An incomplete list of responses to pro-gun arguments in my Facebook feed.
I wrote this for my own psychological well-being. None of this should need to be said. But if your Facebook feed is anything like mine right now, you might find this exploration useful.
“You can’t change the constitution.”
- Yes you can. It’s called a fucking amendment.
“But it’s in the bill of rights.”
- Good news: we don’t have to change a thing! 2nd amendment here: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” “Well regulated militia.” “WELL REGULATED.” REGULATING GUNS IS IN THE FUCKING CONSTITUTION. Those guns, also, used to be musket things. Super hard to load and reload. Not like an AR-15, which is a weapon designed for modern combat and war. Designed to kill people. Not hunt deer. Not protect a house. To. Kill. Groups. Of. Humans.
“Background checks/assault weapon bans are a slippery slope — if you start there, where does it end?”
- People invoke this shit like it is logical truth. The deep, poetic irony here is that slippery slope is a logical fallacy — you are actually calling yourself out for being wrong by saying it.
- Secondly, no it is not. This gunman, was on an FBI watch list. He beat his wife. By all accounts, he had a history of mental illness. His father was a vocal and public Taliban supporter. Pretty sure those are the types of things that would maybe, probably, come up on a background check. But if you would like to defend the right of mentally unstable, wife-beating assholes to own an AR-15, then by all means invoke your freedom of speech—which is actually in the Bill of Rights—and alienate yourself from good people.
Personal anecdote: my grandpa had to sacrifice his driver’s license when he got tremors and his vision failed. And he certainly would have had it revoked when his dementia set in — because he could have hurt someone on the way to the grocery store. This double standard is mind boggling and irrational. And because it is irrational — this is important — it is emotionally rooted. People are arguing from a place deep in their hearts that is beyond logic. They feel like this is true. I understand that. Oh wait, no I don’t, that is fucking idiotic and people keep dying. In fact, it would be amoral of me to find a middle ground! I am tired of smart people trying to play nice on this. 50+ sons and daughters were brutally mowed down by a lunatic that SHOULD NOT HAVE HAD ACCESS TO A GUN.
“But bad people will just get guns from the Black Market.”
- “Hi, is this the Black Market? I’ll have one contraband please.” The black market IS NOT A FUCKING PLACE. It does not have a storefront. People don’t hang out there. They don’t have a customer service line. The black market is the distribution of illegal and illicit material. It is a HARD place to find (even harder since the Silk Road shut down for a third time), because it is not a place, and that non-place is well hidden. You don’t just go there AS A DUDE. The FBI and Police Departments around the country are devoting billions trying to track and crush and intercept the black market. To me, that sounds like a good place to force desperate, violent people to try their luck.
- Countries with strict gun laws don’t have the same gun-homicide problem we do. They probably have a black market lurking around somewhere.
- I don’t understand: So, you would just rather this crazy guy buy an assault weapon legally? Do you see where this logic is flawed? This is obvious right? Am I taking fucking crazy pills?
“Your safety is not worth our liberty.”
- What the fuck?! I seriously… Jesus christ dude. Let me compose myself and try and make some sense of the densest platitude I’ve ever tried to choke down…This isn’t ‘1984’. We aren’t asking for camera’s in your bedroom. We simply don’t want crazy-ass people to have crazy-ass guns.
“Men will find a way to kill. No ban will stop that. People committed mass murder with fertilizer and box cutters.”
- This one probably sounds really specific. Well, someone actually wrote this in a place where other people could read it. When was the last time someone used a box cutter or fertilizer to commit mass murder in this country? Are you talking 9/11? Think about all the mass murders committed with guns. I think that ratio is nearing 3 to infinity. Also, I can think of at least one other use for box cutters and fertilizer besides mass murder — namely, box cutting and fertilizing. And guess what, we regulate those. We also regulate Sudafed. But not just Sudafed, we also regulate off-brand Sudafed. It is harder for me to get nose medicine than it is to get a gun. That is so dumb that I just made myself hungry. I can’t even explain that, but it’s true.
- You are right. Some men will find a way to kill. Women too. Let’s probably make that urge harder to act on, then.
“We should not politicize this tragedy.”
- Go. Fuck. Yourself. You lazy coward. You weak, apologist parrot. This was a gay club, filled with sexual and ethnic minorities. The attack was committed by a homegrown religious extremist. Who was enabled by the most powerful interest group in the land: The NRA. I am not politicizing anything—politics is already deeply rooted in this.
- Politics is shitty. Politics is also a vehicle to enact change. Change is deeply needed. There were political activists in that club, guaranteed. There were people in that club who had to fight to be equal in the eyes of the law. And still, they were marginalized. Still, they were hated. And in a place where they felt safe to express themselves freely without scorn or judgement: killed. Brutally. Mercilessly. This could have been prevented. You are complicit in mass murder if you do not get political.
What is obvious is that passionate people are jumping through logical hoops to shut down regulation arguments. This is at best a flawed rhetorical exercise, and always disrespectful to the memories of the dead and their families. I am drawing a line in the sand, and so should you. I saw angry, tearful people marching down Market Street on Monday, 3,500 miles from Orlando. I watched a TV interview with a mother who didn’t know where her son was, the grim news all but a formality. I was so sad for her, and everyone else. I wept along with her. We should all weep. And we should all continue to fight the good fight. The logical fight. The fight so glaringly obvious that it shouldn’t even be a fight.
Stricter gun control, now. Start here.