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Guns, guns, guns – part 2, the sickening

October 9, 2015

Guns, guns, guns – part 1 was an effort to familiarize myself with some of the pro-gun arguments.

Part 2 is a rant.

I’m done with this. I’m sick of it. We had two university shootings in one day today – in Arkansas, and then in Texas. Between the two, I had a prolonged discussion on Twitter with a handful of folks, ranging from “more guns is the answer”, to “I used to be a gun nut but I’m thinking shit needs to change”, to “ban all guns”. I think that the extreme hardline opinions are too extreme, and unlikely to (a) do a lot of good, or (b) actually be possible to implement well anyway.

But here’s the thing. Enough candlelight vigils. Enough attacking and screaming at the other side. Enough is enough. We’ve got to start with something. Let’s take a decent parallel discussion first.


Did you know that cars, when invented, didn’t have seat belts? Of course you knew that; you’ve seen old films. Did you know that when seat belts became mandatory (not to wear, but for the cars themselves) in the USA, in 1968, people thought it was stupid?  Did you know that New York was the first state to require wearing seatbelts, in 1984?  Wearing a seat belt was not required until I was over eight years old.

And people thought the law was ridiculous, and that government should get the hell out of our lives. My mother had to convince her adult sister to buckle her kids in the car, in the late 80s. Depeche Mode was popular before seat belts were popular, guys.


We hang on to this weird idea that I think we developed in childhood: that the world was fully formed as we first perceived it, and that’s more or less the way things should be. “Things don’t change, they’ve always been the way they were when I first noticed them!” Of course it’s a silly idea when you think of it that way, and we really do think we know better. But even so, we find ourselves thinking of change as something dangerous and new.

The world as it is today is not fated to be so. Things change, and we can make them change, even if some think it’s stupid and intrusive.


I’m not an expert on any of this. I’m a citizen, which makes me uniquely qualified to talk about this, to know about it, to shout about it. It could be my kids’ school that makes it on the news next for a shooting. Hell, we made it to international news for a fucking clock, why not a gun?

You’re not an expert. And you’re uniquely qualified to talk about this and shout and change. So let’s start with a few things. Some suggestions:

All of this seems like really good, reasonable stuff.

All of this seems like really good, reasonable stuff.

And, let’s get that research machine going again; rescind that legislation that’s in the way.

I’m pro gun control. And I know I don’t have all the answers. Neither do you. Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk to the representatives. Let’s try some things, then try some more. We’ll see how it works out.

Let’s make change, guys. It’s happened before.


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