Yes, I know you've eagerly awaited this one. Or maybe not. If you've regularly read this blog, you've already got a good idea of where I stand.
However, I've never done a full post on this & have had my Facebook feed overtaken by the anti-gun lobby with what feels like a million posts on how guns are the devil & we should seize all of them from everyone (though criminals won't turn theirs in or give a damn about the laws).
That whole tragedy in Connecticut did hit somewhat close to home. After all, I have a nephew who's elementary school aged & I'd murder anyone who even thought to cause that kid grief (though I think his parents & grandparents would have taken care of such problems long before I'd have to). I also went to law school in Connecticut, meaning I did live there for a few years. Never went to Newtown but I had heard of it.
Guns are one of those issues I side with conservatives on. No, I don't think every lunatic in town should be able to get one on demand. We can do without domestic abusers, serious rageaholics or schizophrenics having them. However, banning guns is NOT going to prevent a repeat of this situation. Let's repeat this for the "total ban" crowd (Lisa Simpson bitch on Facebook included): banning guns is not going to prevent future tragedies.
Oh, and don't you hate that the minute there's a massive shooting the anti-gun lobby crawls out & insists that human beings have no right to protect themselves, no one can go to a shooting range & hunters are the Antichrist? They also insist that the government is saintly, perfect & free of corruption. I want to smack them. In case you didn't notice, I don't take kindly to anyone trying to take my rights away & if you think I'm about to stand by and let you oppress me, you're dead wrong. We'll fight that to the bloody end if need be.
Why are gun bans a stupid idea? Let's break this down:
1. We live in a society with no adequate health care. If you have a mental illness, good luck getting viable coverage to see a quality therapist. Therapy costs money, many insurance plans only let you have a limited number of visits and there are some very shitty therapists out there. What if your insurance requires you to only see a crappy therapist while someone who could help you is out of your price range? What if you're not a student & have no way to get free mental health care?
Then, you're just like many of the homeless people begging for stuff except maybe you're not so poor that you don't have a place to live. If you are, that's where you're heading or already live.
Though I haven't had much direct experience on mental health care myself, I have heard it's a real problem.
2. Corporate America owns the media. Corporate America also outsourced the viable paying jobs & replaced them with crap work that will dehumanize you in a heartbeat.
They have also appointed the biggest butt kissers and experts in human demoralization to be managers and bosses vs. executives who are smart enough to realize that a happy workforce is a productive workforce. Some people are fortunate enough to have good bosses and supervisors (I'm not referring to that group; better yet, if you're a leader in Corporate America who fits this group why don't you reach out & see if you can't alleviate some of my cynicism on this point?) but many don't. You'd better be good enough to be top dog either for yourself or elsewhere or let's safely say you will be fucked sooner or later either in the next round of layoffs, outsourcing, dramatic pay decreases or in more work for less pay. Who benefits from the extra work? If you aren't getting credit for it, you sure aren't!
Work stress & having to deal with assholes who don't know what the hell they are doing or are just pricks in general leads to high stress. It leads to resentful, angry people. Those people take that out on everyone else like their families, friends, total strangers.
When you see stories about shootings & the like, do you think mainstream media is going to cover things about how guns SAVED someone from being a victim? And you always see that the mass murderer is a "goth" or "quiet" or "keeps to himself" (notice it's usually white guys; how many lone black guys have done this & gotten called "goths" afterwards?).
Corporate America also owns many of your "elected" officials. Many of these elected officials seem to think they are kings & queens instead of public servants. What standards of behavior do they have to comply with? Everyone freaks out more if they are cheating on a spouse than if they take a fortune in lobbyist money & make the FCC or the 1st Amendment worthless. Do you honestly think Corporate America wants their serfs to be able to have access to guns? Look at how the government treated minorities & what they couldn't do in the name of keeping THEM down! They couldn't learn to read, use drugs, own property, & the list goes on.
Maybe all the victims of shootings should just go after Corporate America for restitution. Perhaps they could sue Wal-Mart or some other companies out of existence for their role in the whole thing. I'm sure some enterprising & ballsy personal injury lawyer could come up with something.
Oh, and Corporate America decides what programs air on TV. Notice a rise in stupid reality shows & people being rewarded and encouraged to engage in rude, crude and outright distasteful behavior? I'm sure it's all part of the master plan. Not to mention airing all of what a friend of mine called "tragedy porn" over & over again. Way to encourage copycats! They probably think, "Hey, I'm a nobody who can't win friends or any pro-social societal achievements. I'll get famous for being bad!" There's reporting & there's exploitation. Don't waste your time with mainstream media in the US unless you want propaganda & exploitation. Go online or read the news from some foreign country where media isn't completely corrupt.
3. To get back to the rise in reality shows that make people dumber, let's also talk about lack of support networks. How are YOU treating the kids who are bullied or are "different?" Are you joining in the teasing? Did you bother to get to know anyone or did you prejudge them?
