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Campaign to ban guns, part III

Ahh, in my campaign to promote peace I inadvertently segregate people who are essentially on my side. I didn't mean to do that. That is something I really need to work on.

Perhaps I'm disillusioned because I work in the news industry. In fact I'm going on year 8 in the business. If people saw the gun issue from my perspective, they might have a different opinion. The news industry is a giant document of death, which is the main reason why people don't watch it. It's depressing. While other people are turning the channel I've chosen to make bedmates with it. Much, MUCH more than 32 people die, in this country and elsewhere on any given day, if you consider how many news stations across the country are reporting a death by someone else's hand (whether by gun or some other form of violence). Not only do I hear these stories, I listen to them over and over and over again, several times a day, and depending on the nature of the killing, depending on how salacious it is -- someone dying in the 'hood doesn't quite get the coverage the VA Tech massacre gets -- I might hear that story several times a day for a week or more. News industry veterans are a little like Vietnam war vets in that sense, in that some of us are just flat-out crazy from PTSD. In fact, in many ways it's worse because unlike a soldier, we can't shoot back; we can only sit there and take it in.

As to the "right and ability of people to purchase guns" ... I'm here to tell you, if there was some way to guarantee that the people purchasing firearms were thoughtful, intelligent, and rational, I wouldn't get on my high horse about it. There are other things I would much rather be writing about, believe me. I believe it's because people change the channel and turn away from what is really happening, people really have no idea just how bad it is!! Because of how easy it is to purchase a gun in this country the shooting is not just "in the streets" anymore. It has extended to places that SHOULD be safe, not just for kids but for everyone. There is no guarantee that even reasonable people like you and I won't one day just flip out. It happens; most adults who go to work and try to make a place for themselves in this world are under stress, and there is scientific evidence as to how stress changes the chemistry in our brains. And I'm not even talking about people like Cho Seung-Hui who already had a problem to begin with, who should have been ruled out (from buying a gun) from the get-go!

Not to mention the sheer number of kids dying from their curiosity. Everybody knows that, unless you remove it from the house altogether, you really can't hide anything from a kid who has a mind to go looking for it, especially considering most adults don't keep their attention on their kids 100% of the time. They can't, it's impractical. When you're at a pool, or at the mall, yes, a parent is stupid not to keep their attention on their kid 100%. But when you're at home, and you've got to sit down to pay the bills, cook dinner, take a shower, you are going to have your back turned on your kid sometimes. So why increase their risk for danger yourself by owning a gun? It doesn't make a bit of sense, and then you're teaching them violence is the way to deal with things, and then the cycle continues.

Look at what Al Gore accomplished as Vice Prez. Everybody pointed to how well he was able to deal with other world leaders by peacefully talking to them. Ronald Reagan brought an end to a War that raged on in another country for decades, without a gun ever being picked up, let alone fired. THIS is what we should be endeavoring towards. The gun debate is silly and detracting from real world issues like children living in poverty, young people who become parents before they're ready because of lack of education ... we need to put our efforts into making this world a better place to live in, like anyone who goes to college is essentially trying to do.

Guns do not make this world a better place, they make this world an unsafe place. People in this country are WAAAAAAAAY too desensitized to the potential for fatality from owning a gun. Owning a TV doesn't raise that potential. What are the chances a TV's going to fall on you and kill you? What are the chances that a crackhead breaking into your house will pick up the TV and kill you with it? What are the chances that he will know where people hide their guns (if he's a crackhead, then he's familiar with guns, trust me) and shoot you in the head with it before you have a chance to defend yourself? You're not equipping yourself with protection; you're equipping him. Why give him that chance? He will be far more desperate than you, or he's going to break into your house already equipped with the gun he stole from the last house he broke into (like most crackheads are).

What are the chances a bow and arrow cocked and ready to go is going to kill you if left laying under your bed? How many crackheads would know how to operate a bow and arrow? There are 10 steps involved to shooting a bow and arrow. How many steps, after the gun is loaded, are needed to fire a gun?

What are the chances a knife or a sword is going to accidentally kill you if left laying on the ground by itself? Trust me, if you come after a crackhead with a sword, he will NOT stick around to find out how you do it because he will figure you are crazier than he is.

Most items a person could own don't carry a high danger potential like guns do. Guns were created to maim and/or kill. Period. Why would anyone want such a thing in their lives? No good comes from a gun. No good at all. Buy a bong, and when that crackhead breaks into your house say, "Hey buddy I got something you will like," smoke him out, and not only will BOTH of you be much happier, both of you will also live to tell about it.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 3rd, 2007 06:55 am (UTC)
I get what you're saying. I'm studying media, and we have a lot of journalism and news related subjects. I can imagine how disillusioning it must be for you. I have the utmost respect for journalists, and I don't think they get the recognition they deserve.

