Ugh, this topic makes me tired and slightly nauseous. In fact, after the nightmare of Newtown, I had to bail out of Facebook for several weeks. The posts, from both the anti-gun lobby and the pro-gun lobby, were pushing me toward a nervous breakdown. Every day I had to drop my baby girl off at her elementary school. I would wave to her principal (a wonderful man who had coached my son’s Little League team) and see Dawn Hochsprung. I would smile at her music teacher (a young lady I’ve known since she was my daughter’s age) and see Maryrose Kristopik. I would watch my second-grader walk through those doors and see all those precious children gunned down by a mentally messed-up young man whose mama loved guns and taught him how to shoot really well. To come home and read all these posts on my Facebook wall was too much.
So I left Facebook, quit watching the news, stopped reading my Reuters and NPR feeds on my phone. I prayed that everyone would calm down. At least they might stop bombarding me with posts about a subject that, even in the best of times, makes my heart race.
I hate guns.
If you have read my blog before, that’s old news. I won’t re-hash.
Recently, thanks to Alex Jones’ total meltdown with Piers Morgan, the pro-gun/NRA folks’ chief argument has become “We need to be armed against the possibility that our government is taken over by tyrants.”
Because that happens a lot.
But even if it did, we’d be screwed.
See, the irony here is that the same people who scream that we have to have guns in case of a dictatorial government takeover tend to be the same people who want a really well-funded military. So in the remote case that our government WERE taken over by tyrants, we are, pardon my French, totally f—ed. Those tyrants will have access to weapons of mass destruction, so happily funded by neo-cons, that Saddam Hussein could only have dreamed of. And nobody’s little arsenal is going to stand a chance.
Meanwhile, we have millions of people with ridiculous, unnecessary weapons. Yes, by and large, they are law-abiding citizens. I know several responsible gun-owners who would never bust into a school, a movie, theater, a mall, and start using innocent people for target practice. But let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a woman. She was smart, well-educated, compassionate. She loved her husband and her child, and she would never let anyone hurt her family.
When she was pregnant with her second child, however, she got sick with a very rare condition. None of her doctors could figure out what was wrong. But something terrible was happening to the woman’s brain. She stopped sleeping. She started seeing “ghosts.” She started hearing voices. And those voices told her terrible things. They told her she could not possibly carry her baby to term. They told her she had to die. They told her that her husband and son would be sad, though, so she should take them with her. She argued with the voices. She couldn’t watch her beloved little family die. Poison. Fire. Kitchen knife. They were too slow. Too painful. Too dreadful. She couldn’t kill them like that. If only she had a gun…
Luckily, I didn’t.
And my husband found me in the kitchen with a knife and sent me to the E.R. where I was, by the grace of God, treated by a doctor who realized what was wrong with me. One pill a day, and I was right as rain.
Eight years later, I think about those nightmarish weeks when my brain didn’t feel right in my skull, when I didn’t sleep for weeks, when I saw things that weren’t there, when I heard scary little voice that told me to kill people. It doesn’t seem real. I hate guns, and I adore my family. I would never dream of hurting anyone. Could that have been me?
And then I see “monsters” like James Holmes and Adam Lanza. “Bad guys” with guns who could’ve been stopped by “good guys” with guns. What a quaint notion. Obviously, these “bad” people weren’t ALWAYS bad. They went many years without killing anyone with their precious guns. At one point, they would likely have been considered the kind of people pro-gun folks WANT to own weapons. To protect people from the bad guys. Until they snapped. Then they become the bad guys. They wear black hats. Easy to recognize. Especially when they’re reloading their huge clips designed to kill lots of people fast.
Obviously, the kind of mental breakdown I experienced is far more common than a tyrannical government takeover. Most rational people don’t want to make all guns illegal, but this argument against ANY legislation is naive, paranoid and short-sighted. If the US government wants to take you out, your gun won’t save you. But if your mom, your brother, your husband snaps and suddenly becomes one of the “bad guys,” your gun will absolutely kill you.