In the sad aftermath of the New Zealand mosque massacres, the Kiwis are having a new conversation about guns. Prime Minister Adern is openly talking about banning assault rifles:
A few American politicians are taking note, including Chris Murphy from Connecticut.
I certainly wouldn’t miss assault rifles, nor would anybody I know and care about. I don’t fetishize weapons of war and I don’t hang out with or respect people who do. Quite simply, guns owned for anything other than subsistence are the refuge of the fearful and the powerless. If you’re not afraid of anything, why would you need a gun? If you need to defend yourself it’s because you’re afraid. If you don’t feel you can rely on the police to protect you, you’re obviously afraid. If you need guns to protect you from the government, you’re afraid and paranoid. Gun owners are the most frightened among us.
It’s past time that Americans oppose the glorification and fetishization of guns. I won’t own a handgun or a weapon on war and I feel sorry for people who are so scared that they feel compelled to own one–or many. But I won’t cosign their fears. Having a gun in the home increases the risk of injury or death by gun–the exact opposite of the stated purpose of having a gun in the home for so many people. I’m safer without one. And I refuse to live under the delusion of baseless fears. Immigrants are not invading and coming to kill me. The so-called Deep State isn’t going to harm me. Instead, I pay taxes so the dedicated men and women of law enforcement will endeavor to keep the peace and enforce the laws.
Many people feel it’s cool and exciting and potent and adult to own and shoot guns. I’m not one of them. To me, guns are sad and weak and malevolent. Any fool can pull the trigger of a gun. I can think of a million better things to do with my money, and a million better things to do on a weekend than shoot a gun. And none of those million things also involves a tool whose only purpose is death. Guns are instruments of death. They have no other purpose. And I have no need for such tools, nor any interest in idolizing them. When I leave this life, I don’t want to look back on a legacy that includes spending any time glorifying or promoting instruments of death. What a wasted life that would be.
For many reasons–some of them personal–I despised President Richard M. Nixon, but he said something that I wholeheartedly agree with:
Guns are an abomination.
When owning a gun brings social stigma instead of increased status our world will experience less death, suffering and misery. But we’re a long way from place right now.
Let’s keep resisting…