Gun Nuts Owe Us An Explanation: Why The Hell Do We Have To Live Like This?
Friday afternoon, 12 people were killed in a shooting massacre at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. Police are still unaware of what the shooter's motive was, and quite frankly, it really doesn't matter, does it? 12 people are dead, he's dead, and knowing "why" he did it isn't really going to help anyone at this point. It's not going to bring them back and it's not going to stop the next mass shooting.
Here are their names:
Laquita C. Brown of Chesapeake; Tara Welch Gallagher of Virginia Beach; Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach; Alexander Mikhail Gusev of Virginia Beach; Katherine A. Nixon of Virginia Beach; Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk; Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan; Ryan Keith Cox of Virginia Beach; Joshua A. Hardy of Virginia Beach; Michelle "Missy" Langer of Virginia Beach; Robert "Bobby" Williams of Chesapeake; and Herbert "Bert" Snelling of Virginia Beach.
It's going to go like it always goes. We're going to scream for gun control, and the gun nuts will say horrible and insensitive things and nothing will happen.
The state of Virginia does not require a permit for open carry, or a permit of any kind, period. They allow anyone over the age of 18 to purchase a semi-automatic weapon. They do not require background checks for private gun sales. There is no restriction on magazine size. This will most likely not change any of that. Tim Kaine was not even able to get background checks for those private sales through after 32 people were killed and 23 were injured in the Virginia Tech shooting, so why would anything change now?
They say the definition of mental illness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This is not my personal experience with mental illness, nor anyone else's that I know of. It is a ridiculous saying. That being said, it is certainly not very effective. It does not appear to be working.
I don't want to hear why gun control wouldn't stop these massacres from occurring on a regular basis. We know that it would. We can go and look at other countries that have instituted gun control and see, with our eyes, that they do not have the same problem with mass murders as we do. There is absolutely no question that we would see similar results if we were to do the same thing. Thus, the only conclusion we can really draw here is that the "different results" part of this equation is not nearly as important as the part where people get to keep doing what they are doing. The only conclusion we can draw here is that those who oppose gun control see these shootings as a necessary evil, as a fair trade-off for them getting to have their stupid guns.
So I don't want them to explain that gun control wouldn't stop this from happening. It obviously would. It is obvious that without gun control, this is going to keep happening, so I want them to explain why we have to live like this. Living like this sucks, it feels horrible, and we are owed a goddamn explanation for why it is necessary for us to continue doing so.
Come out with it! Tell us! Tell us why a bunch of people who were just trying to do their goddamn jobs had to die yesterday. Tell us why that loss is worth it. Tell us why we all have to fear that the same thing could happen to us. Make your damn case. Explain why the alternative is worse, why we should all be willing to sacrifice our lives and our peace of mind so that you can have your stupid guns.
People always like to say that soldiers in war die for our freedoms. They repeat it often enough that it sounds true, that it makes our wars seem valid somehow, despite the fact that we haven't had a war in which our "freedoms" were under attack since maybe the Second World War, and even that is debatable.
Soldiers don't die for war, they die for profit, they die for oil, they die so a bunch of assholes can wave their tiny flags and feel all patriotic and shit.
These 12 people, however? They actually did die for someone else's "freedom," and not because they wanted to, not because they volunteered, but because it was forced on them. They died so that a bunch of assholes could have the "freedom" to have their stupid guns. They, along with every other mass shooting victim of the past however many years, every family member of every mass shooting victim, should be thanked for their "sacrifice," but they won't be, because even the gun humpers don't like to think of things that way.
Maybe because even they realize it ain't worth it.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse