What the hell, I can’t sleep, I’ll jump into the fray.
I think the vast majority of gun owners are reasonable people. I think the vast majority of those in favor of some form of gun legislation are reasonable people. I would even hazard a guess that there are more than a few who would count themselves in both camps. I’ll even go further than that and say that if a bunch of us from both camps got together and discussed ways to maybe not stop the carnage completely, but perhaps slow it down a little or a lot even, we might be able to come up with some ideas that we could all agree on. Most of us are okay with driver’s licenses and social security. We might not love those things in equal measure, but we deal with it.
The problem as I see it, is a lobbying organization that has hijacked the conversation. A lobbying organization that used to be a sportsman’s membership organization but is now a tool for the gun industry which, like many other corporate entities, cares for one thing and that is profit. Unlike many other manufactured goods, guns last a long time, they are generally well made and there is no built-in obsolescence, all things that lead to a shrinking market. Scary prospect for a manufacturer. So what’s an industry to do?
This is what you do:
- Develop the new shiny toy – faster, farther, more deadly, whatever bells and whistles make a weapon more “fun” (that part you’ll need to fill in for yourself if you’re into that kind of thing).
- Manufacture a “need” – guess who funded the passage of all of those “stand your ground laws” in states with plummeting violent crime statistics? Remember how Obama tried to take all of our guns? Except he didn’t.
- Co-opt a national symbol to make some of us all heated up, indignant and ready for battle – do you give a shit about ANY of those other amendments?
- Make sure the politicians who regulate these things are firmly on your side and in your pocket (I don’t need to explain this one), ka-ching.
- Make damn sure that nobody but the professionals see any evidence of the carnage. Ever take a look at the statistics for gun deaths in this country? Want to do some research on the effect of guns on public health? Good luck. Link Remember the horror of those photos from Las Vegas and Sandy Hook Elementary? Of course you don’t, you never saw them, we learned that lesson from Vietnam. This one is VERY important because human beings are both compassionate in the extreme when we are exposed to the suffering of others and amazingly able to compartmentalize, can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.
- Do everything in your power to make sure they can’t sue you. Link But isn’t that our God-given right in this country? We can sue McDonald’s for malfunctioning coffee machines. Ronald McDonald is pretty good, but he doesn’t have that sportsman’s membership organization behind him.
Finally, use all the above to convince us that the problem is intractable and then pit us against each other, telling us that the other guy, gal, gun-toter, liberal peace freak is the enemy and not the soulless corporate monolith making tools of us all.
Because we don’t need to be its puppet, and yet we are. We don’t need to do its bidding, and yet we do. We can make our own choices. Will we?