Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guns, Guns, Guns

I could never have a gun in my house.  Perhaps surprisingly, this is not down to an intrinsic moral objection.  It is practical.   I would probably murder my husband if I had a gun in the house.  Not that he drives me to murderous rages (often).  But because I go to bed every night with varying degrees of paranoid terror and Don works nights.  So many nights the poor guy comes upstairs, ready to rest his weary bones and is, instead, greeted in the dark by the eerie specter of his beloved wife bolting straight up and saying something super eloquent like "WHO THE FUCK IS THAT!!!!!  AUUUUGGGGHHH!" (I totally scream like Lucy Van Pelt).   Imagine if I had a gun by my bed... I'd shoot him.  And even if I didn't out and out murder him, I'd certainly do enough damage that he'd never feel obliged to clean the bathroom again.  And, you guys, I HATE cleaning the bathroom.

So no guns in our house.

I do not actually have any moral objection to gun ownership anymore.  If you want to have a handgun or shotgun around your house, I agree that (with certain provisos) this is your right as an American. I am like most gun control advocates in this county.  We are not standing eagerly by waiting for  legislative wiggle room to take your guns away.  We have no plans to pry a gun from your cold, dead hands because, really, given rigor mortis and whatnot, this seems like a dangerous proposition at best.  When we talk about gun control, we're talking about AK47s and gun show loopholes and putting the brakes on the myriad super easy ways that anyone can get a goddamn assault weapon in this country.

On the other side is that evil troll Wayne LaPierre who's got his followers convinced that any gun control legislation, no matter how patently obvious, will lead invariably to Barack Obama personally showing up at your door where he will demand your gun and hand it over to the Black Panther he totally hangs out with when there are no cameras on him.  Gun nuts suffer from a much deeper degree of paranoid terror than I do.  They are also not embarrassed by their paranoid terror.  Paranoid terror is really only ever successfully managed when it occurs alongside a healthy dose of embarrassment.

All that said, the most disheartening thing I've noticed in this gun crazy country of ours is the sexual thrill we seem to get at the idea of shooting someone threatening.  They've gone and legislated that pornographic fantasy in Florida to just super great results.  And Wayne LaPierre may actually believe that more guns means less murder because Wayne LaPierre is an evil troll and doesn't understand math. And this story was all over Facebook as some kind of awesome lulz.  Look, I get it - feeling threatened is horrible and incredibly scary.  And I'd be a big old fat liar if I said I'd never indulged in the fantasy of blowing away some motherfucker who threatened me.  But, if someone breaks into your house to steal your TV, they didn't just spring into existence at the moment they kicked your door in.  They are living people, with complicated lives and while they might not be good people, can we not, at the very least, have the common humanity to regret their death?  Can we not at least recognize that killing someone, even someone who's threatened you, is a significant act?   And that while there are times when it might be justified, it's not something we should celebrate?

I feel like such an old lady saying this, but we don't like in a Michael Bay film (shit... movie.  Michael Bay does not make films).  Killing matters.  It signifies.  It is not fun.