Of all the arguments supporting easily obtainable guns, this one is the most ridiculous.
“If you don’t like guns, don’t buy one. Simple.”
Of all the ridiculous arguments made by gun lobbyists, this one stands out as especially ludicrous. To put any weight in this talking point is to release your grasp on reality.
This particular phrase attempts to piggyback onto a similar defense of same sex marriage; “If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person.” But this argument doesn’t work on lots of levels when applied to guns.
Two people in love wanting to get married is one thing. Firearms are quite another. Other people’s marriages are their own business, it’s none of yours. They generally don’t affect your life very much at all. Firearms can indeed affect you, and very seriously at that.
The “don’t like it, don’t do it” argument works in the case of gay marriage. Stopping people from getting married because you discriminate against them is impeding their freedom, and their right to the pursuit of happiness. Whether it’s based on your religious beliefs or because you just think it’s icky, same sex marriage doesn’t affect your life and liberty. Instead, you are impeding theirs, and you have no right to do so.
A gun is another realm entirely. A firearm is a heavy responsibility, not just for you, but for everyone around you. You are not the only person you affect when you own a gun. You are now responsible for your family, your neighbors, and for a number of other people, even when your gun isn’t in your possession.
What happens when firearms are left unattended and children get a hold of them? “Don’t like guns, don’t buy one” suddenly doesn’t mean anything if your child is killed because somebody else was careless with a pistol.
Whether you’re basing this on an Amendment to the Constitution, or your religious beliefs, owning a gun will not only affect your life and liberty, but it will most definitely impact the life and liberty of other people.
You cannot equate the argument supporting same sex marriage to your right to own a gun, just as you cannot compare a vehicle to a firearm, just as you cannot compare apples to oranges. You don’t get to drag abortion into it either. Now we’re talking about false equivalencies, semantics and pivots. The conversation is about guns and the issues inherent in owning one. Nothing else. And you aren’t the only person involved.
If you’re unable to take responsibility for the violent consequences of carelessness with firearms and have to shift to a false equivalency, then how are you responsible enough to own a gun? If you can’t even handle a debate about guns, we can’t believe you can then handle a gun.
Contrary to the talking point, it’s not those with a criminal record that we need to worry about the most. Many victims are the spouse of the shooter and most mass shooters had no previous criminal record. Just look to the FSU shooter, or Aurora, or Sandy Hook, or any of the growing number of shooting tragedies. Nobody saw them coming and their firearms were obtained legally.
Oh sure, we need to have a conversation about mental health too. But violently mentally ill people seem to be getting guns easily enough. That can’t be argued, and it has to be stopped. Oh, you could try telling those who were shot by the mentally ill, or their families, that if they “don’t like guns, don’t buy one.” But the reaction you get will not be pleasant.
Hell, you’d need a gun to be brave enough to say something so awful to those people, and then you’re carrying a gun for absolutely the wrong reason.
The main problem in America’s rampant gun violence issue is that firearms are too readily available and nobody is taking responsibility for them. Gun laws are unstable; gun show loopholes are exploited; background checks aren’t in use; and people who shouldn’t have guns end up with them. That’s a problem for everyone, not just non-gun owners, so “don’t like guns, don’t buy one” becomes even more ridiculous.
What it boils down to is that no other Western nation has this discussion so regularly. No other Western nation has this level of gun violence. No other Western nation has virtually unrestricted access to guns. And most chillingly, no other Western nation has so many people fighting to keep it this way.
The Second Amendment was ratified as being necessary to the security of the state. The overwhelming prevalence of gun violence; the prominence of fraudulent data supporting unfettered firearms access such as John R. Lott provides; the endless manipulation and undermining of gun laws making the nation uneven from state to state; the careless and irresponsible attitudes of Open Carry extremists and their intimidation tactics; and the baseless and distracting arguments of many gun advocates is now contrary to the security of the state.
Gun owners need to be constantly constantly constantly aware of the heavy responsibility that firearm brings, not just to them, but for everyone around them. You don’t own a gun to act like a tough guy. You don’t display firearms in uncontrolled environments. You realize that guns aren’t toys, and are aware of the dire consequences that come when firearms fall into the wrong hands.
You won’t say “If you don’t like guns, don’t buy one” because you’re responsible and mature enough to know that it’s not all about you.
If you can’t see that; if you can’t see how easily obtainable weaponry affects everyone and not just you; if all you can think is “Don’t like guns, don’t buy one” then you aren’t responsible enough to own one yourself. Because all you are saying is “I refuse to see your point of view, but you better respect mine!” That is not at all the principle the USA was founded upon.
This is the attitude of bullies. The unreasonable. The immature and irresponsible. The gun nuts. If this is your attitude, then congratulations, you’re the problem.
And if you’re like that, then you shouldn’t own a gun.