“Good Guy” or “Bad Guy”, The Operative Is “With A Gun”

After the latest mass shooting, the Gun Nuts have been all over screaming how a “Good Guy With A Gun” killed a “Bad Guy With A Gun”.

Great. That happened in one shooting out of over 400 mass shootings in this country in a single year. Yet the Gun Nuts are going to scream how this means we need more guns in a nation where guns outnumber human beings.

First, let me as the same questions I have asked countless times: HOW MANY more guns will it take for us to be safer? HOW MANY guns will it take before mass shootings number fewer than the days of the year? How many until we have fewer than one mass shooting in a month?

I’m not expecting an answer. I expect diversion from that subject. I expect the same ad hominem regurgitated, memorized, mindless responses that always follow like a recording set on “repeat”.

More than that. I expect threats. Because nothing says gun rights like death threats. Way to change my mind.

Obviously, the responses are what are truly disturbing. Even online, the tone of the responses are explicitly intended to be aggressive and intimidating. You can picture the Gun Nuts being in a room when the discussion comes up, screaming, waving firearms in the air and under your nose while claiming they need their guns in “self defense”. They are the exact people you would be most fearful of to initiate a mass shooting of unarmed civilians.

Meanwhile, they are the ones who want to claim their government-given right to own a firearm for the purpose of defending themselves against the same government that gave them that right.

I’ve made it clear many times. I am in favor of gun ownership. However, not unrestricted gun ownership. Name another country that has stricter laws than our own on gun ownership yet has had over 400 mass shootings in one year. Isn’t it interesting that the argument that, “criminals will always have guns” does not seem to apply in those other countries?

The gun rights activists will use this singular event to say, “See?!! See what happens when there are more guns around?!! The good guy saved all the other good guys!!”

My response is no. That is not what I see. What I see is that many mass shootings have had “good guys with guns” who hid, afraid to place themselves in danger. I see 400 other shootings that may have never happened if we had stricter laws on gun ownership, on safe storage of weapons. I see so many people who have died and should never have been in danger.

I see elected officials in the pockets of the weapons industry, refusing to take action for fear not of public outcry but fear of losing “donations” from corporations.

I see a nation indoctrinated and desensitized to violence, bloodlust, murder, family violence and suicide. A nation indoctrinated to cheer for warfare, war movies, militarized police and violent media. Just don’t show the human body because that’s unacceptable and obscene. Don’t show the actual bodies of shooting victims and what happens at the other end when our bombs land because that’s disgusting. Don’t show the families of murdered children close up or for too long, even if they want to speak to the public. Respect their privacy which they are willing to sacrifice.

I see fanatics claiming that long-range, military configuration, high velocity weapons with high capacity magazines are for hunting and “self defense”. While attempting to use the argument that there is no such thing as an “assault weapon”, even when we once had a nationwide ban on the same weapons and those bans still exist in some locations.

I see people on anti-depressants and with various illicit or prescription dependencies by the millions. Let’s focus on the medications and blame the medications, not ask why they had to take the medications to begin with. Let’s blame mental illness but not expand access to mental healthcare.

Keep sending victims and families thoughts and prayers. Don’t focus on the fact that the majority of shooters claim to belong to the exact same religion, that many shootings have been done in the name of that religion. Just don’t talk about it. Claim that if a young person goes to another country and kills brown-skinned people they are defending their country, their religion. If the same person picks up a gun and starts shooting people here without being paid for it, their belief was distorted.

Along the way, let’s increase surveillance of US citizens. Don’t take any steps to lower the risks for which they are being surveiled. Pony up another $100 billion to surrender your right to privacy but hold onto your guns.

Oh, did I mention the shooters are only called “terrorists” if they have brown skin? If they are white, we’ll call them “troubled”.

So, go ahead. Cheer for the “good guy with a gun” in one single shooting. Cheer for your loss of privacy. Cheer for living in so much terror that you feel the need to own or carry a gun in the first place. Cheer for the guy strapping an AR-15 in Walmart and not knowing his intention until he starts shooting or doesn’t. Cheer for dead children. Cheer for sanitized media coverage. Cheer for thoughts and prayers. Cheer for corporate bribes to elected officials. Cheer for police suited up like storm troopers. Cheer for money spent on government programs which do absolutely nothing to decrease the social conditions leading to violence. Cheer for subsidized surveillance drones, grenade launchers and armored vehicles responding to peaceful protests. Cheer for telling our children this is all normal, that live shooter drills are just a fact of life. Cheer for being hypervigilant when going to the theater, the mall and at every loud noise you hear in a public space.

Just keep cheering. Then take your medication and tell me again how great this all is.

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Issues unite, names divide

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