An Assault on Intelligence

And the beat goes on. The beat goes on.

So the beat of mass shootings keeps on keeping on. No sooner have they reported on one shooting than news comes in of another shooting. Maybe it’s a Sweet 16 birthday party in Alabama. Maybe it’s a bank in Louisville where a soon-to-be fired employee decides to take proactive measures to protest his imminent separation from the bank by ensuring permanent separation for others and himself.

Oh, we see the responses. Crickets from one party, calls for complete regulation from another. But the genie is out of the box. When you have a country where the number of guns greatly exceeds the residents of the country, there is no way to prevent gun violence from being a major cause of death and injury. Still, I am struck by how many times in mass shootings, it is an assault rifle purchased recently that is the weapon of choice. So I add my voice to those who are calling for a ban on the sale of this type of weapon. If nothing else, it will cut down on the attention-seekers who decide to add meaning to their life by the way they leave it. Take as many as possible with themselves. God, I’m sick of hearing of these weaklings who have only the ability to kill, using these weapons of war.

Still, a question hangs in the air, asked by a Tennessee state representative. He asked what kind of gun would you prefer to be shot with. Well, my first smart-aleck response is to say a bb gun, since the muzzle velocity is not over 3000 feet/second, and the damage the little steel ball would do does not compare to the organ liquefaction enabled by weapons like the AR-15. Failing that, a 22 caliber handgun with about a 1000 feet/second muzzle velocity would be better than anything from an assault weapon.

I know, 2nd Amendment purists will claim that banning an inexact type of weapon will inevitably lead to banning and confiscation of all firearms, thus enabling the gestapo takeover by the jack-booted thugs of our overpowering government. That is the argument that still resonates within legislative halls. So now we are free to take our guns into bars, where everyone knows only sober, sane people ever get into disagreements. And those old laws that implied you had to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon? Shoot, that was an imposition on law-abiding ‘Muricans. What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

Since this is the era of revisionist Supreme Court rulings, where Roe v. Wade was “wrongfully decided”, what keeps us from revisiting other rulings. Surely Heller is something that should be reviewed. If the original intent of enabling keeping a weapon in the home was kept intact, we would not be seeing this plethora of gun violence. But the 2nd Amendment purists have twisted this ruling into a behemoth that mandates this nation turning into an armed camp. And the idiots who run roughshod over the desires of the citizens of this country in state legislatures and in Congress, have made it impossible to institute any sort of effective defense against armed intruders into our lives.

Look, it doesn’t matter whether the shootings come from gang bangers striving for control over the streets, or lone actors who try to bring meaning to their lives by showing how many innocents they can take out before they die, in both cases people end up with holes in them. Doctors try to repair the damage from these holes, but especially in the cases of rifles, the damage is permanent. Even if a shooting victim’s life can be saved, the victim will never be made whole. All because we insist that any regulation on guns will end up in the great civil war over gun confiscation. I’m quite sure there are many who secretly are hoping for this end. These faux patriots believe they are the only ones who can force an evil government from total domination. They call out, “Bring it on!” as they buy up the wares for sale in their local gun shop.  It doesn’t matter that they already have an armory in their house, there’s always a need for one more gun.

Those who decry gun regulation point to states with regulation where shootings still occur. Those shootings supposedly provide proof that gun regulation does not work. But let’s take the case of Illinois, where shootings in the city of Chicago happen frequently. Nothing prevents an aspiring criminal from purchasing their guns legally in a neighboring state, where gun regulation is nearly non-existent. Only nation-wide regulations will end up working, and even then, multitudes will try to game the system and obtain guns outside of the established legal pathways.

It seems to me that nothing we do will totally eliminate gun violence. But we now are at a frequency where any act that leads to a reduction in mass shooting events would be welcome. Surely we should consider closing the private sale loophole for background checks, a ban on the manufacture and sale of certain types of high-powered weaponry, and uniform red-flag laws across the country. If those measure could reduce the toll from guns, it would be worth it. And those who have fears about Federal Government overreach, I invite you to be satisfied with the pile of guns you already have. Maybe you could invest surplus monies for your retirement, rather than expect your idolatry to pay off.