Gun Store//photo courtesy of Flickr

Gun Store//photo courtesy of Flickr

By: George R. Guerra, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Ever since Orlando, I’ve been thinking a lot about shootings and the national consciousness, and it perplexes me as to why gun ownership is still a well-respected American pastime, paired alongside baseball, drinking beer, and institutional racism.

There’s a sort of primal appeal to firearms for a lot of Americans, myself included (much to my chagrin). They’re outstanding equalizers. If I need to fend off an attacker it doesn’t matter if the attacker is 6-foot-10-inch man and 450 pounds, if I pull out a gun he’s got two options; get lost, or get dead, and I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that felt powerful just at the thought of that. The truth of the matter (and whether it’s the fortunate or unfortunate truth is in the eye of the beholder) is that it’s extremely unlikely that I will have to fend off an attacker of that size. There’s no reason for me to have a tool specifically designed to kill people brutally and efficiently if it makes the streets more dangerous, no matter how many hypothetical attackers I think I may have to fend off in the name of “home-defense.” No matter how prepared I want to be for the zombie apocalypse, or how badly I want to go deer hunting with an AK-47, there’s no logical reason for the government to allow me to keep my gun because while crime is at a thirty year low, gun violence is still very real.

So if you want to have your guns, I only ask one thing of you out of respect to the seven children and 83 adults who die every day because of gun violence, and that’s that you admit that the only reason you want it is because it’s a fun toy to have, and it makes you feel powerful. I could respect that level of honesty. Don’t hide behind a gross misinterpretation of the second amendment, and tout your “constitutional liberties,” because this nation wasn’t built on M1911s and M-16s. When the Bill of Rights was written, the best gun available could be reloaded after every shot in as low as 15 seconds by an expert marksmen, and if they were lucky they’d be accurate enough to hit the broadside of a barn at 50 yards. You’re not a well-regulated militia, you’re someone who wants to have fun at a range, and all I ask is that you’re honest about that. As for the argument that civilians need to be armed in the event of a military coup, I ask: do you honestly think you can defeat the U.S. military with an assault rifle? If you do, you’re delusional and you’ll be predator droned into oblivion along with everyone else should that day come.

It’s a free country, but it’s also one that abides by a social contract that we agree to surrender certain liberties for the collective good of the nation. It’s a free country, and its people should be able to enjoy that freedom without the fear of getting shot, and if you think that you should be entitled to have a gun anyway, I’ll only respect you if you admit that it’s just for the shots and giggles.