I am finally going to weigh in on gun control. Generally speaking, I try to stay away from a topic until I have a solid opinion. When I think about the polarized options, each are absurd. Hippy wonderland can’t exist because one power hungry dude with a chain gun will end the hippy love fest.
Hippy: Guns are illegal! Time to celebrate with cheesecake!
Hippy is about to eat some cheesecake.
Dude with Chain Gun: Die hippy scum!
Hippy: But that’s illegal. You can’t do that!
Dude with Chain Gun: I make the rules now! I have the only gun. And my first rule is that I get the first bite of all dessert!
Hippy: Nooo! Why did I ban the guns!
But on the flip-side, guns really do not make the world a safer place:
Shopper is in a check out line at a grocery store.
Shopper: I have a coupon for the Cheez Whiz.
BLAM! An old lady behind him in line is shot.
Shopper: Sorry. My gun must of misfired. But it’s completely legal.
Old Lady: It’s ok dear.
BLAM! Shopper’s foot is shot off.
Shopper: Owww! Hey.
Old Lady: Sorry! Landed on my gun.
BLAM! The clerk shoots the Shopper in the stomach.
Clerk: Sorry, itchy trigger finger. Thought I was being robbed again.
Shopper: It’s your right as an American.
BLAM! Shopper is shot in the shoulder by a kid. A mother swipes the gun.
Mother: I told you not to go through daddy’s things! Sorry about that.
Shopper: It’s fine! I’ve been through worse.
BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! A shooter kills everyone.
Shooter: A room full of guns and no one shoots me!
BLAM! The shooter dies.
Shopper: That’s why you should always carry a gun at all times, kids!
A audience full of kids cheers and shoots each other.
If we can’t go to either extreme, than why not have a third option? Get rid of all lethal weapons. Before I cause a card carrying NRA member’s head to explode, hear me out. Why don’t we invest a metric shit ton (it’s European shit, American shit would be acts of congress) in development of non-lethal weaponry and eventually disarm the entire planet? We can make a missile that can fly through a building and kill one person in a cubical. But we can’t make the missile stun the same human being? We could make non-lethal weaponry with the same range and accuracy as anything we have today. Science is pretty awesome that way.
If we have a non-lethal weapon equivalent of everything on the market, then why not start using them over deadly ones? I’m not just isolating citizens, I am saying police, military, governments, and any other person who uses a weapon. There will still be people with the lethal variety out there but non-lethal will incapacitate a person just the same. I think the way to shape society is choosing the better path. We will probably never settle human conflict but what if people had to really deal with each other because killing each other wasn’t an option? What if war planes could drop bombs with a non-lethal pulse that could render an entire city unconscious instead of nuking it? Or a sniper could knock out a person 500 yards away? Or a solider could use the equivalent of a non-lethal machine gun?
Gunfire and sounds of war. A bloody and battered solider approaches his lieutenant.
Solider: There are insurgents on all sides! They are closing in!
Lieutenant: It’s cool bro.
Solider: Sir, with all due respect. Half the platoon is dead and you say, “It’s cool bro!”
Lieutenant: Yeah man. We got the a non-lethal weapon that’s the shit.
Lieutenant pulls out a giant joint the size of a Volkswagen.
Lieutenant: This is some grade A shit man…
Later… All the soldiers and insurgents are stoned.
Insurgent: Why were we fighting again?
Solider: I don’t know man… Anyone got some chips?
Imagine if lethal weapons weren’t so easy to access. The random people shooter couldn’t really go out in the “blaze of glory” if he was being shot with non-lethal rounds. A hunter could still peg a deer across the valley but they will have to slit the animal’s throat in it’s sleep after it’s hit with the non-lethal projectile (Manly men will use their teeth over a knife). And for anyone who believes we need lethal weapons to protect themselves from the government, we are pretty much screwed whether or not private citizens have guns. The government has planes, missiles, nukes, drones, and all sorts of advanced weaponry. A militia in the Texas hills really can’t compete. If the government really did want to target private citizens who possess ideological differences, then stockpiling guns won’t do anything against a drone, a smart missile, and solider sitting in his underwear thousands of miles from the strike zone. Private citizen militias are like ants stockpiling weapons to protect themselves from construction equipment. Now keep in mind, I’m not really advocating the removal of weapons because it’s impossible to get by with out them. I’m just simply expressing the need to improve the humanity in our weapons.
I’m assuming emotions like revenge are one reason we don’t switch to non-lethal weapons. But if not killing a person-no matter how much they deserve it-means even one more person who didn’t deserve to die is alive, I think it’s worth not having revenge. I understand revenge but it’s like any other emotion. People can learn to control their emotions. People can learn to deny instincts and emotion because life will be better for themselves or others. Alcoholics and Addicts train themselves to control their addiction. They will deny the emotional and instinctual state that put them there. So denying revenge by non-lethal weapons maybe counterintuitive for those that want it but we all don’t get want we want.
13-Year-Old Girl: But daddy! I want him dead now!
Father: I know he killed One Direction but a person still deserves due process of law.
13-Year-Old Girl: But daddy! That’s not fair!
Father: If it were up to me, I’d give him a medal of honor. At least now, I won’t have to hear you play that album over and over again.
13-Year-Old Girl: Daddy! You are so stupid and mean!
Father: I’m just kidding. Come on honey!
I’m assuming the other reason why we don’t switch is money. Companies make a lot of money selling guns. It’s pretty big business when we think about the shear amount of them on the planet. So in order to really give the manufacturers incentive, the government would have to step in with subsidies and so forth to make non-lethal very profitable until the industry takes hold. We don’t even have to take away lethal weapons in the beginning. Our military and police could lead by example. Our citizens could be given tax breaks and discounts to switch.
I think the big problem with society is that we almost never see the third option and we fear trying things another way. A mass shooting happens and gun control gets very polarized. Why not try it a different way? It’s of my personal belief that if you could arm everyone with non-lethal weapons every bit as effective as the lethal counter parts, the world will be a better place. So why not take steps to make it happen? If we really want to change, I think we need more third options.