supremegoddessofall: (Default)
[personal profile] supremegoddessofall
I don't like guns.

Obviously, this means I don't own a gun. And I don't let my partner have a gun, either - that would be a dealbreaker, in my house. Love me or love guns, but I can't allow you to love both.

It goes a bit farther than that, however - I don't believe guns should be legal, other than hunting weapons.

The right wing squawks about guns not killing people, people kill people, yada yada yada.

Bullshit. People with guns kill people, and at far higher rates than people without guns. You are more likely to die in a home invasion if there is a gun in your house. Suicidal people are far more likely to die if there is a gun in their home. Domestic violence incidents are much more likely to turn deadly if there is a gun in the home. You name a form of violence, and you can be pretty sure that a gun nearby increases the likelihood of it happening.

So I don't like guns.

This doesn't go over well in Texas, where it seems that more people have guns than don't.

Now, I also believe in "live and let live," so generally I don't preach my anti-gun stance at people. It's sort of a necessary thing, unless I want to spend a lot of time arguing with people who are convinced that my anti-gun position means that I am a pinko American-hating Commie (well, I *am* a socialist, but that's an entirely different diatribe). But I will answer when asked directly about my position.

And my position includes the belief that most gun owners out there are deluded. I've heard the arguments about self-protection, and they don't sway me. You're more likely to die if you're toting a gun than if you're not.

I worry, sometimes, about all the guns around me that I can't see. I mean, I live in an apartment complex, after all - I've no doubt that many of my neighbors have guns. And that makes me feel unsafe. As I've said before, we're all only one bad day away from irreversible decision. And I worry that one day I, or one of my loved ones, may come across someone with a gun having that one bad day.

Rationally, I know there's not a damned thing I can do about this. Gun, knife, car accident, random act of God - we all can be on our last day on earth and never know about it.

But why increase our chances? Why keep around implements that serve no purpose but to kill? They say that God helps those that help themselves, so maybe God sees the gun and helps you along...

For most of you gun-lovers out there, I'm probably wrong. You *probably* won't die because you own a gun. But some of you will, and I will mourn you.

I work with dangerous people. Even if I weren't working with inmates, the acutely mentally ill are often at higher risk for perpetrating gun violence. Not all, of course, and not even most. But some. I, along with the rest of my school community, was reminded of this by the recent murder-suicide by a client of a graduate of our program who killed our graduate's husband and then himself. Would this have happened if he hadn't been able to get access to a gun? Maybe. But it would have been a hell of a lot less likely. As would the numerous school shootings over the last ten years perpetrated by young people who all too easily got their hands on guns.

I firmly believe that you shouldn't be able to grab a Glock to go with your gallon of milk at Wal-mart. I firmly believe that there is no purpose for automatic weapons other than killing human beings. And I firmly believe that all guns outside of the police and the military should be illegal other than basic hunting rifles.

And you will not convince me otherwise.

Get rid of the guns. Pass the potatoes, not the ammunition. Your children will thank you.

I am in a runoff this week for LJ Idol; voting link will go up some time tomorrow. If you want to keep me alive, please vote!

Date: 2011-05-02 01:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've said many times - and I still firmly believe - that people's stance on firearms is almost completely dependent on the social role guns played in their upbringing and/or the ways in which guns have been used among the people they know.

Given your line of work, this is absolutely the position I would expect you to take, and it's not too far from my own. (I believe in supporting the legal access to guns as current law allows, because to not do so is often to sign on to some horrible stereotyping about race and class and Other Demographic Stuff. However, just because I think people have the legal right to have the things within the scope of current law, and I will oppose limitations on that right that prioritize the banning of cheap guns over the banning of expensive guns, doesn't mean I think gun ownership is a good idea outside of a small list of very specific situations.)

Some years ago in the county where I live, there was an incident where a 15-year-old fatally shot an 11-year-old. Where did he get the gun? It was a "community gun" kept behind a dumpster in an apartment complex, that everyone knew about and that people would go pick up when they felt the need to carry.

[profile] ravenshrinkery has told this story to a lot of people he knows who are serious gun-rights advocates. It makes most of them stop and think and at least begin to empathize with their political opposition when it becomes clear that this is the sort of stuff people who want guns off the streets are trying to prevent.

Date: 2011-05-02 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There were no guns in my house growing up, although my brother did have a BB gun for awhile, so I'm sure that contributes somewhat to where I stand. As far as my job, I'm not sure how much that plays into it, because I was anti-gun long before I started working for the prisons.

Date: 2011-05-02 05:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is one of the reasons I'm thankful Australia has anti-gun laws now. Guns scare me, and damn, even going in to countries where the security guards carry massive guns (The Philippines is a good example of this) is scary enough.

Date: 2011-05-02 05:36 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-05-02 05:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I deal with the after effects of guns all the time. And I believe every American has the right to choose whether or not to own one.

