355

Another day, another mass shooting…….
I remember Columbine well. It was terrifying, devastating, and it was almost incomprehensible. 12 students and a teacher were shot dead at the Aurora Colorado high school and I still have a vivid memory of standing with 2 friends at a recreation center in Kansas City in front of wall mounted TV watching the news unfold.

After todays shooting I fell into a depressing internet black hole of awful events past. I came across an article that re-introduced me to John Zawahri. It’s a name I wouldn’t expect to remember, but he was the 23 year old that shot and killed 5 people in Santa Monica, 8 blocks from my house, in 2013. I am embarrassed to say that I not only don’t remember where I was or what I was doing, I also forgot it happened. Someone shot and killed 5 people on a spree in my neighborhood 2 years ago, and reading the article today I thought to myself, “oh yeah….I remember that particular shooting”.

The unfortunate fact is, you can’t keep up. There are shootings, mass shootings, literally everyday. Actually, statistically speaking, a little more than one a day. As of December 2nd, 355 mass shootings are in the books for 2015. So we are clear here, I am talking about only in America. A mass shooting is defined as the shooting of 4 or more individuals with no cooling off period. Gang killings or incidences where these 4 or more victims are family members do not count. Why? Really good question, not what I want to address, but I mention it because 355 is, amazingly enough, a number that has been skewed down.

It’s no longer an anomaly, it’s no longer incomprehensible. It’s just what happens.

During the Ebola scare last year the US educated over 200,000 health care workers, built testing labs, set up screening centers at international airports, spent $921 million in West Africa and put over 10,000 civilians oversees to help combat the outbreak. 2 Americans died.
31 governors are currently protesting the admittance of Syrian refugees to their respective states after the Paris attacks. This is the response despite the known fact that no Syrian refugees were involved in these attacks.
Richard Reid attempted to set off a bomb he placed in his shoe in 2001, and we have all removed our footwear before every flight for a decade and a half. 0 people died.

We are not incapable of reaction. Generally, something bad happens, citizens want certain ordinances or laws to be put in place to prevent bad things from continuing to happen, action and reaction. Sometimes it is logical, oftentimes an over reaction, but generally you can see the origin of thought. There is some form of rational consideration behind it.
Except when we talk about guns.

“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”-Wayne LaPierre NRA Vice President.

Or you know, don’t have guns. Just fucking don’t.

People do terrible things, it’s an unfortunate reality, but the accessibility we give people with corrupt or corruptible minds to a totally destructive force, like a gun, is unconscionable.
Private gun sellers are not required by law to do background checks. How is this reasonable? Anyone in America can walk up to a private gun seller and buy a Glock as if it were a pack of Orbit gum.
The concept of implementing gun control generally leads to discussion about the constitution and how it can’t be changed. You can’t take away rights.
But, our constitution has been changed, and rights have been taken away. 27 times our constitution has been amended. One amendment is of course the right to bear arms, another one took away the right to own slaves. The Constitution was and is not a perfect document. It was created for a time and place, and it worked. Some of it is still applicable. However, 200+ years later, we are in a different world.

If The Constitution needs to stay (further) untouched, fine, let’s compromise. Keep your right to bear arms, but let’s make all bullets illegal, because I am so so so sick of this shit. I am not OK with daily mass shootings, and I am not OK with it no longer being shocking.

Yes there are other issues at play, other things that need to be dealt with, but if we take away the destructive means those issues are much less volatile as a whole.

Over 300,000 gun related deaths have been reported in the last decade, with more than 1/3 ruled homicides. Again, this is just America were talking about. It’s such an absurd amount of action with zero counter reaction. We have actually somehow embraced guns more during this time with only 6 states not adopting some form of “open carry” law.

Get rid of these fucking things.

It’s not taking away our freedom, we still have cars, cheeseburgers, and the right to vote. Also, you will never overthrow the government, even if your basement is decked out like the couple from the movie “Tremors” (vague reference, but they were armed to the teeth). Good decisions are made with a collection of information, can today please be the final data point to move in the right direction? Can this years 355 separate confirmations of how guns are used against us in what are, by definition, terrorist attacks, be conclusive? The NRA defense team is buried under literal bodies of “insurmountable evidence”, we don’t need any more information. At this time and place, in this day and age, guns are fucking dumb.