Over the last week, a brave soul in Seattle and two very damaged ones here in Vegas added further evidence that the slogan “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” is still a bunch of bullshit meant to inspire fantasies of Taxi Driver-style vigilantism and of course, sell more guns. There are surely cases where a gun in the right hands made the difference, but such slogans are oversimplifications meant to justify stockpiling for the sake of profits instead of encouraging responsible gun ownership (that thing the NRA used to do).
Only an idiot would suggest we could just take away all the guns in the country with no problem. These idiots exist, but in far fewer numbers than the NRA wants you to believe. On the other end of things, only an idiot would suggest that more guns is the solution to the problem. These idiots exist, but in far fewer numbers than anti-gun lobby wants you to believe. Let’s ignore the extreme ends of the spectrum for a change and focus on the area of reality where the rest of us live in.
Keeping that in mind, here are the actions I’d like to see happen in light of these new incidents. Preferably in the order listed, but any is ultimately fine, so long as they’re done.
1) Our government must submit proof that their spying on the citizenry has yielded net-positive results or drop the program entirely. The two perpetrators of Sunday’s murders were broadcasting their intent rather publicly beforehand and any surveillance of them seems to have been mishandled, at best.
2) The issue of mental health services in our country needs to be revisited. We can either as a people continue to expend human lives ignoring how broken that system is, or maybe divert funds from other programs rife with waste.
3) Our legislators need to stop fearing the spending power of the NRA and pass (actually, reintroduce) sensible regulations pertaining to the availability/purchase of guns. If anyone out there wants to argue that idea with me, your argument must include where you draw the line on gun availability, because I highly doubt there are many out there who believe criminals and the imbalanced shouldn’t have to get their guns illegally. It should be hard and they should have to cheat, which is harder than one might think.
I’m interested in other lines of thought on the subject. Let’s just keep the slogans out of it, alright?