I believe the laws should be tougher to get a firearm and the background checks more thorough. This could slow down crimes of passions and mentally ill people obtaining weapons.

But criminals aren't going to be deterred by outlawing guns, they are going to have them. I think the laws need to change if you commit a crime with a gun you face a life imprisonment with no parole.

I own a gun. I have a permit to carry. I took the course and target test to get it. I haven't killed anyone...yet. But if I am driving home at 3 a.m. and someone comes at me, I will use it. And I belong to the NRA.

Date: 2011-05-02 06:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We'll have to agree to disagree. :)

Date: 2011-05-02 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes. Back to everyone has the right to choose. But you wrote your side very convincingly. If I was sitting on the fence yours is strong enough to influence me.

Date: 2011-05-02 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
well, that's something at least. :)

Date: 2011-05-02 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
People with guns kill people...

Why keep around implements that serve no purpose but to kill?

There is something really wrong in a country when a mentally ill man can shoot a congresswoman in the face, and gun control legislation is stopped before it can reach the floor of the House of Representatives.

Thanks once again for breaking down a difficult topic like this.

Date: 2011-05-02 10:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-05-03 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't want to start a political discussion here, as this is a subject near and dear to my heart which I tend to wax eloquent over. :)

But I did want to mention one common sense answer to that question - what the guy did was already illegal. He is being charged under those existing laws. In fact, the rally was in a "Gun Free School Zone", where gun possession is illegal. It really underscores what affect legislation has on psychopaths: namely, none at all. MORE legislation wouldn't have changed this outcome.

Despite high-profile incidents like this, violent crime is actually going down in the US, and has been for years.

Anyway, I'll leave it there, so that I'm not journal hijacking. :) Not trying to step on toes in someone else's house, as it were.

Date: 2011-05-03 01:51 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-05-03 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My history with and opinions of guns and gun control are very complicated, as is the subject itself.

Aaaaand that's where I'm going to leave it.

Date: 2011-05-03 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was married to a right winger and we often fought over guns and in, would we one day own a gun for "safety" (I said no way in Hell do I want a gun in my house for the same reasons you listed) and rather or not our future son would hunt (again, heck no because of the gun thing again AND the idea of killing for fun versus killing for food debate). So I certainly agree with a lot of your points here and won't be making an argument against it.

The only thing is, criminals will still find a way to get them, legal or not I'm afraid :( just like illegal drugs and whatnot...I fear that making laws against them won't change that.

Date: 2011-05-03 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If there are fewer guns there are also fewer guns for the criminals to get a hold of though. :)

Date: 2011-05-03 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I do see that point...

My ex used to argue that other instruments, like knives, are also deadly...but they have other uses other than purely to kill, while that's the only reason a gun exists. Plus, I'm not sure gang members would be as successful at drive by knifings ;)

Date: 2011-05-03 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
passionate and well-argued

Date: 2011-05-03 04:16 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-05-03 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My dad is a hunter, so I grew up with guns in the house. We were taught from the beginning that they were dangerous, and that you never, ever pointed a gun at something you didn't intend to kill (to the point where we didn't have squirt guns). I was required to take hunter's safety even though I had no intention of going out, so I would know. That respect for a tool that does a horribly thing is sorely lacking in this country.

I too favor much stricter laws than we have now, though perhaps not quite as strict as you. But something has to be done.

Date: 2011-05-03 12:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm all about hunting. Although it amuses me that people call it a "sport." If you want to make it a sport, give the animals guns, too, and teach them how to use them. :)

Date: 2011-05-03 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No guns in our house for most of the same reasons, but I do think people should have the right to bear them. Stricter laws on permits and such, sure.

I have a friend who says "get rid of them all". Well, you can't. Maybe you can lessen the number, but it'll be like drugs; available almost everywhere to the people who know where to look. My husband likes to say we need them in case we ever revolt against the government, which given the military we'd have to fight, is a fair point. Not that I see that happening anytime soon. I like to joke that we need them for the bears--that's why we can't get rid of them all.

It's not an issue that worries/affects me much, except for in my own home. We keep an aluminum baseball bat around for our peace of mind.

Date: 2011-05-03 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I figure someone intent on doing harm is going to figure out a way to do it, so other than kitchen knives there are no weapons in my house. But I can respect a bat. :)

Date: 2011-05-04 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And you will not convince me otherwise.

This is probably the most troubling part of your post to me. It reminds me of the Oscar Wilde quote, "“And he goes through life, his mouth open, and his mind closed”

So, I guess I'll just say no, I won't get rid of my guns. Have some potatoes, ammunition is not allowed at the dinner table. My children do thank me (every time I take them to the range).

Date: 2011-05-04 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We can agree to disagree.

Date: 2011-09-26 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was just looking for new friends and found you while searching for other Sabres fans. After reading this entry, I just had to add you. Beautifully said. :)

Date: 2011-09-27 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I warn you, I don't post as much as I used to....


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Kimberly Boyd-Bowman

May 2011

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