It's time a lot of people examined their behavior toward others. Maybe not being a closed-minded prick would improve things, especially in your own life. Take it from someone who was bullied. How about social support networks that actually work in being confidential, dealing with delicate issues and listening to people who are facing hard times so they don't think it's a good idea to start shooting folk who didn't do anything to them (shooting little kids is about as low as it gets save some super bratty demon spawn who murdered your child & bragged about it or something as grizzly)? Oh, but the government always cuts domestic programs first while keeping taxes low on the rich people!
4. You think the government is perfect? NYPD & the Occupy protests. How many documented cases of abuse & corruption have been out there against the NYPD? What about Emperor Bloomberg? Do you really think MORE leaders need to be that emboldened to act like tyrants?
If you do, you are too dumb to have freedom. In fact, you need to just turn over all your personal property, go get a government issued microchip implanted into your body & when the officer tells you to give him a blow job, you do it without question or complaint even if it's a routine traffic stop.
I notice none of these points being addressed by the anti-gun crowd. Instead they shriek "Get rid of guns NOW!!!" I also pointed out to some of these folks that NYC's draconian gun laws didn't do squat to protect anyone at the Empire State building shooting. Plus, Connecticut is NOT Texas when it comes to access to guns.
What effect could/will NYC's gun laws have on me? Someone I know had the nerve to ask why I should be able to have a handgun. I responded that he knew nothing about the required character & fitness exam to become a lawyer in the first place nor the continuing ethics rules lawyers have to obey if they want to keep their licenses.
1. I have the choice to violate attorney ethics rules by getting a gun illegally or being forbidden to have one at all regardless of the particulars of my career or the fact that I'm licensed to practice in 2 states with very oppressive gun laws.
2. I have to wait for some stalker, disgruntled client or other hater to attack & possibly kill me instead of having any kind of precaution to protect myself as I go about my daily life, make a living and get a larger public profile. Remember, threats aren't uncommon if you work in the entertainment industry. The higher up you are, the more likely those threats can become reality.
Even if you aren't high profile, that doesn't mean you can't be harmed. Just ask women who've been the victims of stalking & domestic violence. They weren't all famous.
Why should I or anyone else be denied the right to make a living without having to become a victim? I shouldn't have to wait around for law enforcement to feel like helping me or some MTA employee to feel like calling 911 if I'm attacked & raped in the subway like that one woman was.
Until Bloomberg or some young daughter of his gets raped in the subway & no one helps him/her, he can keep his mouth shut when it comes to the personal safety of young women.
If you are a NYC attorney who doesn't have prior law enforcement or military experience & has a gun license, let me know. I would never need to use one unless it was at a shooting range or some Bernard Goetz situation in my home or elsewhere (without the racial prejudice angle) but I think I have every right not to be harassed or endure unwanted touching. So does everyone else. I do have some self-control & a moral compass. Just because I can see where a person might lash out & the circumstances that can cause it doesn't mean I plan to do it myself. My life is actually going well right now.
As I've said a million times, when people have things to believe in and aspire to they aren't going to be worried about committing mass murder. That's another big problem these anti-gun folks haven't addressed: all the damn dream killing. Telling kids they're stuck going to State U with the same assholes who bothered them in high school & living in the same town forever in the name of not having debt is not helping anyone who isn't part of the Shiny Happy People Club. That prospect will just depress them & make them not care about anything. I hated my hometown & couldn't get out quick enough. Don't you know most of our greatest minds & awesome folk aren't the people who would have won popularity contests in high school? Especially in the entertainment game.
So, here's why gun banning is total shit:
1. Criminals don't follow laws. Tons of crimes have happened in NYC involving guns. How are those anti-gun laws working for you?
2. You invite criminals to attack people. How many mass murderers have taken place in areas that weren't gun free zones or where there was a great likelihood the citizenry would have guns on them to stop the fucker? Only a fucking coward would do a shooting in a gun free zone.
Go plan one in a heavily armed area; society dares you! Or pick better targets like child molesting priests, corrupt officials & others who are a cancer on our society vs. little kids who did nothing to you. You never hear about mass murders against pimps of underage prostitutes or child molesters.
Maybe it's just my belief that if you're going to do something like that, make it a real challenge & do it right instead of being some weak-willed dolt. Any idiot can go attack a bunch of sitting ducks.
3. Government is brimming with corruption already. Do we need to encourage more of it & take away even more checks from it? Look at what happened to some of the people accused of it in the NYPD. I know some of them still have their jobs. Power corrupts & there's no way anyone should be handing over their 2nd amendment rights unless they're also going to be getting that government microchip installed. If you aren't, you can shut up since you just lost the argument.
4. Mental illness doesn't vanish when you take guns away. Nor does the motive to kill. That requires mental health treatment, effective support networks, killing the entitlement culture & some respect for human life. I also think there's too much touchy feely nonsense when it comes to human life. If you are an animal torturer, you don't deserve to live in my book. You don't get human rights when you rape someone, molest children, murder innocent people (now I'm talking if you're guilty vs. being falsely accused of it). Fuck you! As far I'm concerned, animals should be treated as such & if they're not fit to live in society should be taken out back and dealt with so they can't harm others.
