I was at work when I first heard about the massacre at Sandy Hook on Friday; I had seen stories pop up on my Facebook friend feed, but by the time everyone else at work was talking about it, the horror and revulsion had really set in. Barack Obama’s emotional reaction to the senselessness of it all made it all the more real for me.
At this point, I have absolutely no tolerance for the pro-gun lobby in the United States. I don’t know if it’s just because I can see it from a distance (being Canadian), but the way guns are woven into the history and culture of the nation is absolutely absurd. One of the first things I thought when processing the whole event was that there have been too many gun-powered massacres in such a short while, and that violence and guns are just so woven into the American history and culture.
It’s an understatement to say that America has a love affair with guns. It’s become an outright detrimental fetish, as if to talk reasonable gun control was analogous to castration. I’ve seen how some people talk about their right to own guns, as if anyone who doesn’t agree is an unholy, anti-American eunuch. I’ve read fiction about armed citizens getting revenge on the criminal element that read with such eroticism infused in the act of pulling the trigger and ending a life that the author deemed to have forfeited its value. It’s positively sickening.
Lack of access to proper mental health care is also an important factor in the tragedy that needs to be addressed, but I feel so strongly that this time the gun issue has to be dealt with now. The pro-gun rights side cannot possibly say anything to really defend not increasing restrictions and regulations on gun ownership. It’s not going to completely eliminate the problem, but there is no way that the blood of innocent children and other people can ever justify this particular freedom. To continue to argue to do so just seems so fucking immoral.
Jane Devin has a piece on the whole issue that’s well worth reading. One quote stood out:
I also know people who are hunters and responsible gun owners, although to my knowledge none of them own a semi-automatic assault rifle or have a stockpile of ammunition.
One citizen should not have enough firepower to kill that many people.