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Make Change: Discuss Guns, Discuss Everything

First of all, my heart goes out to those affected by the horrific event that took place yesterday in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School–what an incredibly sad and frustrating thing to happen. Just unimaginable.

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I didn’t sleep much last night, as my thoughts were elsewhere.

From my Facebook observances yesterday, it’s really disheartening to see how some people react so quickly in the defense of guns. Not surprisingly, they’re also the same people you never hear defend a person’s access to healthcare and/or an affordable education. If they would ask me, which they wouldn’t, because they’re not the type of person who questions anything, their prerogatives are ass-backwards.

Besides, instead of getting mad at people for wanting to make guns laws stricter, why don’t you get frustrated at the U.S.’s high poverty rate, the fact that most people when they’re born into poverty, stay in poverty, ghettos, excessive violence on TV, poor educational institutions, poor access to healthcare, including mental health? Additionally, yes, why don’t you get mad at the fact that a person can go into Wal-Mart and come out with a rifle minutes later? I mean, why is that possible? What purpose does that serve? For the last minute deer hunters? Give me a break. I grew up in Minnesota, I hunt and own guns, but still, why does it have to be so easy?

Lastly, I am sick of hearing “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” You know why? Because it offers absolutely nothing in the form of a solution and eliminates the possibility of opening up all the levels of discourse necessary to solve this problem. If it’s true what Asimov says, that “violence is the last resort of the incompetent…” then let’s get competent. Gun violence in the U.S. is a comprehensive problem. From the easy access to guns, to job/relationship/financial-related stress, culture (violence in video games, TV, movies, music), parental guidance, education, previous traumatic events, et cetera, it all plays a role in shaping a person’s mental health, which is really what matters most when heinous acts like yesterday’s happen; you are no longer sane when you commit yourself to murder. If you want to be serious about cutting down on the U.S.’s gun violence, which is atrociously high in numbers, you must address all these issues, and that includes GUNS—deal with it.

Facts:

Amendment II of the United States Constitution was adopted in 1791, when people carried single-shot, flintlock muskets, not semi-automatic Glocks and rifles.

In 2010, the most recent data shows gun-related deaths in the U.S. per 100,000 is 3.2, which is far greater than any other industrialized nation. Homicides by firearms UNODC.

A gun is a tangible object, nothing more. Do you feel as if it’s also important to own a rock? Why must one be so passionate about something that offers us so little in return?

Real men fight with their bare hands.

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“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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