Living in India, which has radically different gun-control laws than the United States, I can't say I know what it feels like. But if the Virginia Tech shootings are anything to go by (and even the Columbine shootings some years ago), it's a really sad situation. People shouldn't be possessing guns. Kids shouldn't be possessing guns. Why on Earth would you take guns to college? My mom, after watching all of this, expressed concerns about me possibly going to the States for further education. She asked how she can have peace of mind, knowing that she'll be sending me to a place where just about anyone can have a gun, whenever they want. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the law say something like if you don't have a previous criminal record, you can buy a gun? That's one giant loophole. Like in the case of Cho Seung-Hui...his first time pretty much said it all.
I understand people's need for protection...but guns make it so - easy - to kill someone. Just one shot, and that's the end of a life, right there.
May. 3rd, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
And that, my dear friend, is exactly my point. Your mother is correct, she is assessing the situation accurately. There really is nowhere in this country that's safe. You'd be better off going to Australia or the U.K. to continue your education. We're on the brink of civil war here, even though no one wants to admit it, and the reason for that is how easy it's become to buy a gun!!! Honestly, in some low-income neighborhoods across the country, the landscape isn't that much different than Darfur! I'm sorry if this is disappointing to you, but it's the truth. Two major problems, and one begets the other: the disparity between the rich and the poor grows and grows, and the message that my industry keeps sending out is, "YOU are number one, you are the only one that matters, take care of yourself first." Hardly ever do you hear messages like, "Put others' well-being first," in a mass marketing campaign.

There is a lot of hatred in this country. I live in Florida which is one of the states where immigration laws command center stage in the legislature. You wouldn't believe how hardened people's hearts are, at least in the area I live in, which is Fort Myers/Cape Coral/Naples. Naples is the worst by far. Naples is a luxury, high-income community that literally tells anyone who wants to make a home there that if you don't make a 6-figure income, they don't want you. They are the most hateful people I've ever had the displeasure to know. Of course, not everybody that lives there is like that, but the movers and the shakers are, the law-makers there certainly are. They've made it very clear that if you aren't white and wealthy, you are not welcome. Even if I was wealthy I wouldn't live there, because I can't stand people like that. That is also historically symptomatic of what's referred to as "southern mentality" in this country, too (referring back to the days of slavery and plantations).

The irony is, these are essentially the people who have gotten the legislation passed making the gun laws what they are -- so they can protect their luxurious lifestyle from 'thugs' and drug-users. What I don't think they realize is that they have also unwittingly enabled the thugs and drug-users to completely obliterate them AND innocent bystanders ... that is, if Naples doesn't get leveled by a hurricane first. *rolls eyes, shakes head*

I totally got off the subject of immmigration. Do you know there are illegal immigrants in this country who are paying all their taxes, that's how desperately they want to become citizens of this country, and there are still people out there who say, "Tell them to go back where they came from!" and "They don't belong here, our last 3 generations didn't work their fingers to the bone so THEY could come over here and buy our cars and live in our houses and shop in our stores!!"

Are you kidding me? I thought that was EXACTLY what our grandfathers and great-grandfathers were working for -- BECAUSE WE'RE ALL IMMIGRANTS, HEL-LOOOOO!!!!

That's what kind of mentality you're getting into by coming to this country. Of course, being from India you would definitely get treated differently, Asian-Indians (as to be distinguished from American-Indians, heh) don't receive the same stigma. You guys are under the "wealthy doctor/engineer" stigma, LOL!!! As long as you bring more money into this country, you won't be marginalized.

Is that the kind of place you really want to make your home while you continue your education?

And no, you don't run in that everywhere, to be fair. But you can't avoid it, either. Americans are very, very stupid. And getting more stupid by the minute. I've become embarrassed to be called one. Sorry to put a damper on things. In all honesty, if you have the money you can usually go on about your business and not be bothered by one thing I've written here. It can be done. And you will be safe. There are pockets of safety in this country, those pockets are just not available to every human being that lives here, sad to say.
May. 3rd, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
That's why I write about this stuff. So anyone who reads my journal will hear my voice and hopefully become educated as to what's going on, because too many people I work with either don't get it, don't care, or DO care and won't speak up. I know this is going to anger people, but I don't care, because it needs to be said. :) American media has conditioned this society to take an "I don't care, it's not my problem" attitude and I REFUSE to give into that. I DO care. I care A LOT. :))

