Hello, my name is Lance. I don’t believe in the second amendment in the way it’s shouted from every backyard and radio talk show in this country. I’m a liberal. I support as much gun control as our United States government will pursue including today’s historic gun law proposals President Barack Obama will send to Congress.
A symbolic Gunfight at The O.K. Corral is happening today in the United States. President Barack Obama drops his new gun law ideas and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo waits to sign a gun control package into law for his state, twelve miles of weapons are on display at a gun show in Las Vegas. Cuomo’s bill would lower magazine capacity to seven rounds from the current cap of 10. It would also impose background checks on private gun sales, which is how firearms are often sold at gun shows like SHOT, the massive event in the land of booze, hookers, and $3 shrimp.
The show, and it is a show, with 12 miles of guns, ammo, and accessories, is open to industry people, not consumers. Still, over sixty-thousand pistol peddlers are expected to stroll the highway of heat. Gun shows open to the general public, like the one located ten miles from where I live, this weekend, in suburban Georgia account for 12 percent of the industry $3.6 billion dollars in revenue. Several gun shows were canceled in and around Newtown, Connecticut this month, after the school shooting that killed 26 people, including 20 children.
The initial reaction of “Obama’s taking our guns” after Newtown is fueling attendance to gun shows. Organizers of shows in 17 states report record turnouts are expected. This includes a gun expo in Golden, Colorado later this month close to the Colombine High School massacre almost 14 years ago and the Aurora theater tragedy last year.
President Obama just announced he’s sending sweeping gun law proposals to Congress including:
1) requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales, including private sales
2) banning “military-style” assault weapons
3) limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds (same as NYC’s)
4) strengthening penalties for gun trafficking
The president also laid out a series of 23 executive actions which are free from a Congressional blockade and intended to strengthen existing laws, augment mental health measures and promote federal research on gun crime through the Centers for Disease Control.
I support all of the President’s proposals and expect most reasonable Americans should. But they don’t.
So, all of this is begs a question that I just can’t ask in a more thoughtful manner.
What the hell is the matter with people?
I can’t get past the idea, especially when it’s tweeted, facebooked, texted, message boarded, and bumperstickered, that after children are killed, the rally’s around the “don’t tread on our guns!” flag. Really? We lead the world in gun violence and ya’ll want to pull the “pry my gun from my cold, death fingers” routine?
My dear friend and fellow Sprocket, Sarah, has a slightly different view than I http://sprocketink.com/beginning-the-gun-conversation/ . She sees the need, want, and positive aspects of gun ownership and gun use. I meant you can’t own a gun and just not use it. They’re expensive, unless you buy it off a weird guy in the street. I used to laugh when my dad would say something was “hotter than a $5 pistol”. Now, I cringe and wait to hear it was used to terrorize a kid’s birthday party.
I understand Sarah’s and my relatives admiration of guns. Wait, that’s not true, I don’t understand it nor do I respect it, but I understand and respect them as people. I see their gun enthusiasm like they probably see my CD collection, you know, ridiculous, over the top, and why does a straight, married man have so many Ani DiFranco’s discs? But the only things Ani kills are boredom and stupidity.
But as the government finally does something that I believe fervently in, gun control, I’m worried about the reaction of my fellow citizens. I used to support the second amendment. Now, it seems like a poorly written pipe dream against invading Englishmen and guys that lived in the woods named Naughty Nigel the goat farmer. The problem is Nigel and his goats have descendants that think owning AR-15s and waving pistols like Yosemite Sam is what makes America great.
I’ve listened to and read my friends, family, fellow writers who own guns, and second amendment groupies thoughts about what an assault weapon is and why they need an arsenal to kill Bambis. If Humphrey Bogart could take out a gang of baddies in his movies with five shots from a snub-nosed .38, then why does anyone need a semi-automatic handgun to scare away a tweaker looking to steal your TV for a fix?
Something bad will happen from the Vegas show, or the one near my house, or the one in Colorado. The gun lovers are overreacting, not President Obama or the Governor of New York with their laws to shoot down the out of control itchy-trigger fingers of the American gun culture.