Guns, Booze, and Letting Go

Is it just me or is everyone shooting everyone lately?? And I am OUTRAGED! Well, no, not actually outraged. I mean, it’s disconcerting, but it’s also hard to balance being disgusted with people getting shot on live fucking TV with lowered expectations from the gun toting assholes carrying arms throughout this country. People want to argue what constitutes “Mass Shootings” versus regular old homicide, but does it really matter? We have too many guns, or too many assholes, or too many assholes with guns in the old US of A. Sure, it’s a hugely political and partisan issue in this country, in GOD’S COUNTRY, but really it’s a battle of fighting against ourselves as much as fighting others across the political spectrum.

Do I want there to be less guns because I’m on the liberal side of things? No, I want there to be less guns because I honestly I don’t give a shit about guns. Yeah, I don’t like the idea that fucking psychos are unloading them in movie theaters and I never liked that cops and criminals (more obvious than ever how thin that line is) have used them as much as they do. And yes, there are several good arguments to AT THE VERY LEAST more strongly regulate gun ownership. Because constitution-loving, open-carrying, NRA-subscribing member and myself still can probably agree that something is fucked up with innocent people getting shot and killed. The difference is that these guys and gals really fucking like their guns and I could care less about them. I get no pleasure from shooting a gun. I mean, maybe target practice on empty bottles in the backyard used to be fun, but I’m no fucking hunter. And I don’t feel like I need to “protect” myself, or my home, or my family. Even in a shitty neighborhood I’m in no real danger. In the rare chance someone breaks in and wants my stuff they can have whatever they want. All of the items together can’t be worth more than a couple grand. Also, not to go all Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, but, it’s just fucking stuff. It’s just a couch!

I’m under no illusion (delusion?) that I need guns for sport, protection, or some weird imagined religious/founding father loyalty oath. I can easily support gun reform because I never wanted them in the first place. They won’t be taken from my cold dead hands. Government buy back program? Go right ahead! We don’t NEED all these fucking guns. But I’m not stupid, it’s not about what we need. It’s about what we WANT.  I realize there are things that the big bad government would have to take from my cold, dead hands. Like alcohol. It’s also thought of as fun AND dangerous.  I love it and I don’t want it taken away because of “a few bad apples”.  I would be bullshit and probably irrational.  And I wouldn’t be alone. Shit, how many Americans actually look back on Prohibition fondly?

Guns don’t kill people alone. And neither does alcohol. Well, yeah there are definitely people who will accidentally shoot themselves and there are strong correlations between gun ownership and suicide, but there are idiots and alcoholics that will drink themselves to death either in one binging blaze of glory or over time because life is too fucking hard without the bottle.  But that’s not the majority or us.  And no one wants to have their toy taken away just because someone else keeps choking on the damn thing. Why do we have to be responsible for the least capable people in society?

It’s a tough revelation to come to terms with. I always thought every conservative dick who held on so damn tightly to their guns was just about the dumbest asshole in the country. Well, not really the dumbest, there will always be dumber people like that lovely troll who won’t issue marriage permits even though it’s her goddamn job. But still, just because I have a general indifference to possessing a gun, doesn’t mean others whom are attracted are simply morons. They’re just…attached. It’s awful how many people are killed from drunk driving accidents. But if there were a slew of articles, speeches, and legislative pushes for banning alcohol every time someone died from under-the-influence vehicular manslaughter, I might get pretty damn defensive too.

As far as I can tell, the biggest differences is how far we go with regulation. Reasonable people should be able to agree that we need stronger regulations for guns in America. But we could probably use more intrusive controls on alcohol consumptions too. Would I be pissed if there were more mandated self breathalyzers? Probably, but I would reluctantly accept it knowing it probably for the greater good. Can we convince gun owners to approve stronger measures in the same way? I honestly don’t know. It’s probably a question of: “Can we figure out how to convince people to value the LIVES of everyone more than the CONVENIENCES in your own life?” And to convince them making stronger gun license and permit laws do no imply that the government is waging war against you personally, or your precious fucking Bill of Rights.

Personally, I have my doubts on peoples ability to get past the rhetoric and come to some sort of compromise. I know that personally I’ve spouted off every anti-gun statistic available for years and while they weren’t wrong, that isn’t really why I cared. I didn’t realize until FDW asked me why I care so much about gun deaths in America but haven’t care much about others types of preventable death in the US, or even in other places where curable diseases like Malaria could be wiped out with American money and a little less apathy. I’ve said multiple times in the past that human mortality just doesn’t matter all that much to me. I’m not a humanist, my species loyalty is at an all time low, and I’ve gone on the record many times saying the world population is too damn big as it is. Especially when so many of the people we have suck according to my personal and not in any way subjective assessment. But if I hate people so much, why do I care so much about people dying from gun violence?

I stumbled through a few explanations before settling on: because I’m afraid I could die from gun violence. I admitted it was selfish; but I understood that living in the US cuts down the preventable ways to die as an innocent bystander and I want the others eliminated too. Sure, our lifestyles increase our chances of dying from too many fried chicken dinners, but that I would be able to take responsibility for.  I realized that I was just angry at the idea that I could be shot and killed not because of my own bad choices but because of the sociopaths that live in America and the pro-gun lobby that allows them to have access to these weapons. But in reality, I could just as easily be killed by a drunk driver, and still, that in no way wants me to take away the booze nationwide.

Even though a good percent of people have proven that they can’t handle alcohol either, I personally feel too attached. I’d support more regulation, just as I still do for gun control. But taking it all away? Fuck you! What’s that Amendment that ended Prohibition again? This isn’t just giving up what we personally would prefer for the greater good. This is honestly (and sadly) feeling like I’m not sure that I do want to live in a country that doesn’t allow for my mostly responsible personal use of alcohol.  I want to be smarter about it, but in reality, you’ll probably have to pry my dead fingers away too.

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