I am tired. I am tired of reading about our problems with mass shootings and gun violence. I am tired of reading about how the evil left wants to take away guns so that the government can institute marshal law and turn us all into slaves. I am tired of division and divisiveness, derision and poor decisions. The truth is that we have forgotten how to solve problems together—thoughtfully, constructively and cooperatively.
No one on the left is saying that you have to give up your guns. What they are saying is maybe we should make it harder for people who want to go out and kill ten random strangers to get the guns they need to do it. On the right, I hear a lot of talk about how guns make us safer; allow the common man the ability to stand up to government tyranny. I hate these arguments. Having a gun means you are actually more likely to die in an act of gun violence. All of the .45 magnums in the world offer you as much protection against government tyranny as a blade of grass against an elephant. Our government have nerve gas, biological agents, microwave weapons that cook off the outer layer of your skin and, need I mention nuclear warheads. If the government wants you neutralized there is no hope for you.
To those on the left who think that we should melt down guns and build beautiful works of blue steel art, I say: even if no one in the U.S. Had a gun, people will always find a way to kill each other. Sword attacks, knife attacks, golf club attacks, and attacks with dumbbells take people’s lives, sometimes in greater numbers than you might think. Getting rid of guns isn’t the answer.
Well, Rev. Grim, if no one is right then what IS the answer? Honestly, I don’t know. I have a few suggestions, but you probably won’t like them. Since you asked I will share them. First, we need to tone down our love affair with violence. Get rid of sports and the semiotics of violence from our schools. Teaching our children to steal when they want something (like bases or balls), to kill their opponents or to kick their asses, and to cheat as long as they don’t get caught is ruining us. These are all activities they learn playing sports and is probably why high school football players are more likely to end up in prison than any other single demographic in our nation.
Second, we need to realize and freely admit that EVERYONE is crazy. We all have a psychosis, a neurosis, or a personality or behavior disorder of some sort. The great secret of psychology is that there is no meaningful definition of sanity, only explanations of insanity which everyone has at least some attributes of. We need to make it okay to admit that we are crazy and we need to make sure that people feel okay getting help before they lose it and walk into a public place and kill a bunch of other crazy people who aren’t hurting anyone, really. I like to say that admitting that you’re crazy allows you the opportunity to make concessions so that the rest of the world doesn’t have to deal with your insanity; the truly dangerous ones are those who refuse to accept that they’re crazy and push off the effects of their insanity on the rest of the world.
Finally, we need to put down our tech. We are so isolated as individuals that it is no small wonder people relate more to characters in video games than they do to each other. Humans are social creatures by nature. We have evolved, over hundreds of millions of years to interact with each other. Our brains work off of social cues and non-verbal gestures, off of pheromones and touch. People who are isolated from human contact for extended periods break, and yet everyday, all over the country we are replacing communities with social networks; we are trading friends for facebook, and we are trading social gatherings for dating sites and tinder. Guns are merely tools. If we want to stop mass shootings, we need to address the real problems. We are a nation of isolated individuals, taught that violence is acceptable when we really want something; we are isolated and alone and lonely and breaking apart because we are trying to live an inhuman life while maintaining a facade of humanness in this very cyber age.