photo by Sheri Dixon

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Slippery Slope, Part Two...

I've been trying for several days to figure out a way to word what I'm going to say so my meaning is crystal, absolutely clear.

It worries and disturbs me that for many people, the easy and quick first response to a mass murder in a darkened theater is not grief and compassion to the families.

It worries and disturbs me that this awful thing, this terrible event is seen not in the light of, "We're so sorry- how can we help THEM?"

but an immediate and almost violent defense of, "Yes- terrible tragedy- now the anti-gun liberals are coming for MY guns".

And one of the most often heard 'truths' is that, "One single armed citizen could've stopped this from being so awful, or stopped it altogether- THIS is what gun control really does...PS the cops/government/authorities won't protect you- everyone needs a gun to carry in their pocket".

And here's the difficult part for me to write.

Seriously, actually difficult for me to type the words, for fear of being misconstrued.

Several of the victims were IN the armed forces. Not retired, not National Guard- active duty armed forces.

And that's what I want people to consider.

There were men in that theater who have had been trained in combat. More than armed combat, unarmed personal up close 'man to man fighting for your life even if the other man is armed and you're' not combat.

One had completed two tours in Afghanistan.

I'm pretty sure if the murderer had been able to have been stopped, one of these men would've done it.

I'm pretty sure that they died trying.

If THEY had been armed, could THEY have stopped him? I don't know and here's the important part- neither does anyone else-

especially a whole country of fucking armchair snipers.

To blithely yet adamantly insist that if ONE person- no matter how inept with their weapon (since purchasing a gun at Walmart is as easy as walking into Old Navy to buy socks)had been armed that night it never would've been the horror it ended up being is a slap in the face of every person in that theater- everyone who shielded someone else with their own body as well as our fallen soldiers.

To insist if EVERYONE there had had a weapon- trained or not, in a dark theater full of panicked people, it never would've happened, is outright blatant bullshit of the highest order.

I understand that the 2nd Amendment crowd is crying foul because the anti-gun crowd is taking this 'opportunity' to call for more restrictions on THEIR rights.

And they're right. This should NOT be a soap box event.

But it's natural when something awful happens to ask, "What can we do to prevent this from happening again?" MOST people are NOT calling for the banning of ALL guns anymore than people whose loved ones have been killed by drunk drivers call for the banning of all cars.

They want restrictions on who can drive when. Period.

But there's no political lobby for that- no hugely moneyed entity "fighting for the God-given American right to drive a car as fucking messed up as we wanna be".

To not only push back against anyone wanting ANY restrictions on gun ownership of ANY gun, but to keep going over the cliff of "and if EVERYONE had a deadly weapon we'd all be perfectly safe" is disturbing.

There's something very wrong with that.

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