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I have a question. This is not a new question. In fact I’ve been asking this particular one for years, but in light of the recent rash of shootings I’m going to ask it again. What is with the guns?

I do not understand the second amendment of the US constitution: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Forgive me, but perhaps in 1791 it was necessary to have this written into the constitution because there were enough people going around blowing each other to smithereens for land, gold or horses. I’m sorry, but this is not the Wild West anymore boys and girls. Things should probably change. In Canada we merely have the right to safety, both physically and mentally, written into our constitution: “right to life, liberty, and security of the person.” Security of the person. What does that mean? I means we have the right to be safe from physical and mental harm. We don’t need to carry guns to ensure this right.

I do not understand the mindset that says otherwise. It’s one thing to own a gun and use it at a shooting range, or to hunt game. I know people who do this, though I do not. But no one I know goes to Walmart with a pistol at his belt just because he can. Honestly, do you not think that doing so, if it came to it, wouldn’t make you a target? Who is a gunman with a purpose going to shoot first? Short answer: whoever is armed. Shooting an actual person is something completely different than shooting a target, or even that buck you’re going to put in your freezer. There is purpose and little in the way of harmful consequences involved (unless you’re the buck, of course). I have only ever seen or handled one gun, and that was the .22 my first boss had for shooting sheep killers and wild dogs. (This is, of course, not counting the ones I see holstered on the hips of law enforcement.) I don’t have a gun and though I have witnessed a shooting outside one place I lived, I do not feel that a gun is going to change things should I ever have the misfortune to be in that situation again. I’d rather earn myself a black belt and kick some ass rather than rely on a piece of cold steel that a) makes me a target b) is relatively useless unless you’re crack shot or so close you can’t miss and c) is more dangerous to me should I lose hold of it in a struggle.

So the NRA and other gun enthusiasts support the second amendment. They say that people “need a gun to protect themselves.” Please explain this to me!

“If you have a gun, people respect you.” Pardon me, but respect is not the same as fear. In fact I’m more likely to think you’re a weak ass little bitch with power issues if you wave a gun at me. Guns do not solve problems. They do not protect your family. You do. You are the one that earns respect; not by the ownership of a gun; not by the ownership of anything but the ability to give your word and keep it. You protect your family by making sure they live in a safe neighbourhood and teaching your children how to avoid unsafe situations. You solve problems by using your brain, not brandishing, or worse, shooting a gun at someone or something. (In fact if you do shoot something you’re more likely to create more problems…)

So why not register ownership of firearms? Why not make it difficult or ideally, illegal to bear these weapons in public? Think about that word for a moment: weapons. That’s what they are: tools of destruction, by definition an instrument to inflict damage or death.

What kind of world do we live in that people feel they require the right to bear weapons in public?

Edit: It seems that I am not the only one who has an issue with the relevance of the second amendment in this day and age. Please take a moment to have a look at Jason Alexander’s view on the topic.

We will not prevent every tragedy. We cannot stop every maniac. But we certainly have done ourselves no good by allowing these particular weapons to be acquired freely by just about anyone.

Listening to: Butthole Surfers – Pepper
Drinking: Copper Moon Rosé
Reading: Anne Patchett – Bel Canto
Wrote: 3547 words