I’m not a political analyst. I don’t know the ins and outs of current gun control legislation across the country and I have no staunch beliefs on whether guns are good or bad. Hell, I’ve only ever fired a weapon on two or three separate occasions for no reason other than having been brought up in a moderately rural setting.
I’m just a skeevy stoner of a factory worker in one of Ohio’s small industrial suburbs. That aside, I have an obsession with reading the news. I love elegantly written blocks of information garnished with beautiful typography. I like to learn stuff. Random stuff. I find great pleasure in reading up on different happenings around the world almost as much as I love getting stoned and playing Pokemon Red until 8am on a god damn work night.
A few weeks back I took it up a notch and decided I might as well do my part in supporting the good ol’ fashioned black and white, printing-press-driven news industry and bought a subscription to the New York Times. Needless to say, the purchase was one of my bigger commitments of 2015 but I digress.
Once I started getting my Morning Digests and Evening Briefings I began to notice a pretty fucked up pattern, and pretty damn quick too.
We’re living in the age of ubiquitous LCD monitors and micro chips — a point in time where once deadly diseases are nearly instantly thwarted by miracles of modern science. We have so many different outlets of entertainment – so many gratifying things to do and experience, and so many opportunities for success and growing as individuals. As a species, we’ve got a lot going for us and yet we haven’t come very far at all in terms of violent, primitive behavior.
The past couple of years have sprung an epidemic of gun violence and generally speaking, all the signs are pointing in one direction: it’s too god damn easy for maniacs to legally obtain a weapon. Hell, you don’t even have to be completely batshit crazy to get shitfaced and kill some dude in a bar fight. Granted, you have to be a pretty fucked up person to even fathom the likes of that kind of thing, but you get the point.
We’re a nation obsessed with guns and they’re too damn easy to get ahold of. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but more times than not, at the end of each day I’ve read headline after headline detailing more and more mass shootings and there’s only one semi-solid solution that comes to mind for me.
Keep guns out of the wrong hands!
At the very least, why can’t we at least agree to enact more extensive background checks and mandatory psychological evaluations?
Sure, a hand full of crazy bastards will inevitably slip through the cracks but the way things are now, I can join a selling wall on Facebook and trade some dude up state a dirtbike for a .357 with virtually no effort. Hypothetically, I could message the gun nut down the road and arrange to pick up an SKS with a 30-round magazine for a couple hundred bucks completely under the radar.
Why the hell is that legal? I get that you could never regulate everything that anyone might want to sell directly to someone else, but it could absolutely be made into more of a process involving a paper trail. You have to sign over the title to the ’86 Mercury you sold to a co-worker — why the hell not the AK-47 you sold to the old man down the road?
My only point – and bear in mind that I’m no more than a layman; I’m only pitching a common sense plot here – is that something clearly needs to be done in lieu of all the gun violence bullshit that’s plaguing modern life. I’d just like to (at the very least) see more rigorous background checks and mandatory psychological screenings. Is that really too much to ask? Is that unconstitutional? I think not, and what’s more — for what purpose does one need to be able to acquire a firearm on demand? I don’t believe that there’s any reason as to why anyone would suddenly need a handgun right this minute. In other words, yes; background checks and psyche screenings are more time consuming bullshit to deal with but come on now. It’s better than outright banning guns and its at the very least a step forward in taking action against unnecessary deaths nationwide.
What’s your stance? I’m down for a healthy heated debate because this is definitely a huge issue.