One of the hottest and most debated subjects on the internet right now is gun control and gun reform. With the rise of school shootings, mass murders, inner city violence, homicides, and gun related deaths in the United States, no wonder it is a sensitive subject amongst all Americans. Lives are being lost and forever changed due to firearms.
How do we solve this?
This is where you can get overwhelmed with subjective insight across the realm of the internet and population.
Let us look at the word subjective. It is a favorite of mine, as I feel it is a huge factor in where we are as a society in general.
Subjective. An adjective that means; “based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions: Contrasted with the word objective.”
Subjective is not backed by factual data. Objective is. Subjective is fueled by feelings, emotions, and perceptions.
What is wrong with subjective knowledge? Being that it needs to be verified with discernment, evaluation, analysis, distinction, differentiation, critical thinking, and conscious awareness, it makes it difficult to interpret as cognitive thinking varies by the individual. Basically meaning, everyone will subject some personal emotion to this debate.
The bottom line?
There is no right answer coming from any side of the politically fueled spectrum. You get one extreme to the other and it is all subjective for the most part. Which is why our form of government stands, as it is supposed to provoke a balance in the middle. A moderate solution for all. Yet, we rarely see that happen anymore.
When you have a large faction of individuals promoting an amendment that is over 200 years old, it gets subjective. When in fact, the amendment was never intended to be a hall pass to own whatever weaponry they desired. This amendment has been subjected to extreme perversion throughout the years to meet the needs of lobbyists in search of increasing profits for an industry.
Born and raised in rural Texas, guns are a part of life. Being brought up around firearms and more importantly, firearm safety, I never saw an issue. Then again, most families around me had a shotgun and a long rifle. Typically for hunting and more importantly, snakes. Having dispatched my fair share of barn dwelling snakes and rats with a 12 gauge, it never dawned on me where owning firearms would take our society.
As an avid hunter throughout my childhood and early adulthood, I respected a firearm more than I did my parents. As I knew the consequences, damage, and finality a firearm could inflict. Thing is, graduating high school in the 90s, I can remember rifles being on gun racks in trucks in my high school parking lot. Yet, no one was ever shot and quarrels between students was settled with fists in lieu of guns. Ah, the good old days. Yes, just a smidge over 20 years ago.
So, what happened?
Where did things change?
Again, I was raised predominantly in a small rural farming community. I spent time in the urban Dallas area during summers and weekends with my mother, who typically resided in very low-income areas which were riddled with gang violence. This violence at the time was typically physical, but guns got involved frequently. Remembering drive-by shootings, playground violence, and kids in the neighborhood talking about who had a gun.
To hear it from some, it was rap music that brought on gang related gun violence. Well, it glorified guns as an answer, but the issue is much deeper and beyond guns. Gun violence was an outcome of a much deeper-rooted issue there. That issue is a good portion of the overall stigma we carry as a nation.
Where I personally saw the change with firearm ownership, was brought on by the age of the internet. Am I blaming technology on this issue? Not entirely, but it was a catalyst. This subject alone has branched off and stemmed many studies, research, and literary works. Yet, we ignore the data and stick to our subjectiveness.
My opinion on what happened?
The vastness of media has desensitized and invoked fear amongst our society.
This in turn allowed corporations and their lobbyists to manipulate information and construe narratives to increase profits. (This recalls the “boogie men in the black helicopters coming to take your guns” theory I remember my peers reiterating)
In my experience, those who did not serve in the military found solace and fulfillment in owning weapons like those in military, movies, and video games. These weapons fill a deep-seated seed instilled in their soul. A power. You must remember, before television and the internet, glorified war and action only existed in words in books, and a good amount of people did not read this, therefore, the “fear” pill was not fully served as it is through media channels now. As for video games, I personally was an avid Call of Duty player, and saw what it did to the children left to their own molding by parents too busy with trying to live the American dream. Violent video games “normalize” and desensitize large amounts of children, teens and even adults. Not all, but a very large amount. Hell, one is too many.
Technology has given conspiracy theorists a bigger platform to spread their far-fetched ideology and garner the minds of people not necessarily proficient in critical thinking. Here lies the secret of how individuals like Donald Trump gets a following. Play on fears and put together a flock. Seems easy? Donald Trump is an expert marketer, and that is about it. Preying on fears, he wins at it continually. The objective facts are that he does not care for his base other than to increase his power and wealth. Well, just like any politician.
This is our nation’s, and our society’s, biggest issue. Propaganda, marketing, and hijacking impressionable minds. This goes way back and has dictated who we “believe” we are. It is much deeper than guns and it is not stopping. Although, it is part of the dilemma.
Moral compass is eroding at a steady pace. No, the Bible cannot stop it as majority of the ones administering the “Word” are devoid of moral compass themselves. The Christian God is not one who would ever condone murder, tools of destruction, or anything Christianity currently stands for in the American sense.
Am I “anti-gun”?
No. I am against owning an arsenal, and really any weapon designed to eliminate mass amounts of people. There is absolutely no reason to own such, and all the reasons gun advocates throw up, make utterly no sense. Throwing up the argument that an AR-15 is a hunting rifle, again, is laughable. It was specifically designed to be a tool for military use for death.
“When the s*** hits the fan, I want to be prepared and protect my family.” This seems to be the big one stated. Thing is, if this happens, it is because you helped it get there. The fear that dictates your life instead of enjoying loved ones and our short time on this planet. At this point, if “tyranny” happens as well, rest assure that your rifles will be ineffective to the methods of destruction that a government has at their disposal.
The problem lies within a mindset. The fear that invokes feelings of insecurity, doubt, and anger. Seems owning a high-powered weapon cures this ailment. Which the manufacturers and lobbyists will continue feeding you things to keep your fear up, and money rolling in their direction.
“Mental illness is the issue, not the gun. Guns do not just get up and go kill people on their own.” Understood, and yes, mental illness is a huge issue. As mental illness is prevalent in ones who feel they need weapons with high-capacity magazines, an arsenal of weapons, and stockpiles of ammunition. So yes, mental illness is an issue.
“What about the bad guys with guns? Only good guys with guns can counter that!”. That ideology is so flawed, it is not worth expounding on.
Owning a firearm is a responsibility. A responsibility far more important that we currently make it. You are owning an instrument of death. That is what is what created for. Taking away guns is not the answer, and letting the current course continue is not an answer. Finding a “middle ground” is imperative, yet, obtainable.
I am an optimist. I believe in humanity. I question my decision every day to continue the path of believing in the good of people, but I do still see the good in everything. Solutions involve increasing education and critical thinking, regulations, and dialing back our society’s love affair with pumping out misinformation, doom and gloom, and sensationalizing everything.
We are supposed to be an advanced species, yet we continue to destroy ourselves and our planet. If you truly cared about protecting your family, think bigger. Think about generations to come. I will say, change is scary, but necessary. We must evolve from this affair.
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