We don’t need those guns

Posted on January 10, 2013 by

As the only European born-and-bred person on here, I’m sometimes stuck taking positions that don’t really make any sense to my fellow editors and contributors. It’s a frustrating experience for all of us, but it at least provides for a bit of pseudo-controversy to liven up this blog. So, I’ll go all-in today and write a piece calling for increased gun-control — sort of.

The American constitution allows for a well-armed citizenry, which is something that makes good sense. Although accidental or murderous gun deaths are a real danger, sensible people can and do argue that it is a danger strongly outweighed by the protection such armament provides against a tyrannical government. To these sensible people, I can only say, “I fully concur.” Arming the citizenry makes the government nervous, and we should keep them nervous.

America is the notorious front-runner, as far as gun ownership is concerned, but European countries aren’t actually that far behind. All of the German men I know personally, including the one I live with, have done military or police service. Many own a weapon for hunting, sport, or protection. My best friend is from the former Yugoslavia, and when she returns home for visits, she faces the fact that there are rifles in the bedroom closets. As an Army brat, I grew up around guns and gun owners. It seems a natural enough thing for me, and not generally a cause for alarm.

What skews the American data and causes us to have far more guns-per-capita than any other country on earth, even those currently or recently at war, is the fact that most gun owners own multiple weapons. There are, in plain English, a heck of a lot of guns sloshing around our neighborhoods.

So I object. Fewer guns would be better than more. And that is for two main reasons:

  1. If every military-aged man owns a gun, it makes the government nervous. If every 11 year-old boy, his mamma, his kid sister, and his granny own a gun, it makes the neighbors nervous. I’m generally against the militarization of children and the female populace, and that also applies to the home guard. War is a man’s business, so man up.

    Arming women so that they can safely make a trip to the grocery store is a gross display of patriarchal poverty that American men should find absolutely shameful.  If your neighborhood is so unsafe that your woman lives in fear, you should move to a safer neighborhood or start a militia to clean up the place.

  2. Stockpiling weaponry makes the citizenry complacent. Those men who normally should be readying their rifles, forming groups, and overthrowing our obviously tyrannical, incompetent, and illegitimate government are hiding in their armories and awaiting the day when tyranny arrives and they’ll finally do something.

    Because waiting until the tanks are in the streets and the drones are overhead is always the best policy; as if engaging in a prolonged arms race with a dictatorship pushing global inflation to fund the world’s largest war machine were a winning strategy.

My husband isn’t interested in taking up arms to overthrow the bastards, but at least he isn’t collecting those arms and pounding his chest in an empty display of chivalry. He’s too honest for that. He’d rather simply move someplace less terrible first.

Besides, there are already so many weapons in private hands that if he does decide to go for it he can just borrow someone else’s.  The American people already have enough registered weapons in circulation to arm every fighting man with two or more — probably three or more, once you take the unregistered ones into consideration.

Americans aren’t lacking guns, they’re lacking courage and keen insight. Yes, I said it. American men, at least at the current time, are both too cowardly and too ignorant to mount any sort of offensive against their resident rulers. They have been made complacent through obesity, consumerism, and fornication, and they purchase weaponry because it is in fashion and not because they are seriously preparing to fight the government.

On my last visit to Germany, I was struck by the quiet, calm reflection of the men there. A civil war is a tangible reality to them, not something they’ve only seen in the movies or a problem limited to overseas locations. They understand what it entails and what it requires, and they know better than to think a private armory will save them in the absence of public sentiment. I felt safe surrounded by them, in a way that I have never felt here.

Because the government and people tend to have guns in correlating proportions, it doesn’t really matter how many guns the people have — just how willing they are to use them. We don’t need those guns — we need a change in mindset. A reversal from the cowboy mentality to one of righteous indignation. I set little stock in posturing gunslingers accessorizing themselves with ever-more ammunition, and more in civil rights marchers, in angry fathers who finally yell back, in pastors who refuse to shut up, in homemakers and retirees who don’t stay home.

All of that said, I can’t actually conceive of any effective legislation that wouldn’t impinge upon a man’s right to run his household as he pleases, so I’m left making a mere political plea. I am simply concerned with the gun culture, in general, and with the apathetic, macho, mindless patriotism it engenders, in specific.

President George told us all to go shopping… for guns. Let’s please stop taking his advice, pondering whether to purchase the Hello Kitty pistol or the GI Jane rifle, and actually… you know… storm parliament.