17 December 2012

Well regulated?

Warning: rambling talk of gun violence and related issues ahead-- skip if you are feeling overwhelmed and go look at some cute kitten pictures instead. I am personally limiting how much I read on this subject and encourage y'all to take care of yourselves.

I find it eerie and depressing that Bob Costas and Jon Stewart were talking about gun control and, in Stewart's case, the question of when is it okay to talk about gun violence and who gets to talk about gun violence just a few days before the latest mass shooting. I find it even more interesting that so-called 'conservative news' think they get to say who is qualified to talk about it and then go on to talk about all the different ways the bad guy of the day could have still carried out the latest attack of the day (and in the same creepy way that anti-gay advocates frequently get into overly graphic descriptions of gay sex when talking about keeping LBTQ people from having equal rights).

Personally, I would like there to be a severe restriction on civilian purchase of ammunition (since that is a consumable) for a few years while we figure out what needs to be put in place to help prevent all types of gun violence. If we, as a culture, are not willing to give up guns then we need to do a better job of gun safety and mental health advocacy in our country.

In addition, as a white person, I think white culture needs to step up and own the fact that we produce some of the most violent offenders in our nation. What is going on with us? Why do any of our young men feel that this is a solution to their problems? I don't have any answers and personally would be thrilled if we as a nation joined the rest of civilization, amended our constitution and banned guns. However, people I know and love have a long tradition of responsible gun use and I respect that. So how do we get the responsible gun owners to be the examples for our nation? How to we insure that people for whom guns are a dangerous temptation into violence and suicide don't have access?

Or should we adjust the 2nd amendment to say that we, as a nation accept that the risks of widespread "un-infringed" right to bear arms as including the death of innocent civilians-- because that is the reality we are living in.

A final note: I think the supreme court did our nation a huge disservice in ignoring basically the first half of the 2nd amendment in its decisions over the years:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Personally, I see nothing well-regulated in our current gun culture.