#GunControl: Gun Owners and Supporters, Do Us a Favor: Shut Up

smoking-gun

Yeah, that got your attention. I try to be cordial in my blog posts, but I’m going to be a little more candid in this one. I’ll get right to the point.

Following the mass shooting in Orlando, the same thing happens that occurs following every other mass shooting. The victims are “prayed for” about a portion of a day or so (maybe), but then right away, the fight about gun control starts and lasts for, in my opinion, too damn long.

Something else I can count on is a bunch of folks out there who are against gun control rushing to social media and 1) boasting about the guns they have, 2) playing the “told you so” game, because they assume NO ONE else had a gun there and that was clearly the ONLY reason the mass shooting happened, 3) they whine about the government “trying to take their guns away” (oh, please) and 4) they post pictures of themselves holding their guns or of guns placed wherever and “threatening” whoever (the boogieman, I suppose) not to take them or to not try and mess with them.

For those of you who do or have done that, do us all a favor:

Shut up.

I could end the blog post right there and I’m very tempted to. However, I will elaborate because, that’s what I do.

I’ll start by saying that this does NOT apply to every single person who is in favor of having guns or every gun owner out there. I believe the mature and responsible gun owners likely picked up on that right away. If you’re one of those who didn’t, or who believes that I “hate guns” and agree with “the government taking your guns away,” I’ll say this again…

Shut up.

For one, the argument has gotten old. I don’t spend a ton of time on this because I’ve realized a long time ago that most people argue just for the sake of arguing and there’s little point in trying to reason with them. But this is what I feel about gun control.

Very few people object to us needing to possess a driver’s license in order to operate a car. I’ve never heard anyone cry, “WHY DO WE NEED A DRIVER’S LICENSE?! THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO TAKE OUR CARS AWAY!!!”

As ridiculous as that sounds, that is exactly what you’re saying when you say that because of gun control, the government wants to “take your guns away.”

No one has EVER said that.

Now requirements for licenses to drive trucks and other larger vehicles are increased, but again, very few people object to those enhanced requirements. Again, no mention of the government trying to “take vehicles away.”

Regulating something isn’t the same as “taking it away.” And if nothing else, wouldn’t you want to prove that you’re responsible by adhering to these requirements? Personally, it wouldn’t bother me at all. If I KNOW I am a responsible gun owner, I wouldn’t even lose sleep about it. I don’t see why so many folks get so up in arms (no pun intended) about that.

Not to mention, a lot of people get fired up (no pun intended again) about the nature of guns that the government is looking to regulate. Many complain and have no desire or plan to purchase said guns. So why raise hell about it?

Oh…because of the Second Amendment? Folks have proven they understand THAT one about as well as they understand the First Amendment. You know, the one about “Freedom of Speech,” where they believe they can go to work, shoot off at the mouth (okay, I meant to do it that time) at their bosses and shouldn’t be fired.

Something else that happens, as I stated above, is that gun owners are quick to post pictures of themselves holding their guns or gun laid out somewhere and them with dialogue to the effect, “I dare anyone try and take MY guns away!”

Shut up.

Seriously, it’s pointless to even do that. Why? Simple.

What the hell did posting your full-of-your-damn-self picture of holding a gun do for the victims in Orlando? How about every other mass shooting? Does YOU owning a gun do anything to stop those acts from happening? In what way does posting a picture ensure that this won’t happen again? Didn’t you have the damn gun the last time a mass shooting happened? So how did this still happen?

Along with that, where are you when you’re posting these pictures? On your damn phone somewhere. Again, how does sitting on your phone in Walmart, doctor’s office, or Starbucks stop a mass shooting that happens three states away from you or on the other side of the country?

Yes, I get it. I’m a pretty smart guy every now and then. Your whole point (aside from just trying to piss off your friends in favor of gun control because you really have nothing better to do with your lives) is to express that if this type of thing ever made its way to you, you THINK you would be able to react in a manner to stop it. Since of course, if you and another person have a gun, it will ALWAYS be you who stops them first.

But then again, they’re saying the same exact thing. Both of you will be able to take out the other before they can get you first.

I don’t get on social media much except to network and I’ve been on even less since this happened, because the arguments and fighting have gotten old. However, I did see one post on Facebook from my friend Maria McSherry (a responsible gun owner) and it has to be one of THE BEST posts I’ve ever seen on the subject, if she doesn’t mind me posting:

“I care about all of you. I want everyone regardless of your sexual preference, race or religion to be safe. I don’t wish harm upon anyone. I understand people want to feel safe. I don’t blame them, but we have to be smart about it. We need to educate! 

