No words are available in any language can describe how disgusted I am that something like this can be legal for regular every day human beings to own. That a gun with such nonsensical power and ability isn’t only legal, but fundamentally guaranteed as a right by Constitution of the USA.
Mind you, that’s not the part that sickens me the most. No. That falls in the inability of an elected leader of the USA (like say the President) to do something about it while the idea is still considered a tragedy. Nope. Obama‘s had a few mass shooting opportunities there to stand up and say “You know what, fuck guns. Let’s ban civilians from owning the fucking things”. This is really not all that surprising really. No President has had those balls. Not Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, or Lyndon Johnson, all former VP’s that assumed office after the President was shot and killed. Hell, Roosevelt himself was shot on the job and lived, so was Ronald Reagan. However, neither of them took a stand against fire arms and attempted to ban them.
What happens instead? The President goes on TV and expresses remorse, leads the nation in mourning, and vows to “protect” the people of the USA. Its kind of like adding a coat of paint to cover up the rust. Sure it covers it up, but the rust will eventually show up again.
Living in Canada, I suppose one can say it doesn’t matter. Gun’s are tightly regulated and restrictions apply right? While this IS true, guns in Canada are subject to stricter regulations than our neighbors to the south, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Our cultures have become so intertwined with each other that the same gun violence happens on this side of the border as well. In fact, one of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado shootings narrowly escaped a shooting at a mall in downtown Toronto. And 4 days prior to the incident in Aurora, a shooting (rumored to be over a parking spot) took place in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough. 25 people were shot, two fatally, at a neighborhood barbecue.
Of course, there is nowhere to actually put the blame in this senseless violence. I won’t lay blame on movies or video games. Nor will I blame music or TV shows. I won’t blame neighborhoods or circumstance. No. I blame the lack of education, prevention, and action on the behest of our elected officials. In fact, in Canada I blame the right wing “safety first” and “tough on crime” groups that lobbied to have the Long Gun Registry repealed. A tool that would prepare police and first responders to how potentially volatile and harmful a situation could be. In the USA I blame the same right wingers and libertarians that still believe the King of England is a threat to their homes. Those same people that think bearing arms is a right that is handed down to them by God. They’re the issue.
Now, I need to come out of the closet. Given the nature of this post, I’ll even lose credibility by stating this. I’m not against people owning guns. However, I have 3 serious convictions when it comes to guns and gun ownership.
1) I’m against people owning guns that hold no logical purpose outside of military or highly trained policing operations. I do not see the point in owning an AR-15, AK-47, or any assault rifle. I cannot personally think of any situation, at all, ever, that any civilian would ever need to own a gun of that magnitude.
2) Owning a gun is a privilege, NOT a right. There should never be an unwavering law on the books that guarantees people the ability to own a gun. No. I think this is something that should be treated similar to driving, where you have to be trained, tested, and have graduated, restricted licensing to own a gun. If you continue to wish to own a gun, every year you should have to go through the same training and testing to renew your license. I also think your guns need to be registered in a national and local registry, accessible only to law enforcement and first responders.
3) If you commit a crime with a gun, regardless of how small and petty it is, you should be labeled a dangerous offender, and be convicted to no less than 15 years in maximum security prison. You should also receive 1 life sentence (without parole) per every 1 bullet that leaves your gun, whether someone is wounded or dies or not.
Of course, I don’t believe any of these would be an actual deterrent to gun violence. The fact is, there is still apathy. The widely held belief is that it doesn’t mater what restrictions you put on owning a firearm, the wrong people are still going to end up with firearms illegally. Punishment severity will not deter criminals from committing crimes. So, with this in mind, people hold the opinion that banning guns wouldn’t do much good. Too tragically, with this mindset, its true. And nothing will ever be done to change it.