Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Guns!Guns!Guns! 2: The Sequel Post!

After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, I spent at least a week reconsidering my previous position on gun control.  Since we apparently now live in a world where school shootings are a regular occurrence, it seems reasonable to reconsider these things.  Ultimately, I come away from it unconvinced that stricter gun laws would have prevented this tragedy, or would do much to prevent future school shootings, and I don't see much point in passing laws that don't solve problems.

There's also a political consideration here.  Like I said before, I don't think Obama won this election because a majority of Americans are particularly liberal.  Part of why the Democrats are doing well these days is because of an implicit promise that we're over the whole gun control debate.  We won't fuck with your guns.  It's the one truce we've actually been able to call in the culture wars.  Since the Clinton administration, liberals have laid off the gun control, which I believe gives us a lot of wiggle room for solving real problems, because Americans Love Guns.  And look at the position we're in right now.  With another four years of Obama, we get the Affordable Care Act fully implemented and institutionalized, to the point where no future administration is going to try to repeal it.  We are currently being forced to deal with the budget crisis, and with Democrats holding the upper hand, we can assure that cuts to programs that benefit the poor will be balanced out with cuts to Defense spending and tax increases in the upper margins.  If this gets taken care of, the primary argument for gutting social programs is neutralized.  It's pretty much a sure thing that we get comprehensive immigration reform in the next four years.  Gay marriage is inevitable.  Marijuana legalization is moving along on a state level, no thanks to the Obama administration.  Not to brush over Obama's failures to end the wars, or his fascist policies on civil liberties, but this all puts us in a very good position.  Come 2016, there's a lot less to worry about.  I'd maybe even vote for a pro-choice, pro-gay Republican if one were to run, and could convince me they were the better candidate.

That's a great set up.  I can't imagine why we'd want to throw that all away to have an election about gun control, which doesn't solve anything and is massively divisive.

On the other hand, the pro-gun side are not exactly offering much in the way of alternatives.  That is to say, all the suggestions we hear about what we should be doing instead of banning guns are all even worse suggestions than banning guns, and all require even bigger, more intrusive government (which kind of undermines the "small government" pose they take).  A national database of the mentally ill?  Not only is that a huge government program, I've yet to hear any practical explanation of how this database is to be used to prevent mass shootings.  For one thing, we're talking about teenagers here (most shooters are males between the age of 11 and 21).  What symptoms are we looking for?  Depression?  Isolation?  Hostility?  We're going to end up with a pretty huge database here.  And what are we to do with all these surly teenagers?  Medicate them?  Institutionalize them? Does the State now have the power to take involuntary action against anyone deemed too difficult or non-conformist?

Another suggestion is to make schools even more closely resemble prisons.  Armed guards, metal detectors, armed teachers...none of this makes for a healthy learning environment.  I believe I saw someone suggest our schools should be more like our airports, with kids having to pass through checkpoints, which just sounds like a nightmarish existence.  Let's try to make America look a little less like a police state, OK?

(I'm not going to deal with suggestions that we would have less of a problem if more people were armed.  I dealt with that last time, and it's a set up for an easy punchline, not a real argument.)

I understand the reasoning behind these suggestions, though.  America is panicky right now, and if you're saying gun control isn't the answer, you want to be able to point to something else that is.  Understandable, but a bad strategy.  The gun folk just need to be honest and say, "There is no solution.  We live in a world where, every once in a while, a crazy person shoots a bunch of people, just like we live in a world where earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes happen."  As far as I can see, those are the only two solutions: do something about the guns, or admit that there's nothing that can be done.  Because guns ARE the problem.  You don't have guns, you don't have mass shootings.  That's the one factor that made a difference.

So OK, I don't believe we can do much to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people.  I don't have any solution based on government intervention.  But I do have a suggestion that could prove helpful: more sex.

Because looking at the people that commit these crimes (er, not to mention a rather large portion of the pro-gun advocates out there), they have some issues.  And the place to resolve those issues is in the bedroom.  I'm advocating that gun owners, and would-be gun owners, have more BDSM sex.  Put on the leather boots, pull out the whips and ball gags, and work those issues out in private.  I don't know how successful this campaign could be, but potentially it could prevent not only some mass shootings, but (maybe even more so) a lot of these overzealous "stand your ground" shootings, or civilians being gunned down by trigger-happy cops.  The solution isn't gun control, and it isn't more guns.  As always, the solution is more sex.


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