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Guns for everybody!

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Too bad one of those gay club kids wasn’t carrying an Uzi. Orlando would have been a lot different because the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good gay in tight jeans with a bigger gun, amirite? At least that’s what the NRA would have you believe.

The truth is mass shootings occur because the very people elected to protect us protect the gun lobby instead. SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow recently posted to his Facebook account, “The NRA and the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are no more responsible for gun violence or other terrorist attacks in our country than the ACLU, the press, and the First Amendment are responsible for the Klan, other hate speech, or discrimination in our country! Is the automotive or alcoholic beverage industry responsible for DUI accident deaths? How about the burger and donut industry being responsible for obesity and heart disease? PEOPLE are and must be held responsible for their actions! We must protect every word of our U.S. Constitution, Second Amendment included.”

That’s an awful lot of twisted logic, Danny boy. It’s indicative of the status quo dogma that has a stranglehold on rational solutions. Let’s start with the NRA, which was founded in 1871 to advance marksmanship and gun safety but has devolved into an organization that no longer cares that the majority of its members overwhelmingly support reasonable gun laws; instead, starting in 1977, its sole goal has been to promote and protect the Weapons Manufacturing Industry. Sorry, Dan, but a lobbying group that’s more concerned with protecting AR-15 assault rifle manufacturers than American lives is responsible for creating a culture where guns are king and lives are pawns to sacrifice.

And what about your false analogy between the First and Second Amendments? They’re not created equal, Dan. One is designed to protect people’s speech. You say something I don’t like. I get to respond. No one dies. Now try that with guns. I shoot you. You shoot me. Sorry, but that seems like a stupid “right,” and I don’t think the founders were stupid. They did, however, live in a completely different time with completely different technology. In 1791, a well-trained soldier could fire his musket two or three times in a minute.

Is a well-regulated militia still necessary to the security of a free state even though we have the most powerful military the world has ever known? If your argument is that ordinary citizens need guns to protect themselves against their own government, please explain how I or you or anyone is going to stop SEAL Team 6? Or a drone? Or a tank? Are all weapons protected? Can I have a bazooka? How about a tactical nuke, you know, for home protection? And if you really believe the Second Amendment is sacrosanct, Dan, why not support concealed carry laws? Why not encourage all Americans to arm themselves with a nuke? Yee-haw! It’s the Wild West! Does that A-bomb come in kid sizes?

You also offer a false equivalence between guns and automobiles. Autos are made to transport, not kill people. Sadly, travel is still dangerous, especially in a 1971 Pinto. Assault rifles are made to shoot things. Period. Likewise, burgers, doughnuts, and booze definitely have some negative side effects (not to mention legally required nutrition information), but you get to decide to put them in your body. You don’t get that same choice with bullets. 

One of the wonderful things about our Constitution is it was designed to be amended. Check it out! We already have 27 of them! Maybe it’s time for the 28th, which if I had my way would require a more stringent screening process to obtain a gun, and a training, licensing, and registration program. Hey, did you know we already do that with automobiles? It’s such an obvious solution it’s ridiculous, and yet we’ve allowed the NRA to brainwash us into thinking such an approach is unreasonable. 

You’re right, Dan, “PEOPLE are and must be held responsible for their actions!” You need to be held responsible for being part of the problem, and you’re not alone. You’re just typical.

Let’s talk about intolerance for a second. It’s looking more and more like the Orlando killer may have been a closeted homosexual himself, so full of self-loathing that he lashed out at the one community that would have openly accepted him. Unfortunately, public servants like 35th District Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and too many of his Republican ilk are responsible for the intolerance that encourages hatred of the LGBTQ community.

Achadjian voted against one bill after another designed to protect the same minority group so brutally targeted in Orlando, for instance voting against
AB 887 (Sept. 2, 2011) designed to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression. He’s also been on the wrong side of sensible gun regulation, for example voting against AB 1014 (Aug. 29, 2014) to prevent people with a restraining order against them or people considered a danger to themselves or others from purchasing or retaining a gun. WTF? Why is that not a great idea?

If you think the solution to gun violence is more guns, you must also think the solution to our intolerance is more intolerance. That’s not doughnuts, that’s just plain nuts. 

The Shredder stands with tolerance. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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