Let’s Give Gun Control Reform A Shot… Please?

I just watched the disturbing footage of today’s shooting in Virginia and felt compelled to share precisely how I believe we can finally stop or at least reduce the number of gun deaths in this stupid fucking country that dares to profess itself the land of the free. I’ve heard many arguments from the pro-gun crowd, so I’m going to systematically eviscerate every last fucking one of them.

The most popular? But I have a Constitutional right to bear arms! 

For starters, the gun control debate is NOT about what is or is not in the Constitution. Nobody denies that it is our 2nd Amendment right and has existed as law since 1791, the key word being AMENDMENT. The Constitution is and always has been an evolving document. If it can be changed to accommodate the right to bear arms, then it could be changed to do otherwise.

But nobody is actually saying we should take that drastic a step.

What has been proposed by many on the Left are sensible reforms, not bans, to reduce the number of shootings. Here are some examples:

Running background checks so those convicted of violent crimes and with serious mental health concerns aren’t getting their hands on a gun. That’s fair, right? Can we all be in agreement on this one? Or do you (mostly) right-wing rednecks really think it’s a good idea for violent and/or crazy people to own a firearm? I mean, seriously?

Mandatory training should be required to become a licensed gun-owner. Since human beings require a learning curve before mastering a new skill, shouldn’t we want people to be properly trained on how to use a gun before trusting them with the power to instantly kill another human being? Compare it to driving a car. The government doesn’t just let you drive, right? You have to go through a process before being licensed to get behind the wheel. This is for safety and, for the most part, the laws do seem to work fairly well. Shouldn’t the same apply to guns? Sure, the process would probably be a pain in the ass… but again, we’re talking about saving human lives here. So stop bitching, suck it up, and take a few damn gun-training classes. It won’t kill you.

We also need a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons, military-style .50 caliber rifles, and large-capacity ammunition magazines. Yes, I understand you rednecks LOVE firing in those big open fields of nothingness because it gives you some kind of thrill…

…and that’s fine, I guess? Except people are DYING. You can sacrifice a hobby to save some lives, can’t you? And not even the entire hobby, mind you! You still can have pistols for self-defense, shooting cans off fences, and… whatever else it is that you do. And you can use rifles for hunting and, uh… shooting cans off fences? I dunno! But you do NOT need a gun that could mow down seven people a clip for self-defense nor hunting. When the 2nd Amendment was made into law we didn’t have weapons that could fire at that kind of capacity. We had muskets that took a good deal of time to reload. Times change and our laws should reflect it.

Of course, then there’s the we gotta be able to fight back the government rhetoric. The federal government has enough nukes to destroy the entire planet over a dozen times over. That fight was over before it could start. We’d lose. The best way to fight government corruption is wading through all the bullshit in the media, studying the real issues, and voting for the people who have a proven record of standing up for the middle class. That’s how we really win. #Bernie2016

My other favorite argument from the pro-gun crowd is that criminals will still smuggle deadly guns into the country and use them in the streets. Sigh… so the argument against passing a gun control law is that some people would break the law? If we applied that kind of logic to everything we wouldn’t have any laws at all. So what the pro-gun folks are really doing is either a) making an exception just for guns because they love them so, so much OR b) they’re anarchists. In which case, they should be honest and state as much.

Here are some comparisons (as of 2014) between gun homicide rates in specific U.S. cities versus the most deadly entire NATIONS of the world:

  • If it were a country, New Orleans (with a rate 62.1 gun murders per 100,000 people) would rank second in the world.
  • Detroit’s gun homicide rate (35.9) is just a bit less than El Salvador (39.9).
  • Baltimore’s rate (29.7) is not too far off that of Guatemala (34.8).
  • Gun murder in Newark (25.4) and Miami (23.7) is comparable to Colombia (27.1).
  • Washington D.C. (19) has a higher rate of gun homicide than Brazil (18.1).
  • Atlanta’s rate (17.2) is about the same as South Africa (17).
  • Cleveland (17.4) has a higher rate than the Dominican Republic (16.3).
  • Gun murder in Buffalo (16.5) is similar to Panama (16.2).
  • Houston’s rate (12.9) is slightly higher than Ecuador’s (12.7).
  • Gun homicide in Chicago (11.6) is similar to Guyana (11.5).
  • Phoenix’s rate (10.6) is slightly higher than Mexico (10).
  • Los Angeles (9.2) is comparable to the Philippines (8.9).
  • Boston rate (6.2) is higher than Nicaragua (5.9).
  • New York City, where gun murders have declined to just four per 100,000, is still higher than Argentina (3).
  • Even the cities with the lowest homicide rates by American standards, like San Jose and Austin, compare to Albania and Cambodia respectively.

If none of this phases you gun nuts in the least, then you simply cannot be reasoned with. But here are a couple more facts anyway that help highlight why some kind of gun control reform is not only necessary but painfully, obviously necessary. In 2009 there were 310 million guns owned by 306 million Americans. Remember, “Americans” includes every man, woman, and child. Insanity. Also, there were 204 mass shootings (4 or more people shot) in the first 204 days of 2015 in America. Remember when Columbine was a big deal? Sure has become more common these days, hasn’t it? HASN’T IT? Of course. So let’s DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! Swallow that along with your apple pie and pride, America. This national embarrassment cannot be ignored any longer.

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