I mean, if you're going to die, you're going to die, and there's nothing you can do about it. But what happened at VA Tech was just utter silliness and could have been avoided easily. Our government is trapped in an adolescent stage right now, and until it matures things will not be safe. That's why I say you're better off going to the U.K., and Australia has a similar gun ban as England, although obviously their government is not much older than ours ... in fact, I have no clue how old or young Australia's government is, lol, so maybe you can educate me on that! :))
May. 3rd, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
You know, I know a lot of people who had similar sentiments about the US like you, and I didn't get it, because frankly - I was someone who didn't, for lack of a better word, care, about those things. I was one of those people who would look at the United States with stars in her eyes, because that was where Hollywood, money, malls, theme parks and all the beautiful people came from. I am ashamed to say it now, but really, that was me not too long ago. But for some time now, I have been mulling over this, and trying to see what these people base their feelings on. My boyfriend is one of them. He's even made up his mind that he will never settle in the States, because he thinks it's "screwed up". Now, I'm not Anti American, or anything like that , but there are some things that DO disturb me - gun control and the materialism, being a couple of them.

It's interesting that you wrote about materialism, and the mass marketing that seems to be propagated, because I've seen the effects of that first hand. My aunt and uncle are visiting us right now. Their daughter (my cousin) lives in the States with her family, and they go there every six months. So they spend half the year in India, and half the year abroad. Now I knew them before their daughter settled there, so effectively before they started their yearly trips. My aunt hasn't really changed, but my uncle is a different story. You can see the pride of going there dripping off of him, and it makes me a little sick. Okay, so you go to a new country that you like and you're a little taken with it. I get that. If you want to show off, that's fine too. But this must be his, what, third or fourth trip there, and every time after he comes back, he...gloats. "Oh, in the States, you have malls four times this size,", or, "You would never have this many people in America". Not to say that it's wrong to have super size malls, or India doesn't need to do something about its alarming population, but please. Every time he says things like that I feel like yelling You're Indian, for goodness' sake! You've lived here all you life, one fine day you go there, and suddenly, you're acting like you're not Indian anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I give credit where credit is due. There are some amazing contributions that the US has made, and that's great. But, like you said, people just look up to all that gloss and sheen, and conveniently pretend that whatever else is there, doesn't exist.

Racism is something that I feel extremely strongly about. The world has enough hate, and it angers me so much when I see so much more being churned out, day after day. What you said about immigration is really so very true. If people only looked back and saw where they themselves were coming from, they would understand things a lot better. But, of course, they're too busy sitting up on their high horses, aren't they?

Op, look at me, this started off being a conversation about gun control and look where it has landed up. But, in all honesty, I don't think it's gone off-tangent. I think the whole gun-control debate hides a lot of deeper issues, like the ones you've mentioned - and the problem encompasses more than just the fact that someone can walk into a shop and buy a gun across the counter.

Hehe, and I'm not sure about Australia's government, either...will have to look that up! :)
May. 5th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
I clicked the wrong link to reply to your comment. *headdesk*

So if you don't mind, you'll have to come back to my entry and read the newest 'comment', rofl! :)
May. 5th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)
*claps wildly and excitedly* Hooraaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Intelligent conversation. Your comments light up my life, I really mean that. :)) LOL

America, I don't think many would disagree, has a LOT of work to do. A LOT. I should tell you, it wasn't all that long ago I myself had stars in my eyes and was quite disillusioned about life here ... but it has taken me much longer to get to where I am now. Of course, I've only lived here, so I've been nothing but surrounded by it.

Every country has it's problems. Nobody can accuse anyone else of being worse or better. Every country has it's activists, and every country has it's criminals, no matter what their weapons of choice are, no matter who they target. Me personally, I'm praying that one day EVERYBODY will realize that, and realize that's why it's so important to work together and not against each other.

Furthermore, you hit the nail on the head with:

I think the whole gun-control debate hides a lot of deeper issues, like the ones you've mentioned - and the problem encompasses more than just the fact that someone can walk into a shop and buy a gun across the counter.

That's why I say this country, as a society, cannot handle gun-ownership. American society can't handle a lot of things; owning a gun only EXACERBATES all the problems. It doesn't solve a single one of them.

Anyhoo, it is an absolute joy to converse with you! I must dash off to fix dinner for the hubby before he gets home from work. :) Keep in touch, when you can. :))
May. 5th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
Hehe, it is a joy to converse with you, too! It's so difficult to find someone who doesn't get all hissy when sensitive topics like this come up, lol. ♥
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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