Thoughts on the Current Gun Situation

I believe all the many remedies expressed on cable TV about how to stop mass murder by gun in the U.S. are wrong. For example, one “expert” interviewed numerous times by MSNBC talks about how he wants to stop the violence by such means as universal background checks, or by limiting access to assault weapons. Then he interjects that he is a gun owner himself: he owns three shotguns and two rifles, and that he uses them responsibly for hunting. How can he not think that he is part of the problem? He needs five weapons? He doesn’t have five arms, but he has five firearms. That’s only the long guns he owns. No telling how many sidearms he owns.

I hear repeatedly from online commentators that gun owners should not worry, nobody is coming to take away their guns. Really? What is the purpose of having more guns than people in the U.S.? I am 82 years old. When I was a child WWII was in full tilt. Yet to my knowledge, no one thought that everyone in the country should have a military weapon.

Many gun owners say that they use their weapons only for hunting. They claim that it is a good way to control animal populations. That’s B.S. With some exceptions, hunters of large animals hunt for the thrill of the kill.

In the sixties I lived with my now-deceased first wife in New Jersey. A friend of that wife came to visit us with her husband. He was a policeman in Newark. He brought his sidearm into my house. I told him to take it out to his car and leave it there. He claimed that he was required by law to be armed, but I insisted. I asked what he did in Newark. He said that his favorite activity was to harass “niggers.” He never came to my house again.

For all the “responsible” gun owners, how many carry guns for nefarious purposes? We can’t know, but they can’t exercise gun inspired malevolence without possessing the guns. As many as possible of the extant guns in our country should be collected and melted into slag. Strict limits should be placed on gun manufacturers controlling how many of these weapons of war may be manufactured. Weapons of war! If they are weapons of war then no civilian should be allowed to possess these abominations.

It is quite possible for the Second Amendment to be repealed and replaced with something that makes sense. Amendments have been nullified before. That’s why we can buy alcoholic beverages.

I know that my pleadings will go nowhere. Americans are addicted to violence. Even TV commercials are likely to be violent. Cable TV abounds with violent programs. Ozzie and Harriet are reviled or ridiculed. Detective series are uniformly violent. And usually, gory. The most popular sports are the most violent. And on and on.

Personally, I contribute as much as I can to organizations dedicated to stopping violence to both humans and animals. As Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest, said at the Ploughshares trial: “We are not allowed to kill innocent people.”

Originally posted May 27, 2022 on Serpents and Doves.


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