Most Americans don’t own guns.
We don’t really know (as the gun lobby has successfully kept any agency of the Federal government from first hand studying the topic) but estimates are the percentage of gun owners is dropping, although the number of guns isn’t.
But this is the first lesson. You cannot quote any statistics that are negative about guns without a gun “enthusiast” coming back with some number they plucked from the silly space full of “facts” called the internet. Note when I say “enthusiasts” it’s my nice way of saying the NRA and the fringe of gun owners who are rabid. The majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens, yet we are also part of the problem simply by the phrase “gun-owner”. We are complicit.
Because most Americans don’t own or know guns they usually ignore the gun lobby or even the issue until we get an event like yesterday. The problem is gun “enthusiasts” think about guns every day. It is the full time mission of the NRA every single day from this humble headquarters.
I read gun enthusiasts posts and their comments. So I am familiar with all the arguments against gun control. Before the bodies were cold in Florida, I saw the same tropes brought forth. I heard officials, such as the Florida governor, offer these tropes.
Not a single one says it’s the guns. It’s everything but the guns.
The first is “we need to do some about mental health” but just offering vague suggestions. The president* tweeted this morning essentially putting the blame on “neighbors and classmates”. Yes, blame the dead for their own demise!
When our gun lobby fought to allow people on the no fly list to be able to get guns on the off chance one legitimate citizen might be denied their gun — what mental illness do we think they will allow to be used to deny a person that same right? I’ve asked this over and over and not gotten a response. What will the NRA/gun owners find acceptable to be denied owning a gun? What DSMV diagnosis will be acceptable? I can tell you the answer: Not a single one.
And, of course, such a course of action requires every single gun owner to get a psychiatric evaluation. Will all gun owners be willing to do that? Will they support a law for that? Never.
Then so many John Wayne wanna-be’s are offering advice for what to do in case of shooting. Which is already too late. Having some training and experience in the matter of close quarters battle with firearms, I am incredulous at these fantasies.
I was very impressed with how the faculty and students reacted to the lockdown even though they hadn’t had a chance to conduct an actual drill this year. I was also deeply saddened that we require this training in every school.
I see some saying we need to change some of those rules about run-hide-fight and people should charge the shooter right away and overwhelm them with sheer numbers. Seriously? Against an assault rifle? (Don’t get me started on what is and isn’t an assault rifle).
Then there are the “we need MORE guns”. More concealed carry. Because mass shooters seek out gun free zones, etc etc etc. The inherent logic failure there is stunning. It is the fantasy John Wayne scenario that pervades so many. Yes, the shooter in Sutherland was “chased off” by a gun owner. After 26 were dead. Then the response is — we don’t enforce what laws we have, because he shouldn’t have been able to buy a gun. True, except does that really matter in a society awash with firearms? Where do we think the guns bad people have come from? The illegal gun factory? Almost every single gun used in a shooting started life legal. Almost every single gun used in a mass shooting was legal. I know all the other rebuttals and am too weary to go through them. I’ve addressed some in two previous blog posts after 58 people were killed in Las Vegas.
BTW– not a single thing changed after Las Vegas. Bump Stocks are still legal. I suppose I will have to address more after the next mass shooting.
If MORE guns were the answer we would be the safest country in the world. But we’re the least safe first world country in the world from firearms. If that fundamental fact can’t be accepted? Thus we’ve all failed the psychiatric evaluation to have guns as a nation.
Originally published at bobmayer.com on February 15, 2018.