Space for Rent: Gun Culture

Tweet of the Day: More from Manguel: Language and the Limits of the Imagination 

WARNING: This is a rant.

An unapologetic rant.

A political rant.

Feel free to disregard and move on.

Still here?

Okay then….

It seems the world didn’t end today, but then again, the day ain’t over yet. But the world did end for twenty children a week ago. And as the parents, friends, neighbors and above them all politicians and media try to figure out what happened, why it happened and how can they prevent future massacres they all seem to be ignoring the elephant in the room.

The culture… not pop culture, or Hollywood or video games, but the gun culture. A culture that spouts such ridiculous statements as:

“Guns don’t kill People, People kill People.”

But gosh darn it, Guns sure make it easier to kill People, on account that their are Weapons designed to, you know, kill People.

“If X had a gun then the shooter would have been stopped.”

Because shootouts in crowded airplane cabins, classrooms and busy streets always end well. By all means lets throw more bullets into the mix, with more untrained shooters, police and panicked civilians. Never mind Mr. Overpenetration (sounds like a pornstar, but the only one getting fucked is you when that desk doesn’t stop the bullet meant for you), Mr. Fragmentation (pieces of a bullet can kill you as surely as a whole bullet) and Mr. Ricochet (fun when Cyclops of the X-Men does it, not so much fun when it a 9 m.m. parabellum round hitting you in the back of the head).  Also guns are not phasers, they don’ t have a stun setting and there is NO SUCH THING as a flesh wound.

“Their will be less crime if everybody had a gun.”

Because you are blessed with X-ray vision + mind reading so you know exactly who is armed and who intends to shoot you before they pull the trigger. Remind me again how a concealed weapon deters an attacker that can’t see the weapon that will protect you? Or did they invent the magic shield gun yet? You know the one that shoots bullet repellent sprinkles.

“If you ban guns, only criminals will have guns.”

And they don’t now? Never mind that most guns on the street are bought legally and then smuggled, or sold in places where they are restricted.

“Gun control leads to Tyranny.”

True, tyrants don’t like to get shot at, but an awful lot of them do die by the gun. And when the other side has APCs, infantry fighting vehicles, tanks, attack helicopters and fighter-bombers that turn AK’s into peashooters  you might want to rethink your freedom protecting strategy. Newsflash, if you are relying on the 2nd amendment to protect your rights, then you already lost.  Next stop, revolution and civil war. And let me tell you, insurgencies are hard. Just ask the Colombians, Nicaraguans, Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese, Syrians… you are going to need more than that arsenal of mismatched weaponry to take on U.S. Army, hell it won’t protect you from the local SWAT and the FBI.

Just ask the Branch Davidians.

Oh wait, you can’t.

Sure they put a good fight when the ATF came a’knocking. But then the FBI showed up with Bradley IFVs. And we all know how that ended.

The real culprit behind the massacres is the Gun Culture. A culture that equates guns with power and lack of guns with weakness. You are strong if you own a mystical masculinity extension or shield of precious femininity.  You are a dead man walking if you don’t. Any proposal to limit the carnage is met with howls of outrage. And don’t get me started on the whole racial/ethnic dimension to the way the NRA/Far Right pushes its agenda.

One last thing.

What do you call a place where everybody has guns?

A war zone.

3 comments on “Space for Rent: Gun Culture

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more. I used to be pro-firearms, but after recent events these past few years and after my own musing, I decided the everyday person doesn’t need a locker filled with assault rifles.


    • Confiscating every fire arm is not the answer, changing how people think about guns is. Most gun owners are responsible, the hunters, the target shooters. They know that guns are weapons and should be treated as such. But the gun nuts who see black helicopters hovering overhead see their guns as magic shields. If those helicopters decided to shoot you, they would do it at 2:00 a.m. from 5 kilometers away.


  2. I have nothing to add — you’ve covered exactly what I think.


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