This morning, I checked Twitter while I was waiting for the bus, hoping to hear some celebrity news or have a few laughs. Instead, I was horrified to see that a shooting had occurred at a Batman screening in Denver, Colorado. I assumed it was minor until I clicked on the link and saw that 12 people were killed, 50 wounded.
How many times are we going to hear news about a gunmen opening fire and killing people in this country? It happens often enough that we may as well be living in a war zone. We can’t go anywhere anymore, not school or work, political rallies, courthouses or movie theaters, without fearing some kind of attack. And I am beyond tired of the people who say guns aren’t the problem; people are the problem. Because those people—who deny the severity of the issue—along with the shooters, are precisely the problem.
The real terrorism in this country exists at home, with people wrapping themselves in the second amendment of the constitution and claiming it keeps us free while we all duck from gunfire.
Guns kill people. The whole purpose of a gun is to kill or severely injure another person. Mostly, they’re intended to kill. We can all pretend the purpose of a gun is to protect, an insurance policy in case something bad happens. But people buy insurance because they are pretty sure something bad is going to happen. They don’t know when, but they know they will use it. And that’s the same with guns.
Our country’s obsession with guns starts terrifyingly young. My five-year-old son is fascinated, and not because we bring it up or encourage violence in our household. Other people do, and that cultural ethos finds its way into daycare and preschool. Not to mention that it’s nearly impossible to find a show or video game that helps him understand what it means to be male in our society without blowing things up or hurting other people.
I am tired of excuses about the necessity of guns because our government may turn rogue or we’ll have an upsurge in black market sales, as though gun violence is some sort of fucking American tradition that we need to strive to preserve.
We are clearly already at war, and if we don’t stop guns and the people with guns, it’s going to get worse, to the point where we will not be able to leave our houses without fear of being shot. I’m tired of living in a country constantly under threat by people with guns. If we care about our children, we need to do something. And the answer is not more guns.