Oh, and people WILL use other weapons. Is the "guns kill more people more easily" argument your endorsement of the idea that it's okay if a few people die from an attacker but not many? What about all deaths being bad, not just the ones you pick & choose (since most anti-gun folk are also anti-death penalty)?
5. You will never be 100% safe anywhere!!! That is life. Trying to create a zone of safety is stupid, a waste of time and just oppresses others. You want total safety? Die & go to Heaven. That's the only place where you'll be safe at all times.
Don't live in the illusion that nothing bad can ever happen to you. You could die in your own house. Should we just make everything out of foam because you are a pitiful moron I would never want as my police officer or serving me in the military? Go watch 1,000 Ways to Die since there are far more likely ways you're going to die than by the terrorists or some random pussy who couldn't carry out a mass shooting in an area where there'd be a real question of who would win.
Death is inevitable. We're all going to go someday; it makes no sense to live in fear or refuse to take risks. You'll have an eternity to reflect on it if you don't live a good life now. At least many of the adults in that shooting got to leave this world as heroes and can reflect on that instead of being wussy little babies like these cowards trying to ban everything in a knee jerk reaction without looking at all the elements or asking anyone who's had similar life circumstances what stopped them from doing the same thing or what might have triggered anyone else's actions.
Screenings for ownership? Yes! Training? Absolutely! If more people had training in the use of a gun, there might actually be more respect for them & their power.
I think people who already have professional licenses & ethics rules to deal with shouldn't be subjected to the same strictness as everyone else considering I can do serious damage as a lawyer as well. Doctors can certainly physically maim you if they screw up (surgeons especially). Lawyers can ruin your finances, your credit report and turn you into a homeless person; the really scummy ones could probably do worse. Pharmacists could also maim you by giving you the wrong drugs or a mix that kills you. If the state is trusting us not to do that stuff, we should get firearms as well. Look at the crazy meth heads hospital & pharmacy staffs have to deal with! Shouldn't they get some kind of defense against that?
Limiting certain types of guns? Talk to me about that when you stop the foreign gun trade, you've removed corruption from all branches of law enforcement & you've removed corruption from the government. When everyone's on equal footing, let's talk. Until then, as long as the purchase is registered and you're found liable if something happens while it's in your possession that's fine.
Restitution if your gun harms someone b/c your crazy son stole it? Certainly! I hope the families pursue this. They deserve it. This is part of basic fairness & personal accountability.
Some of my more conservative friends have also called for support on arming school teachers & administrators. I personally think that's a good idea. One friend wrote about this & a responder said she wouldn't trust her son's teacher with a gun due to mental issues.
Here's my take on that & the school stuff in general:
1. The absence of God is not why there are more school shootings. The lack of respect for teachers/adults and fellow students is a more likely culprit. I went to a Christian school for part of my education. God was certainly in the curriculum but that didn't stop me from being bullied or harassed by the boys in my class.
The presence of God didn't make anyone be a good person. Teaching some basic good citizenship/morals would, though. Bringing back corporal punishment might as well (at least for the principals & with a witness along with only letting someone of the same gender do the paddling). A little rational fear never hurt anyone. It's irrational fear you have to watch out for.
2. Speaking of bringing back respect, knowing one's teacher was armed might instill some better behavior in the brattier set. Might also instill some fear in deadbeat parents who think they can leave their child to the wolves when it comes to living in society with others. How many kids who are nasty to their teachers & parents act that way with armed police officers? I'd imagine not nearly as many.
3. If a teacher/aide/administrator can't pass the screening to carry a gun, maybe that person shouldn't be at that school to start with. Do you think it's a good idea to let domestic abusers, schizophrenics, people with borderline personality disorder or others who can't pass that screening be around children & mold young minds? I'd rather see the former porn stars & teachers who were secretly doing adult movies to pay bills in the classroom; if they can pass the screening to get a gun, why not?
A friend of mine said it was bad that we had that fear of teachers but let me tell you about some of the ones I encountered: one substitute was arrested for stealing band instruments. Another one made a very crude sexual remark about a friend of mine. There was the one who had sex with an 18 year old student on school property & got fired. There was also the sexist I had to rail against. No wonder my mother told us you had to earn respect & adults shouldn't get it just by virtue of being older. We were, however, told to respect our teachers unless they were doing stuff they shouldn't like being arbitrary, irrational, racist, or other stuff a good authority figure doesn't do. I also noticed he didn't say we were wrong.
I probably wouldn't have even written this post if I hadn't had the anti-gun lobby in my face when checking Facebook. I don't pay attention to mainstream media & have some critical thinking skills. That's something else gun bans don't do: give anyone critical thinking skills.
Please, for God's sake, get some critical thinking skills if you don't have any already. Otherwise we don't have to wait for Friday for the world to end; we're already doomed since the tyranny of stupid will kill us.