Evolving Gun Myths: Responsible Gun Owners, Concern For People Of Color, And Mental Health Profiling
The Myth of Responsible Gun Owners:
Since the Newtown massacre, every pundit and news show has been talking about pretty much nothing but the Newtown massacre. I’ve talked about why, and many of those reasons are valid. However, all of them, no matter where on the political spectrum the pundit or their guests may may fall, made one specific and fictional point. “We have to make sure that guns can go to the right hands.” They followed that with love songs to “responsible gun owners.”
Y’all need to stop that shit right now. You’re buying into false premise and ultimately harming the gun control argument for two reasons.
First, most guns used in mass shootings, they type of shooting which most people seem concerned about right now, are obtained legally.
It doesn’t matter the type of gun, the Gun Show Loophole allows anyone to buy a gun with no checks at all. Straw purchases are the most common point of access for the illegal gun market. Theft, which accounts for a significantly smaller percentage of illegals guns, is also still a factor. All illegal guns started life as legal guns.
As I said before, right up until the moment that he decided murder 28 people, Adam Lanza was a law abiding person. The guns that he used were bought legally. They were, according to reports, kept and stored legally. They were under the ownership of one of the victims and her reasoning was the same as yours. She wanted to keep guns and she was responsible. She even taught her children how to be responsible. She educated herself and her children on the use of them, teaching them to shoot and taking them to the gun range regularly. She was totally open about that fact and in compliance with current law. Up until Friday morning, the Lanza family was the very definition of the right hands.
And then Adam Lanza picked up the legally owned handguns and assault rifles and gunned down 28 people. The next day, an 18-year-old man was arrested because he was planning to use the guns he had access to, which were legally obtained, to shoot up a high school. The day after that, a man in Indiana was arrested for planning to kill his wife and then attack ANOTHER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL using the 47 guns he legally obtained. The Webster, N.Y. shooter stole the guns he used from his neighbor. They were also apparently legally obtained.
You know what all those people had in common? Until they shot or announced that they were planning to shoot they were in compliance with the law and would have fit anyone’s definition of educated, law abiding gun owner. They were all “the right hands.”
Further, the person in the most danger from a gun, especially a hand gun in the home, is the owner. The people who are next in line of danger are the family members of the gun owner. Both groups successful suicide risk skyrockets if there is a gun in the home. All of these people are “the right hands,” until the moment they decide to use a gun for its exact intended purpose. Guns are dangerous, by design. What is the difference between “the right hands” and the “wrong hands?”A bad day and access to a gun.
Suddenly Pro-Gun Advocates Care About The Lives Of People Of Color:
Except not really. This is the most blatant aspect of right hate. Libertarians and Republicans fight against our rights and then claim to be oh so very concerned about the fundamental unfairness of the nation when that pretense serves their already existing narrative. For those of you who are new, you may want to go visit this post, wherein I point out that the modern conservative movement is fundamentally abusive. This is yet another example of that abusive behavior.
Abusers care about you. They really, really do. At least they work their asses off to convince you that of that in order to draw you into or keep you trapped in, the cycle of abuse. Claiming to care about the safety of or to be protecting the victim while refusing to respect or totally ignoring the victim’s rights is a classic abuser tactic. Fucking classic.
The thing we have to do is recognize the abusive cycle, call it out for what it is and not fucking fall for it!
Mental Health Profiling:
Yes, I know that’s a Libertarian magazine and I just spent a couple of paragraphs deconstructing a Libertarian position. So what? No group is wrong about every single thing.
If Adam Lanza had been Muslim or of Arab descent, no matter his actual religion, everyone would be calling him a terrorist. If he had been black, he would be a thug. But he is neither of those things and thus he must be suffering from mental illness. Because, a PoC kills someone it indicates their deficiency, but if a Caucasian kills someone he’s got to be suffering from something. And since all Caucasians who are suffering from something that will lead to sudden and inexplicable totally telegraph that all the time, except not really. We want to believe that. We desperately want to convince ourselves that with just a few adjustments and little bit more vigilance, we can prevent these kinds of shootings.
The problem is that nobody thinks mass shooter over the long term. The kid in the article above was targeted (and make no mistake, from the information presented, he was targeted.) because Newtown was a recent event. As time goes by we will become less and less likely to alert even at those behaviors which are clearly aberrant. Why? Because we are humans, specifically American humans. Rationalizing is like our super power. Witness Congress or the Tea Party or Fox News.
Seriously people, it’s well beyond time for us to get our shit together.
I’d also like to give humble thanks to William K. Wolfrum for sending some thousand new readers to this tiny principality of Internetlandia.