“You got guns? Got guns too…” – Raekwon, Incarcerated Scarfaces
What are we going to do about all of the guns in this country? Every time a shooting takes place gun control issues come to the forefront, understandably so. This morning a gunman killed two people and injured a third person who thankfully is now in stable condition. Now before you think this is an anti-gun rant I’ll tell you it is not. I own guns. I like shooting my guns. I even have a concealed carry permit for my guns. But, I don’t carry my guns. I’ll get in to that in a little bit but let’s start with the gun control issue first.
The thing about gun control is that there really is no “right way” to approach it. There are legitimate arguments for and against the prevalence of guns in the United States. Pro-gun folks always discuss their second amendment right to bear arms. That of course was put in the constitution (partly) to enable citizens to defend themselves against a corrupt government. Also, when the constitution was written it was reasonable to keep a musket or two on hand to protect one’s family and property. We can argue the response time of law enforcement all we want but in 1787, 911 wasn’t a joke because it didn’t exist. Bon fires or carrier pigeons are not going to reach the authorities in time to help you run a group of bandits off your land or kill the coyotes that keep stealing your chickens. So yes, a right to bear arms made complete sense over 200 years ago. Fast forward to today and those same problems aren’t as troublesome. Unless coyotes are ransacking the poultry section of your local Piggly Wiggly, you only need to worry about roaches and rodents getting at your food. Get some snap traps, a can of raid, and a sling shot; your guns get no burn in these circumstances. As for the government, whatever gun you can buy is not going to help you against a militarized government such as ours. Our police forces take this call of duty shit a little too far. My Smith & Wesson 9mm is no match for a tactical team outfitted with body vests and armed with M4s and M82s. In that fight, the government will win. Every time. Hands down. On the flip side, chances are when I do need to bear arms, it won’t be against the government, but the random asshole who sees fit to victimize people with the expectation that they’re the only ones in the room who have guns. No, I don’t think we need to return to the wild, wild, west, but I would like those who commit these shootings to at least feel some of the fear they’re creating. I don’t always side with über gun enthusiasts but I do agree with much of what Colion Noir said in his video about mass shootings. The main flaw in gun control advocates’ argument is that controlling law abiding citizens won’t help you against those intent on breaking the law. Background checks, stricter rules, etc. means nothing. When a person wants to commit a crime, even if they’ve obtained their guns legally, they’re going to do so. Your only real defense might be others who are intent on using their firearms responsibly to deter, if not diffuse, a situation before it ever really becomes one.
With all of that said, a reasonable question is, if I think concealed carriers can help quell some of these (mass) shootings and if I have a permit to carry my gun, why don’t I? There are a few reasons why I don’t; first, I want to be more comfortable before carrying. I’ve been shooting since December 2014. My boy Paul turned me on to guns by taking me to the shooting range near his house. I’ve been hooked ever since. I love going to the range. It’s awesome. I like working towards being a better shot. I’ve been asked if going to the range helps me blow off steam to which I respond, definitely not. If shooting a gun helped me to blow off steam, then I shouldn’t be shooting a gun. I truly like trying to improve my accuracy. And guns are dangerous and carrying them is a great responsibility and I don’t want to carry one unless I’m completely comfortable doing so. I don’t want to harm anyone, or myself. Second, my job doesn’t allow guns on campus. I work in higher ed and we all know that guns on campus are typically frowned upon (not that that has ever stopped a shooter). So carrying at work is not an option and interestingly enough, I work in an area where carrying a gun would not be completely off base. We regularly get alerts about armed robberies in the area. It’s real out here, but apparently not real enough as they won’t allow legal carry on campus (some of which I understand). Third, I’m Black. I’m not naïve to think that doesn’t matter. I’m quite sure if someone saw a gun in my waistband, be it from bending over or whatever, they would probably be worried and scared, especially because I’m black. Because of that, I wouldn’t be surprised if they called the police which brings me to my final point. I’m more afraid of police than criminals. Police are out here killing black folks. There’s no sugar coating it. If the only thing an officer needs to aver is fear for their life, being told that the suspect (that would be me) has a firearm is all the ammo they need (pardon the pun) to shoot me dead and paint me as a menacing criminal. I tend to not smile much when I take pictures and they’ll have no problem finding an image of me to convince the masses that I’m a mean mugging, gun toting thug, who deserved to die for legally carrying while black. Because as we all know, going back to when the second amendment was written, I’m fairly certain that the framers did not consider that one day Negroes would be entitled to that right. If they had considered it chances are they would have drafted an exception clause.
Now, back to the original question, what are we going to do about all of the nasty evil guns in our country? Laws matter not to law breakers. Stricter laws, does not equate to better gun control. If anything, it might empower law breakers even more because the scarcity of guns might increase their value on the black market. Like prohibition, illegally selling guns may be more profitable causing an uptick in sales which would put more guns in the wrong hands. I’m sorry to say after writing all this, I don’t have a solution, or even an approach to consider. Most pro-gun people don’t look like me and I don’t share many of their ideologies (they tend to be staunch Obama haters, among other things). I don’t think that high powered automatic weapons should be sold to citizens and I have no problem with background checks because I’ve had them for each of the three guns I own as well as for my carry permit. These additional measures did not deter me or make me feel like I endured some huge inconvenience. I considered it a part of the process and I was fine with it. All I want is to be more comfortable carrying a gun, not be judged or killed because I’m black carrying a gun, hit the range when I feel like getting some target practice in, and have criminal mofos understand that that their glory seeking shootings could potentially become shootouts and to think twice before going on a violent rampage lest ye be met with the same measures you’re toting.