Weapon check

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. This platitude has an element of truth, but masks the real issue. Indeed, a gun with no operator poses no threat (well, a marginal threat). The real threat does come from the human operator. Nevertheless, guns, particularly high powered assault rifles, do facilitate killings.

Not being a gun owner (ever), I can only imagine the mindset that makes you feel safer with a weapon like this. I do understand, however, the logic behind conceal-carry laws. If scary criminals know that some people might be carrying heat, they may have second thoughts about their targets. Forgive me this awful metaphor, but this is a band-aid solution to a gaping wound. Until we address the underlying cause of the violence, neither gun control nor conceal-carry laws are going to be successful in making us "safer".

I can't stand the gun culture. In my mind, this is another example of our fear-filled, entitled society. We are constantly shown images of violence and this world is described as such a dangerous place that the only thing you can do is arm yourself. At the same time, corporations consistently tell us that we deserve things: a better life, a better house, a vacation, more conveniences, etc. So, these things that we deserve are constantly under threat, from people who apparently are not as deserving as we are. Given the subtle and not-so-subtle undertones of racism, classism, and elitism inherent in this dichotomy, it's no wonder that people are scared into feeling that they need to defend themselves.

I'm not afraid of crime. I know it exists, and I know that a very small percentage of it is random violence. I would feel awful if something happened to my family or friends, and I feel for all victims of crime. But, I do not fear it. I own nothing that can't be replaced. The threat to my person and the people I love is much more disconcerting, but the threat is so minuscule that it can only be paranoia that would lead me to carry weapons to prevent it. I feel more concerned knowing that there are so many guns out there, than I would if they were banned.

Violence only leads to more violence. This truly cannot be said enough. Everywhere that violence is used as a means to solve problems, it leads to more violence. Today in Iraq, a group of gunmen killed 23 members of a religious sect, as a reprisal for them stoning a woman to death, for converting to Islam. Do you think this sick cycle of violence will end here? Yeah, that's what I thought.

From individuals to governments, it is well past time to stop using violence to solve problems.

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