June 14, 2016

For Anybody Who Says Gun Regulation Isn’t the Answer

It’s not. But it is an answer. You know who’s never committed a mass shooting in the history of ever? Somebody without a gun.

Saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is like saying “cars don’t drive on roads, people drive on roads.” I mean, yeah, but c’mon. To ignore the fact that guns make it easier to kill people is to ignore the literal reason why they were invented.

You don’t see hunters trying to take down deer with their bare hands and it’s because killing things is hard when you don’t have the proper equipment. And, as it turns out, guns are the exact proper equipment you need when your goal is to make something dead.

It only makes sense that regulating firearms (particularly semi-automatic rifles) would reduce the rates of mass shootings, if only because you can’t shoot somebody without a gun.

“Then they’ll get one off the black market.”

Maybe. Or maybe they won’t. Or maybe they’ll be arrested trying to get one off the black market. Escalating levels of difficulty inherently make an event less likely to occur. It’s the reason why I don’t have an Olympic gold medal and why I probably won’t be a billionaire. And also why I don’t know how to get a gun off the black market even though I 100% know how to get one from a gun store.

Yes, if somebody really wanted to get a gun they could probably still get a gun. There’s enough of them already out there that to think it’s impossible would be foolish. But making it more difficult works by the very nature of the fact that it’s more difficult. If somebody really wanted to steal my TV they could chop down my front door with an axe, but I still lock my doors and my TV is just fine.

“Then they’ll find some other way to kill [insert group of people who get killed].”

If you told me to kill a gorilla and gave me a gun I could probably do it. If you told me to kill a gorilla but took away my gun then we’d have a problem. I might find a way to do it, but odds are you’d end up having to tell my parents I was murdered and possibly raped by a gorilla.

If the United States didn’t have the atomic bomb, they wouldn’t have been able to kill 100,000 people on a single day in Hiroshima no matter how badly they wanted it done. It’s possible a mass shooter could be Tony Stark and build a tank using things they found in their garage, but it’s more likely that without the ability to purchase a gun they simply wouldn’t be able to carry out their plan. Plus, every additional step to carrying out a plan is an additional step where they can be caught or stopped or be too incompetent to complete it.

Buying a gun is a one step process. Even building the simplest bomb on Instructables is probably like a four-step process, and that probably doesn’t even include acquiring the materials. Also, that one is probably a toy and doesn’t explode.

“But the Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms.”

Shut up. Just shut up. Anybody who says anything is right or wrong because a 200-year-old document says so is an idiot.

What if the Second Amendment said: “Every third baby born should be eaten”? Eventually we’d look around, see that we were eating way too many babies, and decide that maybe living our lives based on something written down on a really old piece of paper is stupid no matter how important we think that piece of paper is. If a rule is dumb, it’s dumb. It doesn’t matter who wrote it or when.

In conclusion…

There isn’t really a conclusion here. This was more a stream of thought as I tried to process the events in Orlando and how ridiculous it is we’re still the only nation where mass killing is routine. I understand the need for guns, but I don’t understand why it’s so easy to get one or why anybody would need a semi-automatic rifle. As Conan so reasonably puts it:

I simply do not understand why anybody in this country is allowed to purchase and own a semi-automatic assault rifle. It makes no sense to me. These are weapons of war and they have no place in civilian life. I have tried to understand this issue from every side and it all comes down to this: Nobody I know or have ever met in my entire life should have access to a weapon that can kill so many people so quickly.

Obviously, curing the root of the problem and changing people’s hearts and minds is the ultimate goal, but until then, how about we just get rid of the guns? Ideally, we would also want to change the hearts and minds of every child who wants to jump out of a moving vehicle, but until then, we keep the child safety locks. And am I equating gun-rights activists to children who try to jump out of moving vehicles? Yes. Yes I am.