Time to Stop Mincing Words About Gun Control

by Tom Batten

Originally published on The-Tusk.com, two goddam fucking years ago


Two years ago I was sitting at a red light, fucking with my iPod, when these two guys walked up to my car and one of them pointed a handgun at me through the window. Tinked it right up against the glass and smiled at me when I looked up. His buddy tugged his arm and they both laughed and strolled off and the light turned green and I drove to WaWa and freaked out in the parking lot for like thirty minutes.

Let’s say I’d had a gun with me when that happened. I would have fumbled for it and been shot in the face, because I’m not John McClane. Let’s say I had a gun and that it was at hand and the safety was off and I had some miraculous quick-draw skills. I would have shot that guy. And then I would have shot his fucking friend, too, regardless of if the friend was armed. I would have shot those guys until I was absolutely positive they were both dead.

What bugs me is this: this all happened really fast and at night. What if what the dude pointed at me was actually a water pistol?


I saw some pictures the other day from an open carry rally where these gun-goons were strolling Wal-Mart with their assault rifles. They all looked like the human equivalent of fetal pigs, if you can imagine that, like too fleshy and pale and kind of curled up into themselves, not fully formed, with misplaced tufts of hair. Only, unlike fetal pigs, they were carrying rifles that could fire like 800 rounds a minute or something.

It made me want to stay away from the X-Box games and Hot Pockets and out of the direct path between the two in every Wal-Mart, forever, because looking at these goons, that’s where the shit is going down if it does go down. These goons were ready for World War III to break out when what they really should have been keeping an eye on was their insulin levels.


Now, that’s some mean shit to say. What a cruel dick I am. God, I should be punched and kicked and spit on. But okay, I’ll take it, because I’m sick of pretending that this shit has to be taken seriously and I’m sick of getting nowhere acting reasonably when it comes to these shitty, selfish buffoons; I was watching these guys walk around Wal-Mart and I realized, they just think this is cool. They like doing this because it’s antagonistic, and they think they look awesome. They can claim all they want that this is about self defense or the 2ndAmendment or whatever, but God damn, it’s at least partially fashion, isn’t it?


…So how about this: a new law that states you can take whatever gun you want wherever you want, as long as the gun is prominently displayed and painted hot pink. And maybe also the barrel is bedazzled. Or maybe this: you can take whatever gun you want wherever you want as long as it’s prominently displayed and is emblazoned with the logo of your least favorite sports team. And then let’s see if they’re still so keen on lugging their junk around.


Here: I know this guy who is super opposed to gay marriage, civil unions, all of it. One time he told me that his major problem with the whole thing was that if we made it easier to be gay, if we made it more socially acceptable to live as an open and out homosexual, then more people would come out of the closet and engage in homosexual relationships and over time this would lead to a decrease in the population until the continued existence of the human race was threatened.

Now, how the fuck do you argue with that? I mean, there are ways. But what can reasonably be said in response to that argument other than “I’m sorry you feel like you need to hide who you are and I hope that one day you find a way to be happy?”

And I didn’t say that, of course. I think I just shrugged, and this guy walked away thinking he won.


As someone who is even a little bit thoughtful when it comes to social issues, who also has access to the internet, I feel like I’m fucking drowning in bullshit like three times a day. And that kind of argument is why. The opposition is super, super good at spewing garbage that sounds real but is in fact basically nonsense. Here’s one: no to gay marriage because it might undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage. I don’t hear anyone trying to outlaw divorce, though, or proposing that infidelity be criminalized. No to gun control because then only criminals would have guns. Holy shit. Forget that researchers have found that the murder rate is 114% higher in the states with the highest numbers of gun owners, that people who drive with guns in the car are 44% more likely to get aggressive with other drivers and 77% more likely to actually fucking follow other drivers aggressively, and that the instances where a gun-toting civilian has prevented a mass shooting are so rare that it’s debatable whether it’s ever even happened.


But, cough, cough, what about this:

“9 Potential Mass Shootings That Were Stopped by Someone with a Personally Owned Firearm,” via Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed is not a real news source, ding dong:

“9 Things Wrong with Buzzfeed’s Article”


In a version of 21st century America that made sense, every argument about guns should go like this:

Argument: New gun laws might inhibit the right to self-defense.

Reply: Newtown, 26 real human beings with friends and families and hopes and dreams killed.

Argument: We should be doing a better job enforcing the laws we have.

Reply: Virginia Tech, 32 real human beings with friends and families and hopes and dreams killed.

Argument: An armed society is a polite society.

Reply: Go fuck yourself.


Being nice and trying to be reasonable is getting us nowhere. Every time some shit goes down there’s a tiny little groundswell of, “You know, this sure doesn’t happen in other countries all that much, maybe we should…” and then the goons start in on the Constitution and we start scratching our heads on a response and then there’s another mass shooting and we’re all like, how the fuck does this keep happening?


I have some civilian gun owning friends and some non-civilian gun-owning friends, and all of them say the same thing: they don’t bring their guns out with them, because when they do they get tense and realize that being armed in public makes them feel like they’re looking for trouble.


I’d be uncomfortable with any situation where the government came and took away people’s weapons. Maybe they should become hard as fuck to purchase, though. Because sometimes I’ll think I’d like some frozen yogurt but then when I get to the place and I see that the line is super long I’ll suddenly realize I don’t really want frozen yogurt at all, you know? Maybe making the process by which one gets a gun really arduous would either give potential maniacs some time to chill out or inspire them to pull whatever they’re planning with a knife, instead, and knives are much easier to run away from.


Google “Chicago” and click on the “News” tab at any point in the day and see what it says.


You have the right to own a gun. Maybe owning a gun makes you feel safer, even though statistics show this is an illusion. Are you really not willing to give up that right if there’s a chance that doing so would save the lives of real human beings? It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s far from ideal, but neither is being shot in the face for the crime of wanting to see The Dark Knight Rises opening night.


How about, take your gun where you want, as long as the barrel is pointing at your own face and nothing else.