Quick Question

by heatherwhaley



You know how gun enthusiasts get all upset when we talk about universal background checks for all gun sales, and they say that the real problem is fixing our mental health system?  Do they mean that we need to cure mental illness, and only that will lead to reduced gun violence?  What about the neighbor who has been a responsible gun owner for years, but is experiencing the first signs of Alzheimer’s, or depression? If we could cure Alzheimer’s we would.  Do we have to just keep our fingers crossed and wait for science to provide the answer?  Do they advocate yearly mental health screenings for all citizens – including gun owners – as part of the sensible mental health system?  Because I knew a man who was sharp as a tack one year, and the next couldn’t recognize his own wife and thought she was an intruder.  What if he’d had a gun?  Would love an honest answer to my honest question.

A lot of the gun conversation in our country is actually detrimental to solving the real problem that we have, which is a lot of people dying, particularly children, by guns.  It’s a really shameful aspect of our nation, and one which we should be able to solve, but we are not going to do it with an us vs. them debate.  Don’t gun owners also want to reduce the number of people who die by gun violence?  I think so.  And don’t gun violence prevention activists enjoy the personal freedoms that come with being an American?  Yes.

Personally I don’t really care if you own guns or not, although I’d rather my neighbors didn’t own weapons that could shoot through their walls and mine.  I just care that you keep your guns safely locked up, and that they are not allowed into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.  Which is actually what most people feel, too.

But look at Chris Christie, who just vetoed a ban on .50 caliber long-range rifles, that are capable of taking out a vehicle, and “will penetrate most commercial concrete and brick walls,” according to McMillan’s website.  How is that good for anyone?  If you keep a firearm at home to protect yourself and your family, how are you going to protect yourself against a guy with one of those, which are legal to own in every state but California?  Chris Christie was compelled to veto that ban because the NRA has dug in their heels against any gun reform whatsoever, and advocated a sort of “any gun for anyone” stance, and he’s not strong enough to stand up to the NRA.  If you do a search for this kind of ammo, you see a lot of “Zombie Apocalypse” references.  Seriously.   Where’s the sense in that?  Other countries with sensible gun laws have sport shooters, so it’s not a matter of “athletes” not being able to practice their sport.  Full disclosure: I don’t think golfers are “athletes” either.

What’s the answer?  Investing in Kevlar?  Living in an underground bunker?  I don’t know.  And of course any sort of sensible debate is predicated by the idea that both sides actually use sense.  Are we just too far apart in ideology to even recognize what sense is anymore?  Anyway, I’m confident that I will be able to outrun the Zombie horde.  Maybe these guys should buy some running shoes.