Friday, December 4, 2015

Guns and Fear

Anyone on Facebook these days is sure to have noticed changes in the tone of conversation about politics (no matter what country you live in) and more recently about gun control, given recent shootings. My own thoughts aren't that consequential, but I get tired of repeating them, so here, fueled by a too-short night of sleep (thanks, cat, for being hungry at 3AM, and body for failing to get back to sleep afterward :P), is what I just posted on yet another thread:
Wherever one stands on gun rights, I am wondering why there is so little focus from all of us - from individual citizens to the highest levels - on the mentality of people who would carry out such acts. Certainly some are truly mentally ill, but I also see a culture of fear and anger that fuels everything from shootings like this clear up to politics - The Donald, basically an overgrown warmongering schoolyard bully, is the frontrunner for POTUS, FFS! When people feel too afraid and too powerless for too long, this is the sort of thing we can expect from groups and from individuals.

Add to that the easy availability of guns, and it's a powderkeg, and nobody should be surprised when it goes off. I say this as someone who grew up with hunting guns in the house (and if I get to move back home, I plan to take Bambi from my veggie garden to my freezer and crockpot my damn self LOL) and who enjoys a good round of target shooting: I'd have no trouble with gun laws strict enough to require AT LEAST the stringency of licensing we have for cars, complete with training and regular recertification. I'd even be OK with limits to the kind/amount of ammo I could buy and the kind of weapons I could purchase. I'm a suburban mom, I don't need a fully automatic anything except a dishwasher.  

So what's stopping us from enacting sensible gun legislation? Fear. Fear of powerlessness - and in recent times, more and more people have less and less power.

IMO, it makes no sense to address one without addressing the other. When we're powerless, we fight, we hang on for dear life and fight tooth and nail for every scrap of power we can get, we think with our guts instead of our brains, we think that the schoolyard bully presidential candidate will fight for us and make it all better, we blame The Other - Muslims, immigrants, Liberals, Conservatives, the Wealthy, the Poor. We get stuck in the pattern, we pass it to our children, and nothing changes except that the cycle perpetuates and strengthens.

This goes way deeper than guns. Getting rid of guns would only be a band-aid over a much deeper wound. /rant