On one day, in one American town, 13 times as many people (27) were murdered by gun than were murdered by gun (2) in one entire year (2006) in Japan, a nation of 127,000,000 people.
And yet we dither. The warning from the Right is that “they are coming for your guns.” This is partially true (we’re coming for some of them) except that “they” is actually “we,” and “you,” whether you know it or not, are actually part of that we because that we includes family, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens, which is not nearly as nebulous an entity as your favorite bogeyman “the government.”
We the people are coming. And you, as a person who may have no respect for government, need to respect that.
We are told that we must come to you now politely and with respect to gain your support or at least your lack of resistance to the new set of laws and regulations that, hopefully, will soon apply to the guns you covet and worship. I for one am in no such mood. Accountability is a big word in your dialectic, and in your unyielding attitude toward gun ownership in America, and in your support of the NRA I am holding you accountable for enabling the gun-available environment that led to the mass slaughter of children in Connecticut, to name but one incident. You will resist this characterization because you are a sportsman or a hobbyist or a perceived self-defender who is merely exercising your 2nd Amendment rights. You are innocent. But you are not. What you’re guilty of is indifference, in the face of brutal statistics (31,000 gun deaths per year in America), to the mayhem inflicted on your communities, near and afar, by your stubborn affection for guns.
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” That is correct. That is why severe limitations on gun ownership and access to guns must be in effect in the United States. The reality of our imperfect and increasingly violence-tolerating culture (if you visited another world and witnessed children entertaining themselves with virtual games of shooting and death, would you view them as peace-loving or something else?), is something you can no longer ignore. That reality, not your connection to times past or to the glowing mythology of guns in America, demands an adaptation and a response to the killing power of modern guns.
This much I know. If I had a tradition, activity or even a need that involved guns, and I saw what guns at large had done to my country, I would gladly limit or compromise my access to guns for the greater good. Not to do so would be disgracefully un-American and insupportable, but most of all selfish. As good, responsible and deserving as you think you are, our society is peopled by many who are hostile, irresponsible, uncontrollable, ill-trained, and imbalanced. Efforts to control or monitor those members of society have and will always fall unacceptably short. That leaves guns as the controllable variable in the American equation of death by guns.