had over 400 mass shootings in one year. Isn’t it interesting that the argument that, “criminals will always have guns” does not seem to apply in those other countries?

The gun rights activists will use this singular event to say, “See?!! See what happens when there are more guns around?!! The good guy saved all the other good guys!!”

My response is no. That is not what I see. What I see is that many mass shootings have had “good guys with guns” who hid, afraid to place themselves in danger. I see 400 other shootings that may have never happened if we had stricter laws on gun ownership, on safe storage of weapons. I see so many people who have died and should never have been in danger.

I see elected officials in the pockets of the weapons industry, refusing to take action for fear not of public outcry but fear of losing “donations” from corporations.

I see a nation indoctrinated and desensitized to violence, bloodlust, murder, family violence and suicide. A nation indoctrinated to cheer for warfare, war movies, militarized police and violent media. Just don’t show the human body because that’s unacceptable and obscene. Don’t show the actual bodies of shooting victims and what happens at the other end when our bombs land because that’s disgusting. Don’t show the families of murdered children close up or for too long, even if they want to speak to the public. Respect their privacy which they are willing to sacrifice.

I see fanatics claiming that long-range, military configuration, high velocity weapons with high capacity magazines are for hunting and “self defense”. While attempting to use the argument that there is no such thing as an “assault weapon”, even when we once had a nationwide ban on the same weapons and those bans still exist in some locations.

I see people on anti-depressants and with various illicit or prescription dependencies by the millions. Let’s focus on the medications and blame the medications, not ask why they had to take the medications to begin with. Let’s blame mental illness but not expand access to mental healthcare.

Keep sending victims and families thoughts and prayers. Don’t focus on the fact that the majority of shooters claim to belong to the exact same religion, that many shootings have been done in the name of that religion. Just don’t talk about it. Claim that if a young person goes to another country and kills brown-skinned people they are defending their country, their religion. If the same person picks up a gun and starts shooting people here without being paid for it, their belief was distorted.

Along the way, let’s increase surveillance of US citizens. Don’t take any steps to lower the risks for which they are being surveiled. Pony up another $100 billion to surrender your right to privacy but hold onto your guns.

Oh, did I mention the shooters are only called “terrorists” if they have brown skin? If they are white, we’ll call them “troubled”.

So, go ahead. Cheer for the “good guy with a gun” in one single shooting. Cheer for your loss of privacy. Cheer for living in so much terror that you feel the need to own or carry a gun in the first place. Cheer for the guy strapping an AR-15 in Walmart and not knowing his intention until he starts shooting or doesn’t. Cheer for dead children. Cheer for sanitized media coverage. Cheer for thoughts and prayers. Cheer for corporate bribes to elected officials. Cheer for police suited up like storm troopers. Cheer for money spent on government programs which do absolutely nothing to decrease the social conditions leading to violence. Cheer for subsidized surveillance drones, grenade launchers and armored vehicles responding to peaceful protests. Cheer for telling our children this is all normal, that live shooter drills are just a fact of life. Cheer for being hypervigilant when going to the theater, the mall and at every loud noise you hear in a public space.

Just keep cheering. Then take your medication and tell me again how great this all is.

Will Vaping More Keep Us Safer?

So we are now facing a ban on vaping products. Why? Six people have died as a result of vaping. 450 people have permanent lung damage because of vaping.

At least that’s the claim. Don’t get me wrong. I think more research needs to be done on vaping products and ingredients. The flavors and scents used in vaping liquids have not been evaluated for heating and inhalation. It’s unlikely the standard plain or menthol kind are a problem. Other artificial ingredients seem like more of an issue.

Comparison. Now, let’s take a look at something else. Firearms. Especially assault weapons.

Assault weapons have been used in virtually every mass shooting in the US for years. Six people dead is a low number for larger mass shootings. 450 people with permanent physical injuries? We see more than that from guns in a single month. Permanent emotional injuries? More than 450 in a week, possibly more than that from a single event.

So, while a product that has been on the market for over a decade with little or no negative effects documented other than fanatical anti-tobacco pages, suddenly we have a rash of reports “confirmed” of deaths and lung damage. At the same time, devices designed for the express purpose of murdering large numbers of living creatures in a short period of time go virtually unrestricted. The unconfirmed instances spark outrage while millions of Americans scream mindlessly about retaining the right to own implements of death.

How many “thoughts and prayers” have we heard directed toward victims of mass shootings? How well has that worked?

Limiting access to firearms has shown tremendous success in other countries. While in America, we hear how “More guns will keep us safer.” Just like taking more poison will save you from being poisoned, more cancer will cure your cancer, slamming your head against a brick wall will fix your brain damage.

In 2017, at least 39,773 people died from gunshot wounds, the highest number in 20 years. Some sources claim that number decreased in 2018. Great. Decreased from the highest level in two decades. This number represents 12 deaths per 100,000 people. Keep in mind, these are the numbers we know about. Some people may have gone missing or died at a later date due to complications such as infection or permanent organ damage caused by gunshot wounds. I will also point out that firearms can cause significant permanent lung damage. In Canada, the rate is 2.1 deaths per 100,000 due to firearms, in Germany it is 0.3 deaths, in Japan it is 0.2 deaths.

In spite of anecdotal claims, the highest percentage of deaths by firearms in the US remains in states with the highest rate of gun ownership and loosest gun laws. So, when do we reach the point where we are safer?