I am a proud gun owner. I was raised around them and was taught safety, laws and the responsibility of having one. I also have military experience which taught me even more. 

I am not encouraging anyone to go out and purchase a firearm in reaction to yesterday’s horrible events. However, it is going to happen. I bet all the gun shops, pawn shops, & sporting good stores are jammed packed with people today. Some out of fear for their lives, others because they fear a gun ban. (I’m not getting into a gun ban conversation.)

Again, we must be smart and educate. With that being said, if you are thinking of purchasing a gun and you are inexperienced or uncomfortable, I want to help you. I want to educate you. I will happily do this for free. I know classes can be expensive, and I can teach you at least what they would, if not more. 

What we definitely do not need are a bunch of brand new, inexperienced gun owners with tense emotions running around in public spaces. I understand the emotion, but please don’t act on it. 

If you do reach out to me you must be legally able to obtain a firearm and permit in order to receive my help.”

As she states, this is not someone who just bought a gun last week. Maria is an Army veteran for one thing, but she’s operated guns for a long time, she’s from the country, and she hunts on a regular basis. And here she is, not only acknowledging the potential irresponsible gun ownership that could result from these mass shootings (and likely exist already), but she’s offering, (for FREE, no less) to train anyone who would like to learn how to shoot a weapon in self-defense. And in knowing Maria as I do, I completely trust that she can do that.

Now…why in the hell is it so hard for OTHER gun owners to at least have that same kind of mindset?

I’m not saying that if you own a gun, you need to offer free firing lessons to everyone. It’s just that my friend here actually CAN fix her mind to realize that there will be and ARE irresponsible gun owners out there and she’s doing her best to discourage that. With many of you other gun owners, it’s as if you can’t even imagine that an irresponsible gun owner EXISTS AT ALL. There’s the mindset that EVERY SINGLE PERSON WITH A GUN will be the epitome of responsible and each time they fire a weapon, it will, 100% of the time, be used as appropriately as the situation dictates with ZERO CHANCE of innocent casualties. First shots will be the kill shots. All day, every day. This is what some of you REALLY think.

And that is even scarier than these mass shootings.

I get it. We are all pissed off. We should be. This is the kind of thing that should NOT happen. Ever. And we are all hurting for the victims and their families. This is heartbreaking. I’m not even going to try to pretend that I can understand, because I never could.

Car example again…now, just because I drive a car, that doesn’t mean I should believe every other vehicle owner will be responsible on the road. Way too many are not. Just look at the statistics. Hell, drive on a consistent basis and you’ll see it for yourself. The bad drivers, the accidents, and this is hoping no one is hurt or killed, which sadly, happens way too damn often also.

Is it really that unreasonable for me to come out and encourage people to drive responsibly? Is it that hard to believe that every single driver out there will NOT be?

I can imagine that there are a LOT of gun owners out there who feel as my friend Maria does and would rather discourage irresponsible gun ownership. To you all, I say, thank you. To you others, I say…

Shut up.

If you’re a friend who follows me on social media and you have an issue with me posting this, you don’t have to announce it. Just do your “taking your ball and going home” equivalent by just dismissing yourselves and moving on. People are not always going to like what I say. But it’s not changing, and announcing that you don’t like it doesn’t matter. I’m a black man married to a white woman, where a good majority of my community “doesn’t like” that. And we will have been married for 17 years next month. So, unless you and I are married or have known each other for anything close to 17 years, don’t think that your announcing that you don’t like this post will hold weight with me, because I can tell you now that it won’t. Now I’ll encourage cordial dialogue all day. But many aren’t interested in that. This is for you.

The problem, which is I believe is the problem just about every time, is that the focus is 5% on the victims, 15% on personal agendas, and 80 damn % in arguing with a bunch of strangers on social media or trying to piss your “friends” off by posting the same stuff over and over again in hopes that they see it. Ugliness at its best. From all these “responsible” folks. These are the same people I am to believe that if a mass shooting happens, they will do EVERYTHING 100% the correct way. If you are one of those people who do these things, along with boasting about having guns (like no one else has them), and you yap yap yap about daring the government to “take your guns away,” in case I haven’t made this perfectly clear…

You are NOT helping…

Shut up.

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