Author: Mike Maples

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"The City Must Suffer At The Hand of The Chief's Command"

In the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting that took place on 6/12/16 here in Orlando, an event that claimed the lives of 49 people and injured just as many, we as a nation once again mourn the loss of innocent young people at the hands of a madman and look to our leaders for answers. Democratic politicians staged a sit-in on the floor of Congress to try and get the Republican majority to finally, for once, act on behalf of the American people and not their own partisan political careers. Once again, the American people were let down by their leaders as the Republicans adjourned two days early instead of addressing these pressing issues, something we've become all too used to. Rather than seeing ourselves as Americans who need to discuss these things as a group to serve the greater good, we've chosen partisanship over common sense.

I really don't know what it would take to get Republicans to act other than a gunman opening fire in their own kids' schools. I mean, there have been 16 mass shootings since President Obama took office. Kids have been slaughtered, Latinos, gays, American service men and women within our own nation's borders, politicians, Batman fans, American Seikhs, more American servicemen and military contractors, more kids, African-American churchgoers, more servicemen, and college students just to address a few. Still, we do nothing.

Right-wing, and/or otherwise ignorant people, cling to this notion that it is some God-given right as American to possess warfighting weaponry under the guise of freedom and protection from our own government should a revolution be necessary. Here are just a couple of reasons that I can think of why this is ignorant, laughable, misinformed, and misguided:
"I have the constitutional right to possess any firearm that I want." 
No, you don't. I can't legally own a bazooka (as much as I'd like to). I can't own a minigun no matter how much I want to fire it into cars (without hurting anyone, obviously) a la Terminator 2. There are a lot of weapons that are altogether legally unavailable to Americans that we don't bitch about. So why such a stink over assault rifles? What are you needing to assault? All I'm seeing is the murder of countless innocent people at the hands of madmen, and the common denominator is usually assault rifles.

So far, I haven't seen any articles from right or left-wing media that tell the story of a citizen who defended lives with one. And if you choose to try and prove me wrong on this, I already have an answer for you: was the hero in question facing a gang of armed attackers that could not have been fought off with a handgun or shotgun? Let me answer that for you: no.
"I have to protect my family."
You are correct. However, you mistake armament with preparedness. Owning a gun does not make you proficient with it. Being proficient with it doesn't make you prepared for an attack. And being prepared for an attack doesn't mean that you will be able to take a life if faced with that decision.

Again, I'll ask a question: who do you know has needed to defend their family with a gun? Any friends? Friends of friends? Is it common? I'll answer those for you too: no one, no, no, and no. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but certainly not to the degree where we all need to have access to assault rifles.

On that note, if you can't "defend your family" with a handgun or shotgun, you can't defend them with an assault rifle either. The ability to shoot more rounds doesn't make you more lethal to an individual attacker but instead spreads out your lethality to all in the surrounding environment. And when I say that, I am also referring to the amount of round penetration achieved with an assault rifle; you may hit your target, but the bullet's velocity will carry it far beyond the moist, soft confines of his or her body and through walls, perhaps into your family in other rooms or through your neighbor's walls and into his family. This is why they are not good for home defense, among other reasons, despite what the obviously biased NRA will tell you.

We also neglect to think about the after-effects of using an assault rifle for self or home defense. It actually seems like everyone thinks that by virtue of having this weapon, they will be the victor in any armed conflict. Here's the reality, Suburban Warrior: Let's say I give you a fully-loaded AR-15 with a 30 round clip and armor-piercing rounds. With it, you can enter my home and attack me and my family. With my dusty military training and proficiency with my current weapon of choice, I will kill you with my tiny seven-round .380 before you are 5 yards into my house without emptying the magazine.

