King Gun

I wrote this a day or two after the Colorado Theater Massacre when I was pissed enough that I needed to put something down on some virtual paper. I haven’t edited it at all, and I’m not sure if it even makes much sense now. I’m closing comments on this one.

Are you angry? Because I am. Angry at our fascination with guns. Frustrated at the lack of public discourse on gun control. Flabbergasted at the idea that our nation’s idea of preventing gun violence is to introduce more firearms, and make it even easier for any non-felon to acquire one at will. Saddened at the constant barrage of gun violence where it becomes the norm. Teenagers being shot at the park is no longer headline news, or even found on page two. Only massacres carried out by civilians who were able to legally and easily acquire military-grade firearms and equipment even make the news. Our politicians, instead of standing up and taking the opportunity to at least open up the idea of gun control, instead hide by saying that it is not “the time for politics.”
Did you know that after Titanic sunk and a vast majority of passengers died because of the lack of lifeboats, we decided that “it was not the time to talk about lifeboat laws” and instead focus on what occurred? And then two years later we’d have another large ship sink, scores of civilians killed because of a lack of lifeboats, and instead we decided that “you know what, this isn’t the time for lifeboat politics.” A few months later we forgot about the whole ships sinking thing, and just went on our lives.
Oh wait no, that didn’t happen. We’re not a perfect society and we can’t anticipate every issue until something so remarkable occurs that we’re forced to open up a discussion about what happened and how we can prevent it from occurring again, or at least making it a whole lot goddamned more difficult from it occurring again.
Instead the very mention of gun control is quickly met with the shrill cries of gun-happy card carrying NRA members with such hackneyed phrases such as “out of our cold dead hands” and “this could have been prevented if one of the victims were armed.” Politicians, our so-called leaders, instead run and hide from the label of even being against guns. More citizens are killed. More deaths and lives shattered by gun crimes. And we just sit back and take it.
The NRA doesn’t explicitly tell you this, but they have a frightening calculated viewpoint: massacres and the slaughter of innocent civilians by  gun toting citizens is the cost of allowing a highly-armed society. (I wish I could source this, but I forgot where I read this idea at. I’m pretty sure it was one of the wonderful writers at The Stranger)
Just go ahead and let that sink in for a bit. I’ll wait.
Okay, got that?
Ideally, here’s the situation I’d like to see, and one that I believe a Constitutional argument could be made for: citizens would not be allowed to own or use firearms unless they are current or former military or National Guard members. This fulfils the idea of a “well regulated militia” that is trained and considered fairly stable and sane. It would encourage military and reserve membership, and teach the safe handling and weapons. Single-shot hunting rifles and shotguns would be allowed, of course, and non-military users would be allowed to own and use them after extensive safety classes and training.
Although not enshrined as a questionably-Constitutional right, we regulate many other highly dangerous tools in much the same ways. Guns, like explosives and poisons, do have a legitimate purpose, and frameworks should be in place to allow vetted users to acquire and use them.
Of course, my ideal situation will never been implemented: it’s clearly DOA with our current political discourse. And you know what? Suggesting anything else is just an equally pointless exercise. Fringe elements will continue to exert amazing amounts of control, guns will continue to be allowed to essentially anyone upon demand, and people will keep being slaughtered.
Why? Because of reasons. this is America, and today we all adhere to the idea of King Gun: long may he reign.