Wanted: Responsible Gun Owners to Save the Day

Responsible gun owners: we need you! Here is your chance to put all of that gun expertise to good use.

Before I dive in: don’t worry. You’re not going to hear the typical gun control arguments here. This is an attempt to bypass all that Second Amendment debate and just cut straight to keeping the guns away from bad guys. That’s what we all want, right?

We need you. You are the one who knows that magazines aren’t just something you ignore on the coffee table of a dentist’s office. You know how to hold a gun without shooting yourself in the face.

You’re also the one who is afraid of having your Second Amendment Rights trampled on. I get it.

So we need you to team up with psychologists, military leaders and other gun experts to draft up some legislation that will keep guns out of the hands of not only bad guys, but suicidal people. Children. You might store your gun safely, but you need to help us come up with further steps to ensure that other people are storing their guns safely. You might never lose that respect of the killing machine, even as you handle it over and over throughout the decades. But someone else might become lazy, and start playing with their gun while watching TV. We need your help in discouraging this type of behavior.

Why is it your responsibility, you ask? If I’m pondering these things, and I don’t even care about guns or want to own one at all, then it’s not too much to ask you to think about these things, since you are the one who wants to own a gun.

If you’re afraid of your rights being trampled, then get ahead of the conversation and create the laws that you would feel comfortable with. Maybe there are some restrictions that could deter criminals, suicidal folks and terrorists that wouldn’t impact you at all.

Let’s not just stop at “mental health.” The problem is more nebulous than that. Someone who suffers from depression might be more trustworthy with a gun than someone who has no mental illness, but is still about to shoot up a music festival. The larger issue – and I do feel qualified to speak on this, as someone with outsider perspective who studies gun statistics – is that even responsible gun owners can make mistakes. Guns can land in the wrong hands. It’s only human. I have butt-dialed people on my phone more times than I’m willing to admit publicly. What if I had a gun?

Maybe you can help us to identify how we can lower the incidence of those mistakes. Maybe you can launch social campaigns to educate other gun owners. Yes, these campaigns are patronizing to everyone. I remember when I was a smoker and the Truth campaigns were smeared across every television and billboard. It was annoying for me to hear, but deep down I knew there was some truth to it: I have the freedom of choice, but I didn’t like the feeling that my choice was responsible for killing others. I begrudgingly went outside of the bar to smoke, and today, I don’t smoke at all. I don’t miss it. So while they were kind of annoying for everyone to experience, they still worked.

My issue has never been mistrust of responsible gun owners. When I read articles like these from The Organic Prepper, I don’t question the good intentions behind them.

The fundamental disagreement I have comes from my vision of how the Universe works.

I believe that despite our best intentions, life doesn’t turn out how we think it will. I believe that while we are preparing for an earthquake, a tornado will hit us.

I still believe that we need to prepare ourselves as best we can. I respect your desire to defend yourself.

But I also know that with guns, it only takes one unexpected turn of events to result in death.

And it’s just a proven fact that if you take a killing machine, the increased probability of death follows that killing machine like an aura, everywhere it goes. If the gun is in your house, the probability of death in your house is higher. If the gun is in Wal-Mart, the probability of death there is higher. There are protections that you, as a responsible gun owner, put into place to lower this probability. Now it’s time to take that knowledge of yours and create societal infrastructure, social campaigns, and yes, laws that would protect the country on a mass level.

While you’re drafting the new laws, can I have some input?

Someone who wants the great responsibility of being able to kill instantly should accept the responsibility with great honor and seriousness, hearkening back to martial arts, where the primary goal is to not use violence. I know, I know, I’m sure you take this seriously already…but…does everyone with a gun take this seriously? Can you help us figure out who gets lazy about putting the safety on or storing properly after a few months of ownership, or who wants to use their gun for evil – maybe someone buying bump stocks? – and put controls on that?

I’d also like to make a request: at the top of your list should be how to keep mass shooters out of schools, movie theaters and music festivals. I think we can all agree that we are tired of sending our children to school in fear. The statistical probability of being in a mass shooting is low. But the greater toll on our society is the terrorism and fear that mass shootings breed. We need to be able to go out and enjoy movies again. And don’t tell me the answer is more guns. That’s non negotiable for me and most gun safety activists. Let’s look deeper into the minds of mass shooters or at least work on better protections for the public.

Maybe you don’t want your name to be in the system. Maybe you don’t trust the government. Then why don’t you create the infrastructure yourself? Create your own bad-ass militia where everyone is identified as a number, knows how to kill mass shooters with their bare hands and wears Rambo-style bandannas. You can tell my expertise here is that I’m a creative novelist but come on! You’re creative, too. Let’s make this cool.

Why don’t you meet with lawmakers and create a system on your own? Or, is there another system that would hold gun owners accountable without government involvement, like private liability insurance? Could there be an encoded system where each weapon is registered, and the owner must attend regular refreshers on empathy, mindfulness and nonviolence, but the person’s name is double encoded?

I’m just spit balling here. I don’t know what I’m talking about. You guys are the experts.

Maybe you are afraid gun control will only be enforced on the good people – or targeting minorities, women and the poor. So, can’t you come up with a separate committee that would check the power of gun control, making sure it’s enforced ethically and equally?

We know that criminals don’t obey laws. But that doesn’t mean we can’t increase sentencing for gun use and try to go after unregistered guns. And again, we’re only asking for a system of gun ownership so you can keep your gun and defend yourself. We’re not trying to take away your guns – yet.

But if you can’t come forward with meaningful steps towards protecting the public from suicide and random shootings that is strictly due to guns, then your opposition is only going to continue to grow larger and more radical – because people keep killing themselves and getting shot. Behind each gun shot victim is a slew of friends and families who now desperately wish that ill-fated weapon had been melted in a puddle. Your opposition will only keep growing, so it’s better to address this now in a way where you are in control.

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