It’s getting to the point that most days in the United States, there are mass casualties - 4 or more people are killed or injured in a single incident with a firearm.
Everyone is pointing fingers.
It’s mental health.
It’s white people.
It’s brown people.
And while we point fingers, people die. Parents lose children. Children lose parents. Families are destroyed. Even when no one is physically harmed, guns are used to threaten lives and emotional wounds are torn into the souls and minds of people. While we point fingers, society and humanity suffers. We all hurt. It’s not OK.
Can we all agree that we have a problem, and it’s not OK?
Let’s start with that.
Here’s what I see.
We’ve forgotten an essential truth.
Guns are, by design, a killing thing.
They were built to kill.
They were designed to contain an explosion and propel violence into living tissue with the express intent of killing.
We can make guns safer - we can keep them unloaded, we can lock them up, we can teach ourselves and our families how to use them correctly - but we can’t change the purpose of their design.
I don’t want to take your gun, or anyone else to.
I, personally, don’t need your gun. Keep your guns. Go hunting. Keep them for self defense. Have enough to arm your own militia in case we need another revolution. It's your second amendment right. Whatever.
Even if I personally took your gun, I wouldn’t use your gun. I can’t hit what I aim at - I’ve tried. I’m not trustworthy with a gun. I know all the rules - I was raised by Marines and hunters. I get it. In fact, go hunting. I have a confession - I love venison. I can’t be trusted to get my own deer, but if you’ll share, that would be amazing.
So, if I don’t want your gun, and I'm not asking you to give your gun up, what do I want?
Well, besides an end to suffering, and some venison?
I want you to remember that guns are killing things.
The gun you hunt game with? It’s a killing thing.
The gun you keep to protect your family? It’s a killing thing.
The gun you own because it’s your legal right? It’s a killing thing.
The gun you keep out of fear of the bogeyman? It’s a killing thing.
I don’t care why you own it. If you have a gun, you own a killing thing. And killing things don’t discriminate. They don’t choose. The person touching them chooses for them. So your killing thing may be used by you or on you. It might be used for your family or against them. You may be one of the lucky millions who never faces the reality that guns are first, foremost, and always, a killing thing.
But, and here is where the problem arises, you might not be. You might be the parent with a legal firearm and a legal concealed carry permit who finds the killing thing is tragically used by a toddler who couldn’t be taught better. You might be the owner of a legal firearm who finds the killing thing is tragically used by a family member for a permanent solution for a temporary problem. You might be the owner of a legal firearm who finds the killing thing is used in self-defense, and suddenly realizes just what it means to take the life of another soul. Because at least one of those happens. Every day. That’s the problem.
We’re forgetting that these aren’t tools. They’re not just guns. They’re not just firearms. They aren’t just rights. These are killing things.
Maybe, just maybe, if we all stopped and remembered that guns are killing things, we could go one day without a gun killing someone. Maybe not. Maybe I’m wrong. But isn’t it worth trying? At this point, all we have to lose is our lives.