Guns are not more important than people.

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I don’t know when precious guns became more important than actually precious human lives, but I don’t like it. I don’t know when my life became more important than a potential robber’s life, but I don’t like that either.

I also don’t like guns. They terrify me. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t love them. It doesn’t mean that you can’t use them or own them. The second amendment is clear that we all have the right to bear arms.

Guns are such an idol, though. Why is your right to bear arms more important than people in poverty or the oppressed? I’m sorry, but I don’t understand why the protection of the second amendment is one of the most fought for issues. Why not the basic rights for those who don’t have any? Food for the hungry? Maybe homes for the homeless? I don’t get it.

And I am absolutely exhausted from hearing about gun violence. Exhausted. And angry. Heartbroken. Confused. Shocked. Dismayed. Depressed.

There’s already been 135 gun deaths in 2016.

Since 2011, there has been a public mass shooting every 64 days.

As President Obama recently pointed out, America is not the only country with violent people, and we are not more prone to violence than other countries. But we are the only advanced country that has mass violence at this scale. And apparently we don’t care. Because when moves are made to try to decrease the violence, we lash out and firmly say no because we’re scared of our precious guns being taken away.

Maybe it’s naivety, but I trust people. I see the good in people. And our President said in his speech that he did not have an agenda to take away your guns, and I believe him.

Gun control is good. Stricter laws on background checks is good. While it will not completely erase gun violence. It will save some lives. And some is better than none.

And “locking away all of the criminals, thugs and bad guys” is not going to more effectively solve the problem than gun control laws.

While I don’t like that mental health care was considered beside gun control like they are one in the same, I am glad that more funding is going to mental health. I find it troubling that the stigma of mental illness is automatically associated with violence, but  many suicides are committed with guns and some gun owners are haunted by mental illnesses that make them violent meaning they probably shouldn’t own guns. Regardless though, mental health is something that desperately needs more attention, and I’m ecstatic that it’s getting some.

Also, guns do need to be safer. Far too many people, children in particular, die from accidental gun injuries. This is a combination of unsafe storage and unsafe manufacturing. Both of which need to be addressed.

And by the way, guns are different than knives. They aren’t comparable. Guns were designed to kill. Knives were not. This is why gun control is significantly more important than something like knife control. People will still die, yes. Maybe from a stab wound. People will still kill. Maybe with a knife. But maybe, just maybe the violence and deaths will decline. And with that slight hope, I say go for it. Change some laws. Make the world a little less violent. A little less heartbreaking.

Because guns are not more important than people.

I don’t completely buy this but let’s say the violence is a people problem. A sin problem perhaps. Maybe we are all just inherently evil. We are violent and want to kill others. So then why won’t we do everything in our power to help limit the violence? Why not make responsible and safe gun laws so that we don’t have easy access to act on that violence? Why not make it easier for us to act on goodness, kindness and love? Because if I had a gun sitting beside me, it would be a whole lot easier for me to act on the anger I have for the person across the room by shooting them than talking it out peacefully. Even though my heart cannot handle violence. Even though I think I’m a pacifist. Even though guns scare the crap out of me.

Many times violence is easier than peace, and we are making it so easy to be violent. We are encouraging violent responses to fear or anger instead of peaceful ones. And I know we can’t fix all of this with gun laws.

Some “good people” do bad things which is why these gun laws won’t prevent all gun violence. Some “bad people” want to own guns for self-defense but would never pick it up to willing kill someone which is why these gun laws may be unfair. They don’t solve everything. But it’s better than nothing. It’s the best thing we’ve got right now.

If you’re against gun control laws, tell me what’s better. Please. I’d really like to know. But don’t tell me in the cruel and condescending way I see in Facebook comments. Like just because someone has a differing opinion they’re an idiot or attacking you. You’re better than that. Tell me how to fix gun violence, gun deaths, without throwing everyone in jail (because I don’t like that) and without gun control laws or taking your guns away (because you don’t like that). What’s in the middle? Let’s work together and figure it out.

In all honesty, though, I would be perfectly satisfied if guns didn’t exist.

And here we are at the end of some word vomit about gun control that might make everyone hate me. I hope you enjoyed.

Here’s the full text of Obama’s speech: https://sojo.net/articles/full-text-president-obamas-emotional-speech-gun-control

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