There are only a few narratives that take place with these mass shootings - the headlines could and should be one or the other - "Religious Nut(s) Kill People Who Disagree With Their Stupid Ancient Book" or "Insane Person Kills Innocent People Because They're Insane And It's Easy To Buy Guns and Ammo In America". That sums up most of the mass shootings that have taken place. We have a very popular magazine called GUNS & AMMO with pictures of Guns and Ammo. Playboy no longer has nudity, and I've never heard people reading Guns & Ammo just for the articles.
I can understand a crime of passion to an extent. Someone does something to you, you're on the edge and you also happen to own a firearm or some other type of weapon and you go after the person who wronged you in some way as you see fit. It doesn't justify the action, but certainly gives you a clear "eye for an eye" motive - more religious propaganda, but most sane people can understand. However, sane people cannot and should not have to accept that killing other people because they don't believe the same God Myth is okay.
Besides, don't most religious texts say the same thing? At the heart of them is a general guideline for living a decent life - basically, don't be an asshole and leave other people to their own beliefs unless it affects you in some way. Then, politely tell them to fuck off and mind their own business.
Here's what my buddy Chuck posted, and I agree 100%:
"All of the hollow rhetoric in the world isn't going to change things. There are millions of guns in this country creating a very dangerous environment and taking responsibility and control of this dangerous situation will take many, many years of effort on the part of lawmakers and individual citizens. But we need to take the first serious steps, now. To lump America into the list of civilized nations is laughable. The daily shootings occurring here are anything but civilized. When someone's right to own guns trumps another's right to life, it's time to reassess our priorities. In the early days of this country, the gun was a tool used for hunting for food and protection in the wilderness, where there wasn't immediate access to a law enforcement agent. That is no longer true today, for most Americans. Today guns are just adult toys and have no practical application except to give people a false sense of security, to make owners feel tough or for sport hunting. None of these are good reasons for putting the rest of us in danger. Grow up and put your toys away."
Let's have sensible, educated, informed debates and best idea in the room wins.
I don't own a gun, but I've been around them and even fired them myself. It's fun to target shoot at the range - shooting skeet and targets is fun - so is paintball, and Call of Duty, I understand why people like guns. But I'm also scared shitless of them. It's a dangerous thing that DEMANDS respect.
Let's say we make a law that says it's illegal to own a firearm other than a shotgun. Ok. Now what? How do we collect them? Will people willingly give them up? Who collects them and what do we do with them? Maybe we could throw them into an active volcano and eliminate them from existence. Hmmm...but then only the military and police would have them - is that ok? Government buy-back plan? Nah, I don't think people who need the money are the ones buying the AR-15s at gun shows. It should be more difficult to get a gun than it is to get a driver's license, that's for sure. This won't prevent people from illegally acquiring them. I think Chris Rock was right, we need to raise the price of bullets.
As I write this, I realize this is a very, very, very complicated subject (Duh!) and there is no answer that is black & white. But I do know this - whatever arguments we're having as a nation in the facebook statuses and twitter rants that are flying around after every mass shooting - no one thing is going to solve this. Honesty, unafraid, open conversation without political agenda or fear of offending someone needs to take place in a public forum.
We all have the internet now, right? The ability to be informed (and not confirmation bias, but equal coverage) has never been more available. In fact, if you choose to be uninformed about a subject, it's simply ignorance.
We must acknowledge also that our government carries out military action and occupies many parts of the world that think about things in very different ways than we do. Put yourself in the position of those being bombed by America. Every day, bombs drop out of the sky and explode and the smart people in town, the elders, the ones at the podium at the town hall meeting to try and calm people down (think about the press conferences we hold) says "This was an American Military Operation". Just like when the press conference here says "This was an Islamic Terrorist Attack" - what do we want to do? Bomb the terrorists? Aren't we (America) the face of terror for those countries that we continue to bomb. The people living there in peace with their family have no idea why we're doing it. And I fully believe that our country is not doing it for any religious reason whatsoever. We could care less what religion they practice. Rather, I think actual country/geography itself has something we want or serves a strategic purpose and the people that live there are in the way. Religion serves as a good excuse to hate "the other team" - but really, everyone, including America, should just stop being assholes and leave people alone.
Maybe we're all naive. Maybe there's big things happening in the world that our Government is "Protecting" us from. Maybe we need to spend trillions of dollars (that we just print at will) on defense contracts. I don't know. But it certainly doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. And if there is something bigger at play that they think we just won't be able to handle, try it out on us...maybe some transparency would help justify the actions of our government. I remain unconvinced.
And the people that want to shoot other people - mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters - that did nothing directly to them when they decide to go off on their rampage - well, fuck you!
Oh, and Congress and Senate - you old stupid fucks that have been in office since before the Internet - keep spending your time debating abortion and de-funding planned parenthood instead of pouring money into education so that we can start creating smarter kids that won't grow up to be ignorant uninformed religious nuts who are worried about what people do in the privacy of their own homes. Maybe take a minute to re-read the Constitution - I mean the rest of it, not just the 2nd Amendment.