And then back home…

CCTV says there’s been another shooting at Fort Hood. I find a functioning American news source on Chinese internet (firewall) and confirm.

I can’t express my anger in gifs or snarky captions. I’ve deleted so many versions of what I want to say. I preface all this by saying that I am writing from a place of emotion. I don’t have the lovely statistics or the charts to prove my points. I’m sure if I did someone else would have the charts in reverse to suggest I’m an idiot. I just have a lot of emotion, which I’m struggling to focus.

Boiled down, my biggest source of outrage is the following:
Both Fort Hood shooters bought their firearms from the same store.
Both Fort Hood shooters bought their firearms FROM THE SAME STORE. Guns Galore – where guns are regulated less than Tic Tacs!

The gun lobby is so rich and powerful, and any attempt to regulate our owning of any firearm we want is met with such outrage and constitutional hellfire that we allow this nonsense to happen. It’s like the NRA has convinced us that murder is just a secret part of the second amendment.

How are we letting this go on?! It’s not a question of allowing things like this to happen – we’ve stopped trying to actually stop shootings. Now we tolerate them like we tolerate late trains – they make us angry, and we just move on. Because we don’t actually want to deal with the hassle of trying to control any aspect of the guns which are the tools of such massacres.

I get that the Fort Hood shooting is a different situation because it’s the military. I fully understand that soldiers get separate training, and there are different regulations which apply, and that as a veteran there are factors which impacted the shooter psychologically which don’t apply to everyday murderers. Still, the fact that we have had two shootings at a military base by soldiers with civilian firearms they BOTH purchased from the SAME STORE means that we, the civilians, are to blame for it. We don’t want to deal with the difficulties of paying attention to who is buying guns, we don’t want to interrupt the money flow from the gun market, and we certainly don’t want to seem unconstitutional. So we just let it all slide with candles and pithy signs. We put a crying mother on the TV for a week, feel sad, wring our hands and ask “What can we do?!,” and move on. Everyone thinking someone else will do it, and nothing gets done.

It’s not a question of just owning a gun. I have no issue with owning a gun or two – I applied for my Conceal and Carry permit, which I will get when I return home. I have friends who hunt, and I have gone shooting with my family. A gun is just a tool, and a very dangerous one at that. The sole function of a gun is to hurt – that is this tool’s purpose. It’s not like a hammer or an axe or a baseball bat, which can hurt. Those objects have primary purposes other than pain. The gun has no other function – it kills to provide food, and it kills/hurts to provide protection.

Which is why regulation is so critical. It’s not against the constitution to check who’s buying the gun. So talk to your congressional reps, speak out! Change the conversation, force the issue. We might not be able to stop every tragedy, but if we can make it just that much more difficult for someone to walk to Guns Galore and pick up the weapon of their fancy in a moment of rage (calculated or otherwise), then maybe we won’t have to hang our heads in shame at our own inaction.

 

And now, to distance myself from myself – humor.

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