March for Our Lives: For the US kids

I wrote this in anger and grief after the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012. To honor the kids and adults marching today, March 24, 2018, I’m re-posting this on Medium. May it contribute in some tiny way to stopping the ongoing horror of gun slaughter.

Someone asked on Quora, What are the most practical and effective steps we can take to reduce gun violence in the US — mass shootings, domestic violence and gun crime generally?

Banning the ownership of handguns and assault rifles outright, coupled with a buyback and destruction of these weapons as per Australia’s model.

As Mother Jones points out in A Guide to Mass Shootings in America, the weapons used to slay other humans are overwhelmingly weapons which have NO OTHER PURPOSE than to kill human beings.

What are they good for?

  • Semi-automatic handguns’ purpose: killing people.
  • Assault weapons’ purpose: killing people.
  • Revolvers’ purpose: killing people.

They are not designed as paperweights, they don’t grow food, they aren’t cuddly, they are crap as hammers. They are designed to kill people.

Pretending that they aren’t designed to kill people is moronic and making that argument will brand you as an idiot. You know it, your grandmother knows it, so don’t go there.

The arguments against banning these weapons are ridiculous in 2012 (and still ridiculous in 2018):

There are even less credible arguments:

  • Arguments that people like shooting holes in paper with these weapons are specious. The only appropriate response to that argument is: SO FUCKING WHAT?
  • The argument — made seriously by a Quoran as part of this discussion — that amending the Second Amendment or interpreting it sanely in a modern context will require dissolution of the Constitution and will necessarily make the USA cease to exist is such unrealistic hyperbole that it is only worth noting, not responding to.
  • The argument that they are necessary in the event that anyone invades the USA is so out-of-touch with reality that it can’t be taken seriously. America hasn’t had a foreign army on its mainland since 1812 (and some Japanese on a couple of the Aleutian Islands in 1943) and it’s got the most massively overfunded military in the world. No one is going to invade, and this argument can be lumped with fears of the USA’s dissolution should an amendment be amended.
  • The argument that there are too many weapons to dispose of is morally bankrupt and a bizarre statement coming from the country which put man on the moon, invented the atomic bomb and nuclear power, invented the Internet, built the Interstates, went to war with itself to successfully end slavery and has outlasted all of its ideological enemies. “It’s too hard” is code for “I don’t want to do it, so I’m going to throw another argument in the kitchen sink.” Get over yourself, you’re Americans, you can do anything you set your collective will to do.

All that continued access to handguns and assault rifles for the general populace does with any regularity is allow children and strangers to be killed en masse by the disturbed.

This sacred cow should be taken out, shot, carved up and thrown on the grill.

Note: My background includes being an infantry enlisted man and officer in the Canadian reserves. I was a marksmen with pistol, rifle and submachine gun. I was qualified on machine guns, grenades and rocket launchers. I used to teach people to shoot in the military. I’ve fired over 10,000 rounds in a single day. I grew up in the military and in remote parts of Canada. I’ve eaten deer, moose, beaver, duck and bear that were shot in the wild. I am not a ‘typical’ gun control guy, but I suspect the stereotypes are almost completely false in any event.



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Michael Barnard

Michael Barnard

Advisor Agora & ELECTRON. Founder distnc & TFIE. Publish on low-carbon transformation and related politics.