Full disclosure, I am a white male. I am also fiscally conservative. I am also completely liberal on social issues, and am quite comfortable with feminism, modernity and marriage equality. I do not understand the people who think that any uncertainty is cause to purchase guns…or, you know, more guns.
Yes, I am in a very small subset of the American population.
One thing that a relatively large number of Americans do whenever there is any amount of uncertainty about anything is buy guns. They do it even if they already have guns. According to one report, gun sales jumped 68% when it was announced that COVID-19 was spreading across Italy and starting to show up here in the US.
The NRA and the manufacturers of guns and ammunition thank you for your paranoia.
First and foremost, let’s be clear that there is no bullet available for any gun that will kill a virus. I know this will seem obvious to some of my readers, but in Donald Trump’s America I don’t think we can afford to take anything for granted. I suppose the thought process here is that we are headed for some dystopian future where zombies are coming for our toilet paper and we must arm ourselves against invasion. That’s just silly.
Second, I’m not exactly sure why people like to cite the Second Amendment of the US Constitution in defense of their neurotic gun behavior. I’m not a fan, overall, of using ancient texts out of context to defend insane behavior, but this one really takes the cake. The Second Amendment was written at a time when it took people like five minutes to reload after they fired their rifles once. They didn’t just pull a trigger and send forth a spray of life-taking bullets hundreds at a time. Using the Second Amendment to defend the civilian ownership of military-style weapons of mass execution is like using the Old Testament to justify persecuting gay people.
Oh yeah…crazy people do that, too. Ooops!
Let’s take a step back, shall we?
If my neighbor is out of toilet paper and I have some, I’m not going to pull a gun and keep them at bay at gun point; I’m going to offer them a roll. If I only have one roll left, I’ll offer them a half a roll. If my neighbor is starving and I have extra food, I’m not going to threaten to shoot them, I’m going to share what I have. If my neighbor is in need of anything that I have, I am far more likely to share, and even if I don’t have enough to share the idea that I would shoot them is preposterous.
The powers that profit from dividing us like to say that this is a political issue. They spend millions of dollars on advertising stating that Democrats are against guns and Republicans are pro-guns. This is oversimplified and extremely deceiving. I am not a gun owner and I do believe that getting rid of all the guns would reduce gun violence. Insane, right? I am not, however, against gun ownership. I am against semi-automatic military rifles like those used to execute children on school campuses across our country in recent years.
That’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans on this issue. It’s not that Democrats are coming to your door to confiscate your guns, it’s that Democrats are willing to stand up to the billion-dollar corporations who buy Republican candidates to keep quoting the Second Amendment and allow the sale of military weapons to paranoid and mentally ill civilians.
Again, while I am not a gun owner, I’m not saying you shouldn’t own a gun to protect yourself or your home if that’s what you feel you need to do. That’s what the Second Amendment was about, after all. Even if you feel the need to hunt, tough I myself am a vegetarian and prefer hunting a plant-based diet, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go hunting.
What I am saying is that in time like this, where many among us are in desperate need, we should be reaching out a hand in charity rather than reaching out a gun to threaten violence. I also believe we should be doing the same as a country, teaming up with our global neighbors to combat this pandemic with both medical expertise and economic assistance.
Now, more than ever, we must recognize there is no THEM, only US.