“Shame on you!” That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? Ninety percent of the American public supposedly supported the idea of background checks for all purchases of guns in this country, but the Senate can’t even get a bill to the floor for a vote. Shame on you. Really? Shame on us.
Last week I talked about Pyrrhic victories in connection with the gun control debate in the Senate. It would appear that the pro-gun interests may have won just such a victory with last week’s votes to keep gun control legislation off the Senate floor. It may just be that gaps in the ranks are beginning to take shape. Adolphus Busch, lifetime member of the NRA and heir to the Busch brewing fortune, has turned in his membership card, citing as reasons the changes in the NRA’s policies which I brought up some time ago. While it’s a small crack, it may be large enough to drive in a wedge.
Public outrage (so-called) has been heightened by the actions taken by our representative government in those votes. The question, of course, is “is it enough?”
I doubt it. Already the poll numbers for support of gun control legislation are beginning to drop. People are just giving up.
Personally, I don’t care whether people own guns or not. What I do care about is people getting killed by guns. If the entire country were armed to the teeth and no one shot anyone else, that would be just fine with me. But that isn’t going to happen. Not in the Wild West that is America today.
So I’m going to tell you how to stop the killing, once and for all. And I warn you from the outset that you aren’t going to like much of anything I have to say.
If you really want to stop the killing, if you want the kids to be safe in their schools and you want to be safe in your homes, here’s what you have to do:
First, get off your ass. If you really want to stop the killing, you have to do something. You can’t sit there at your computer and write Facebook posts about the sorry mess this country is in and wail and piss and moan about this senator and that representative. You have to stop leaving this all up a few people out there who are willing to act. Whether it’s as small an action as sending a letter, making a call, or carrying a sign, you must act. If everyone in this country who supports background checks did just one thing tomorrow, that problem would be solved. Imagine 90% of the American population actually acting tomorrow. If you don’t go in much for small actions, shut down a city or two. Walk off the job and join a nationwide strike. Don’t mention my name.
The second thing you have to do is to understand what is driving this entire pro-gun effort – profit! Gun and ammunition manufacturers are protecting their profits. This Second Amendment crap coming out of the NRA is a smoke screen. We are a capitalist nation. Corporations do things to make money. If they can’t make money at it, they won’t do it. It really IS that simple, folks. If there is no money to be made manufacturing and selling guns, guns will not be manufactured or sold. Period. The entire idea behind the half-measures we are seeing put forward as gun control legislation is that if there are fewer guns and they are harder to come by, fewer people will be killed. Stop allowing the corporate profits from gun making and selling and there will be FAR fewer guns.
Next, make owning a gun socially unacceptable. You can do it, but like smoking today, it just isn’t cool any longer. See? I told you that you weren’t going to like this.
Now, never vote for anyone who supports the gun industry through legislation and work continually to keep others from doing so as well.
Then you have to get rid of the crazies, the criminals, and the disgruntled. They pull triggers.
See how easy? It took less than a page.
You cannot implement this plan through legislation and anyone who thinks otherwise is one of the crazies. You can only implement these things by changing the society in which we live, and you do that by changing minds, not laws.
So change it already.
Do not watch any TV show or attend any movie where people kill people with guns. Period. When it is unprofitable to make these shows and movies, they will disappear like the Western. When they disappear, guns as a solution to daily problems will diminish. Burn that collection of “24” DVDs in a public ceremony. Do not allow your child to play any video game where people kill people with guns. Period. We’ll go after the swords later.
Don’t respond to threats of gun violence by buying a gun. That’s what the gun manufacturers are counting on. Buy a big can of hornet spray. You can even have a custom made holster if you want and there’s no permit required.
Bankrupt the gun manufacturers. Bankrupt the gun shops. Bankrupt the gun shows. Bankrupt the organizations that support these things. Make that your well-publicized goal.
How do you do that? Why are you asking me? I’m just the big picture guy, a dreamer, not a leader. You don’t want me to lead. You won’t like where I take you. Get off your ass. Take out full page ads. Get creative. Borrow a page from the playbook of the religious right. Look what they’ve done to destroy women’s health issues, and abortion clinics. Protest. Picket. Harass. Make every gun show as hard to get into as an abortion clinic in North Dakota. Publish the names, addresses and phone numbers of people who make and sell guns. Make these people as afraid as a woman on a dark street.
Do the same thing to the boards of directors of the big gun companies and their CEOs.
Call them; email them; stare at them wherever they go; point; snicker; post their schedules so others can do the same. Post signs in their yards that say “Jehovah Witnesses Welcome.” Boycott their shrinks. Boycott their manicurists. Hire a Voodoo priestess to put a double whammy on them.
Well, you say, that’s just not fair! They are just people trying to earn a living. So what do you want to do, be fair or stop the killing?
If you’re really committed, hijack gun shipments and throw them into Boston Harbor. Try using your protection under the First Amendment as a defense at your trial. Don’t use my name.
They are all going to scream that you are violating their constitutional rights. You are. Accept that. By the same token, the death of every child at Sandy Hook was a violation of that child’s right to life. And that one comes before the Second Amendment.
People are going to be killed in this endeavor. You are going up against people who have guns with a can of hornet spray. Accept that. Like Gandhi’s followers, you will have to walk into the line of fire.
Now, get the crazies the help they need. Pour money into health and education. Revise the criminal justice system. Do some real rehabilitation for a change. Instead of getting petty criminals off the streets and into the prison system where they can learn from the pros to be real hardened criminals, get them into well-paying jobs. Eliminate the poverty that drove them to their actions in the first place. Put food in people’s bellies. Make it easier to survive through lawful means than unlawful.
Eliminate the fear in our society that drives the entire pro-gun movement: fear to sign a petition; fear that you will be robbed at gunpoint; fear that you will be raped; fear that your money will be taken from under your bed; fear that they will come to take your guns; fear that the government is listening to your phone calls and reading your email and one day they will come for you.
If you really, really want to stop the killing, that’s how to do it.
And good luck with all of that, by the way.
On the other hand, maybe if you just start doing some of the less extreme things above the gun people will see the handwriting on the wall and decide that some profit is better than no profit. Perhaps they will come to the bargaining table. Maybe you can force them into a few concessions that really won’t take that big a bite out of their bonuses, like background checks and limits on magazine size and all the stuff they are so adamantly opposed to at the moment.
If the American people who support change in gun laws got off their ass they could do that by tomorrow. And if they don’t, shame on us.
Your Faithful Servant,
The Willowbrook Curmudgeon