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A Note to "You" (the Gun Owner)

The culture of guns in America must change.

On one day, in one American town 13 times as many people (27) were murdered by guns than were murdered by guns (2) in one entire year (2006) in Japan, a nation of 127,000,000 people. And yet we dither. The warning from the Right is that “they are coming for your guns.” This is partially true (we’re coming for some of them) except that “they” is actually “we,” and “you,” whether you know it or not, are actually part of that we because that we includes family, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens, which is not nearly as nebulous an entity as your favorite bogeyman “the government.” We the people are coming. And you, as a person who may have no respect for government, need to respect that.

We are told that we must come to you now politely and with respect to gain your support or at least your lack of resistance to the new set of laws and regulations that, hopefully, will soon apply to the guns you covet and worship. I for one am in no such mood. Accountability is a big word in your dialectic, and in your unyielding attitude toward gun ownership in America, and in your support of the NRA I am holding you accountable for enabling the gun-available environment that led to the mass slaughter of children in Connecticut, to name but one incident. You will resist this characterization because you are a sportsman or a hobbyist or a perceived self-defender who is merely exercising your Second Amendment rights. You are innocent. But you are not. What you’re guilty of is indifference, in the face of brutal statistics (31,000 gun deaths per year in America), to the mayhem inflicted on your communities, near and afar, by your stubborn affection for guns.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” That is correct. That is why severe limitations on gun ownership and access to guns must be in effect in the United States. The reality of our imperfect and increasingly violence-tolerating culture (if you visited another world and witnessed children entertaining themselves with virtual games of shooting and death, would you view them as peace-loving or something else?), is something you can no longer ignore. That reality, not your connection to times past or to the glowing mythology of guns in America, demands an adaptation and a response to the killing power of modern guns.

This much I know. If I had a tradition, activity or even a need that involved guns, and I saw what guns at large had done to my country, I would gladly limit or compromise my access to guns for the greater good. Not to do so would be disgracefully un-American and insupportable, but most of all selfish. As good, responsible and deserving as you think you are, our society is peopled by many who are hostile, irresponsible, uncontrollable, ill-trained, and imbalanced. Efforts to control or monitor those members of society have and will always fall unacceptably short. That leaves guns as the controllable variable in the American equation of death by guns.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Robert Defulgentiis February 18, 2013 at 08:07 PM
JEN F - "Why are you posting all around the country" I write a regular blog that appears in many CA Patches (Leaning Left) though they tend to just post local POVS (+ KOS). When I write about a "national" issue lots of Patch editors are okay with me cross-posting. I wrote another gun piece plus a piece on the all volunteer army that went into many states. I do it because I don't believe citizenship is optional.
Jen F February 18, 2013 at 08:24 PM
I agree. I was just curious
Ken Carlson February 18, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Wow Jen F thanks for pointing that out. I think this is misleading not stating he is nationally "cross-posting" his opinion on our local Patch and not a word of it.
Christine M joyner February 18, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Are you paid to do this? By Whom?
Richard Froh February 19, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Interesting that your view of being a participant in society means joining together to bully people about their personal choices. Your means to make society what you would call "better" is to take from others by force. You use guns to coerce minorities. Your reasoning for taking guns from others is that, in addition to their actual purpose and intended purpose (personal defense, sport, hunting), these things MIGHT be used for other purposes. Under your system - which is not according to the unique rule book that we US citizens abide by - any coalition forming a majority or a well-connected minority can seize (by armed force) anything belonging to others. In fact, your system does not respect any personally-owned property, including one's own body and mind. What someone else thinks ("gun culture") isn't your business. What someone else does to defend his/her body and property isn't your business. Someone failed in their responsibility to teach you the demarcation where your rights end and another individual's rights begin, but in out society one always has the opportunity to learn this by reading the printed rule book. You know the one I am referring to, right?

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