Monday, June 20, 2016

Orlando & The Loss of Perspective

After the massacre in Orlando, there were the inevitable articles like this one on Medium titled: Why I Need an AR-15. Right in the title you have part of the problem. No civilian NEEDs a machine gun. You WANT one, but you can function easily enough without one; I’ve lived 38 years and never NEEDED a machine gun.

Giving the author the benefit of the doubt, what are the crucial reasons he needs an AR-15? Because it’s good for killing both feral pigs and small animals like groundhogs. There’s also target shooting and of course “home defense.”

The maddening thing about this article (and similar ones) is the complete lack of perspective. Fifty people are DEAD. Half as many were injured. Many more are going to be seriously traumatized. And that’s just one shooting; don’t forget about the carnage in Newtown and San Bernardino. But what’s a hundred or more human lives compared to your need to hunt pigs? And to blow paper targets to bits. And to be ready in case Russian paratroopers come down a la Red Dawn, which other than a zombie apocalypse is the only time you’d NEED a machine gun for “home defense.”

This is what happens when you become so desensitized to killing sprees that fifty lives no longer matter to you. It’s also part of a larger problem in our society where we can no longer distinguish between what we NEED and what we WANT. As with violence, we’re conditioned pretty early by TV to want the latest toy, fast food sandwich, shoes, and so forth. The trick of advertising is to turn that WANT into a NEED so you’ll go out and buy it. Or when you’re a kid, beg your parents for it. We have an entire holiday season dedicated to that.

The problem is people grow up but they don’t really grow up in that way. They still think they NEED the latest iPhone or TV. If you ask why they have “good” reasons too: it comes in rose gold! It has 4K! Never mind you’re getting along perfectly fine with your white iPhone or HD TV. You NEED the latest, “greatest” thing, especially before someone else on your street has it.

In this case you have people who NEED a machine gun for all the BS reasons described. The conditioning is so strong that they simply can’t weigh their “NEED” against the damage said product is actually doing. People like that seriously need a kick in the pants to wake them up to the fact there are a lot more people out there; it’s not all about YOU.

What you have to do is look at it objectively. Who benefits if we ban AR-15-type weapons? Well it would make it more difficult (not impossible) for psychos to get their hands on machine guns that can kill dozens of people in minutes. That would seem to benefit all of us who don’t want our lives cut short thanks to a killing spree. Who is hurt? People who don’t want to use two guns to kill pigs and groundhogs. Is it really that difficult of a decision?

People like the one who wrote that article and other morons on Facebook and such really should have to go up to the families of the victims and tell them why people NEED to have machine guns.  "I'm sorry your son is dead, but I NEED to hunt feral pigs and groundhogs."  Yeah, I don't think that'd go over well.  Or that well-worn excuse, "Well, it's too bad your child is dead, but that guy could have got the gun anyway, so why bother banning assault weapons?"  One thing I'm sure Obama is really glad about is having only 7 months until Hillary or Trump can be the one to go to the funerals and try to comfort the victims; gods help us if it's Trump.  How awful would that be for the families when he goes up there and says, "Well I told you this would happen if we didn't ban all Muslims.  Ha ha, told ya so!  I'm the greatest!!!"  Eek.

When the next massacre happens—and it will, sadly enough—all of us need to start acting like grownups and figure out the difference between WANT and NEED. In some cases it might save a life.

PS: On my Twitter I pondered why don’t these losers hunting with AR-15s use a REAL weapon like a bow? That’s how they did it in the old days. These same people claim hunting is a “sport” but what’s so sporting about shooting a pig with a machine gun? I could do that and the only hunting I do is on my Kindle Fire. You should get a sword and do it like the real old days. Sure it didn’t work out so well for Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones, but then it’s a real contest between man and beast. Unless you’re just such a wimp you can’t kill a dumb animal with the same weapon your ancestors used. I’m just saying.


  1. There are just so many arguments for and against that go on endlessly and nothing gets done. People need to start compromising so at least the assault riffles are banned. They shouldn't even be allowed to sell them. Nobody needs those. But I think pro-gun people fear if one type of gun is banned it will just move on to all being banned someday. In this case, the shooter was on a watch list and still wasn't stopped. What good is the watch list if nobody is watching?

  2. Even worse than using a machine gun to hunt is the people who "hunt" by luring in prey animals with bait and then sit in a tree and kill them. There's no "hunt" in hunting. No one's creeping through the woods trying to ind an animal to kill...they just sit there and wait for it to come to them and then they get drunk to celebrate their victory over the animal.

    I got into a gun debate with a bunch of idiots of the weekend; they used all the same boring and lame excuses. They need their guns to defend themselves, they need their guns to stop the government from going rogue and turning on the people, they need it because they're entitled to it...yadda yadda yadda...they can't even wrap their minds around the fact that they're not going to get their John Wayne moment, they aren't holding the line against the government, and they aren't going to re-live the Alamo. The government has way more firepower than a bunch of hicks with guns...but they still think they're stopping the government from doing something. Tell that to the drone that will kill them from altitude with a GPS-guided bomb they never even knew was there. It's all so ridiculous.

  3. I live in a state that worships guns, so I've learned to keep my mouth shut around them. But I get extremely nervous when I'm sitting in the front room of a house (having been invited over to play a game) when suddenly two guys show up with AR-15's and start unloading them and comparing them and talking them up...passing them back and forth. I just don't like being around those things.

  4. It does make me wonder why anybody would want to go into an ammo shop to by a semi-automatic weapon.

  5. I've never had a gun. And I have no intentions of getting one.



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