The research on firearms has been done. We have personally been lab rats in that research our entire lives. Comparisons to other countries or even specific regions of this country paint a very clear picture.

However, when we compare actions taken by our government regarding vaping versus firearms, there is a massive discrepancy. Most Americans are in strong favor of stricter gun laws including a complete ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. I don’t recall hearing anyone calling for a ban on vaping products.

Or maybe vaping more will keep us safer?

Guns Are Not The Problem

A favorite trope of the propagandized, Neanderthal gun nut mindset is “More guns will keep us safer.”

Okay, how many guns? Be specific. How many guns? Because guns already outnumber people in this country.

If more guns keep us safer, explain why countries with fewer guns have less violence overall?

If more guns keep us safer, why have there been multiple concealed carriers at multiple live shooter events and they did nothing but hide? We’ve even seen armed police and security officers hide while children were being gunned down. The heroes we hear about have been unarmed teachers and veterans saving others during these WHITE SUPREMACIST TERRORIST EVENTS.

If more guns will keep us safer, who gets to carry those guns?

Where should we have guns? Malls? Churches? Movie theaters? In our living rooms and bedrooms?

If all public events are to require paid “authorized” gun carriers to be present, if they fail to respond, shouldn’t they have an automatic indictment against them?

If civilians can carry guns, how do police tell the “good guys with guns” from the “bad guys with guns”?

How large a gathering should require armed personnel? 100 people? 50? 10? 2?

Do we start REQUIRING people to be armed? Who? Teachers? Preachers? Store clerks? Doctors? Nurses? Daycare workers?

What penalty do we impose for those that do not want to be armed? Should unarmed people be considered terrorists and thrown in jail? For how long?

Do we start a “Stop and frisk” program to make sure everyone IS carrying a gun?

What kind of guns?

Who pays for the guns?

Who pays for the training and accuracy testing?

What happens if you fail the accuracy testing?

How many times should you be allowed to retest?

Who inspects the guns? How often?

If mental health is the problem, shouldn’t anyone who purchases or owns a gun be required to have a mental health examination before purchasing and at regular intervals for as long as they own a gun?

Who makes the decisions on all of this and by what criteria?

Who writes the criteria?

Who do we blame? TV? Movies? Video games?

Then shouldn’t we be placing limits on those?

Who decides the criteria for those limits?

Can a given media have one gun? 12 guns? No guns?

How do we resolve that with freedom of speech and expression?

If we require guns to be on every street corner, in every mall, church, theater, medical clinic, daycare, school, bar, public gathering of any kind, when do we admit that this has become a police state? Martial law? An entire nation which has become a war zone?

Yeah, guns aren’t the problem at all…

Two Questions For Gun Rights Advocates

Another mass shooting. Honestly, the immediate details don’t matter in the scope of this article. I will intentionally leave that out so this article will remain relevant for the next mass shooting. And the next. And the next. And the next.

Also in the news, a child shot, caught in the crossfire of a shooting her family had no part in. Imagine that was your child.

And the next shooting. And the next. And the next.

So, I have a couple of questions for gun rights advocates. Or should I say gun nuts?

The US has the highest rate of violent deaths, mostly by firearms, of any nation not at war. We also have the highest number of firearms of any nation on earth not at war.

I am well associated with the standard, memorized, regurgitated, knee-jerk, paranoid, emotional, mindless replies I expect to get.

What if the government tries to.. take over the country?!!! Yeah, because that’s not a thing?

What if they try and herd us all into camps?!!! We have children in cages right this minute. Millions of immigrants being rounded up and incarcerated. Should all of them pick up guns to protect themselves? We have the largest prison population of any country on earth, at any time in history. Police documented shooting unarmed civilians. People dying in police custody both with and without medical histories to explain it. Police caught on video planting evidence and falsifying documents. You think we’re not being herded into camps?

What if they try and kill us? See the above, then think- Our average life expectancy is probably the lowest of industrialized nations and getting shorter each year. Over 40,000 people die from lack of medical care each year. We have no numbers for how many die of exposure due to homelessness. Children going hungry. Threats of taking children away from parents because the parents are poor. BTW, if that happens, YOU get to pay for it. A LOT more than paying for feeding those children. More poison dumped in the water by the hour. Suicide rate increasing by the day. Yes, climate change is real.

So, you can stop acting like you’re Stallone or Willis going to save the day from tyranny. That fucking ship sailed long ago, hero.

So, here are the questions. If you care to try and respond, keep the relies specific to the questions. I do not want your swallowed and vomited propaganda about the second amendment. Owning other human beings was once a right too.

First, if countries that have fewer firearms have fewer violent deaths, why is that?

Second, firearms outnumber human beings in the US. So, how many guns would it take for us to be safe from the threat that guns create? Give me a number. Should every person, man, woman and child be armed at all times? How many guns per person will it take?

I absolutely know that the responses that oppose me will be the same old shit and include absolutely no reply to the questions posed. It will all be hate, anger, second amendment and hypothetical garbage not fit for mental consumption. Mostly by people who never read the article at all. Go on, do your worst and prove me right.

No, I am not a rabid anti-gun activist. I am a veteran and own weapons. I am also well trained and accurate in their use. Yet if guns were outlawed tomorrow, I would shed no tears. Yes, I will get hate speech for that too. Take your meds, please.