Once I'm done sodomizing and shitting on your corpse, I can pick up your assault rifle, pull your wallet from your back pocket (because you're predictable), find your address on your driver's license (you likely couldn't have purchased the AR without it), go to your house, and liquefy your entire family with your own assault rifle until all rounds that I find are exhausted. Why? Because I'm crazy. Point being: don't assume you will be the victor in armed combat. If you die, your attacker is now better armed than they were before. Whether it is this scenario, or some other, like...
  1. Your kid getting their hands on it (a la Sandy Hook)
  2. You are robbed (and since most home invasions occur when the occupants are away, and you can't lug a rifle with you to the local 7-11, the gun will be in your home for the taking)
  3. You lose your nerve to attack the aggressor and surrender your weapon
...would you rather the attacker have a weapon whose capacity and power will limit the body count or will allow him to inflict maximum damage on 30 people (if he's a good shot)? I will reiterate: if you can't "defend your family" with a handgun or shotgun, you can't defend them with an assault rifle either.
"We must be prepared in case our government turns on us."
This one is the worst because it's so funny and misguided, yet taken the most seriously. You really think that with the weaponry that the general populace has access to, we can fend off our own military? The military that we all know is the most highly-trained, well-armed, and technologically advanced in the world? Your AR-15 will stop a Humvee with a mounted .50 caliber cannon? Your Bushmaster will stop a drone-launched Stinger missile from evaporating your family? 

You can't fight the government if they turned on us. If that day comes, you and the rest of the resistance will die screaming with AR-15s in hand. I know that's scary, which is why voting for the right people is important. Voting for people who do things on our behalf and not in spite of us is paramount. 

Disagreements aside, we must change. We cannot stay the same because doing so has cost us too many lives. Stop clinging to these faux-romantic, antiquated ideas of Minutemen and revolutions and militias and the illusions of complete freedom. In America, you are not entirely free; we have laws and social contracts that dictate our day-to-day lives. That is not the dreaded Big Government. It is simply government, which is necessary. Humans need to be led. We need laws. We need order. We need direction. We need to protect our way of life. And by protect, I don't mean with guns because in this case, guns are what we need protection from. I mean order, just as we have always done; when issues arise, we must meet them, understand them, and adapt to them. Change. Evolve.

If you have a problem with cockroaches in your house, the answer is not addressed by bringing in more cockroaches. So why would the answer to gun violence be more guns? How does that make sense? We aren't talking about arming a trained police force or military with assault weapons; they, by all measures, should have these kinds of weapons. We're talking about arming soccer moms, goofballs, cheerleaders, rednecks, illiterates, degenerates, and ne'er-do-wells right along with the rest of us (so long as they don't have a criminal record) and hoping that this will somehow equal security for all. Sounds great if you don't think about it at all (kind of like religion).

But here's how that actually works: people will kill each other in continuously large numbers. Guns will be mishandled and fall into the wrong hands. Slight infractions will escalate into shootouts. Everyone walks around like Judge Dredd, exacting their own version of the laws as they see them on everyone around them with the ultimate shield: deputization by virtue of gun ownership. Personal perceptions and proliferation of fear will be the legal blankets that will protect killers acting under the guise of heroism, because:

The perception of a threat to one's life varies from individual to individual.
The perception of a threat to other people's lives varies from individual to individual.
The perception of power increases when one is armed (ask George Zimmerman about that).
The perception of responsibility to your fellow man decreases when one is armed.

At one time, we had the right to own slaves. Eventually, we figured out that this was not a humane direction for us as leaders of the free world and humanity itself (something England figured out years before America even existed). Our country is all about change. Revolutionizing is what we're supposed to be good at. It's what our society is all about. We've grown so quickly in our country's young existence because we are the best at adaptation and progression. Stagnation of ideas will send us the way of Rome. Our views are becoming more radicalized and backward. We're losing our forward momentum. Our zealotry is turning us into a democratic, Christian version of ISIS.

What will it take for us to limit the kinds of guns that we have? What arguments do we still have left to quantify this? Oh, I forgot one:
"I like shooting for sport."
Yeah? Well, there are sports that I like too. I'd like to kick babies in the breadbasket, but the government says that I can't. Hell, I can't even wag my dick at a pretty lady on the bus, and that doesn't hurt anyone.  

Shoot a different gun for sport. Even better: get a new fucking sport, you hillbilly dinosaur fuck. Read a goddamned book. 

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