Gun Control, Public Responsibility and How Lax Laws Affect Women

Wake up people! We have gun control laws. Having reasonable laws restricting some types of weapons and some people from purchasing firearms has been around a very long time and the government’s right to do this has been repeatedly upheld by the Supreme Court. Only FOOLS deal in absolutes as if they are a reality. We create laws to resolves problems which arise and become enough of a problem that it demands the attention of public servants. That is Public Responsibility. Aside from the extremely few complete anti-gun activists, the vast majority of people just want better laws, better enforcement of the laws we have, a closure of loopholes and reasonable restrictions on what can be purchased. People who either do not understand the conversation at hand, or who are the militia wanna-be crowd, keep distracting the issue. This discussion is not about taking all guns away. It is not about the abolition of the Second Amendment. It is not about denying good, law abiding citizens the right to own a gun, or ten guns. No one is coming for all your guns and leaving the citizens completely defenseless. So please, STOP arguing that the left is trying to ban all guns. Banning all guns was not a part of any of the Legislation introduced and discussed these last couple of weeks. That topic is not reality, so come back to this world because there needs to be a real discussion.
So what are we discussing? I believe we can make it easier by not mislabeling or fragmenting the issue. I think we should just take the whole word “assault” out of the equation and talk about semi-automatic weapons and maybe clips that carry 20 or 30 rounds (or more) or can be modified easily to do so. The discussion is about THESE guns, not ALL guns. If you want to be relevant, if you want your voice heard, then you might try sticking to the actual topic of conversation.
I keep asking and asking: Why do we need these guns? What purpose do they serve that cannot be served with a non semi-automatic firearm? Why do you need to be able to shoot over 100 times in the span of minutes?
And no one gives me a viable answer to this. Saying it is your right is not an answer, no more than owning a machine gun is your right. Tell me the purpose it specifically serves that overrides its proven danger. Don’t tell me that someone saved someone’s life with an AR-15 unless that life could NOT have been saved with a non semi-automatic weapon. This is not a conversation about banning all guns, it is a conversation about how we can have reasonable restrictions regarding a certain class of firearm which is proving to be a threat to public safety, and if the value of this weapon outweighs its proven, significant threat for misuse. I am a rational person. Give me a rational answer to consider besides, “It’s my right!.” or “I want one.”
The Supreme Court has validated the rulings of the lower courts that these guns can be banned from sale, and they are in several states. So, the Supreme Court says you don’t have a constitutional right to this gun, that argument is debunked right now. You got anything better than you just wanting to feel awesome and powerful because you can shoot a lot of rounds really fast at a firing range????
Now, I am all about women’s rights and equal rights for all human beings. I’ve said before that we can’t have feminine equality when we do not have racial equality, LGBT equality, religious equality, in short, human equality. Because if anyone is unequal, lesser or greater, then no one is equal. With the outrageous display of radical racism, radical misogyny, radical religious groups (both Christian and Muslim), radical anti-choice demonstrators, radical anti-immigration… (well, you get the idea, there is a serious amount of radicalism going on in the United States at the moment, spurned on with a political movement on the right which says we don’t need to be “politically correct” or even polite) we are seeing a just public concern for any random person full of hate to own guns with the power for a solo-mission-mass-shooting.
But why all the semi-automatic weapons in the first place? Why are men prancing around Jack in the Box with them? Why is it okay for them to have big demonstrations, armed to the teeth, of their ability, if they so choose, to do you harm? These extremist gun groups, such as Open Carry Texas, have made sinister turns into acting out against women who they feel oppose them in any way. And, by the way, they consider such things as selling guns with added safety features an opposition. Their tactics are to bully people around them. They incite conflict, invading peaceful gatherings of others who do not support their cause. They use the guns strapped across their backs to specifically target women. While on the one side they try to show themselves as reasonable and responsible gun owners, they then publish their, “mad minutes.” This 2014 propaganda entailed approximately forty men armed with assault rifles at a gun range blasting at a target they had set up. The target? A female mannequin, top half naked. After a minute of shooting, they proudly pull its pants down to its ankles and took pictures with the mangled mess. They justify this action because they have declared Moms Demand Action as their mortal enemy, and this idea seems to extend to pretty much any woman they want to intimidate. That would include a poor woman who saw a large group of them walking around with assault styled weapons and called the police to report the activity. They published her name, phone number and home address to their members and social media following. She was inundated with threats, hate mail, harassing phone calls and more, simply because they looked frightening and she was a concerned citizen wanting to ensure no one got hurt. Two men also called the police,  but they were not targeted.
These incidents are not new. Bullying behavior with guns by men against women has a long history. I have personally been subjected to it. Later, my niece was murdered by her husband with a shotgun to the head in the presence of their two small children. Neither were assault style weapons. My point being, guns, any guns, are dangerous and too frequently misused for violent acts. So, why do we need to just throw weapons with the power to kill 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 people in a matter of minutes out to the public, to walk around with almost anywhere they want? They have a right to a gun, maybe, but allowing them to carry that kind of firepower thrown over their shoulder infringes on my right to feel reasonably safe.
In short.  You trust you, but I don’t. How do I know if you are the good guy or the bad guy? Are you the one who is planning on killing a bunch of people in a supermarket because you think they shortchanged you or sold you bad cheese? Or are you the guy who plans on saving my child and I by shooting off 30 rounds of bullets into a crowded area and hope you hit the right target? Or are you just the guy who likes the imposing power of having it strapped to you, knowing you look scary and it intimidates others? Those are the only three scenarios I see.
I grew up in Texas; Lived there for almost forty-three years and I certainly know better than to assume that because someone has gun, it means know how to shoot it. Or even carry it safely. Gun accidents are caused by carelessness and stupidity, and I’d really prefer to limit that carelessness(and stupidity) to something that can’t shoot off thirty times. Also, a responsible gun owner who can actually aim and shoot doesn’t need a semi-automatic weapon to get the job done. They have no reason to expend 20-30 rounds to bring a threat down. Honestly, if they are shooting more than twice at the same target, they shouldn’t be shooting at all, because every bullet that misses endangers an innocent life. But it is okay if you kill or injure some innocent people so long as you get the bad guy, too, right?
So, what is the civilian purpose here? To play militia, as if you will need to defend your home against the government? To take a chance of killing a lot of innocent people in your bid to protect yourself with a gun you may, or may not, know how to properly use? To intimidate people?
And while we are at it, why don’t we just go there… what about racism? How many black people have been killed, some completely innocent of any crime at all, because the policeman said they thought the person had a gun? So what if an innocent black man did have a gun? Isn’t he entitled to it, too? Or is this a white’s only gun movement? Are you perfectly okay  with a group of young black men with sagging pants walking down your street exercising their second amendment right to slap an assault style weapon across their back and walk down a public sidewalk? Are you going to call the police? Or are you going to head out there and give them a high five? How about a group of Hispanics? Do they get your thumbs up? Or are you rushing your kids in the house because those people are a threat? Do you assume they are dangerous thugs, gangs or drug dealers? Or are they upstanding citizens like yourself? What about a group of Muslims? Can they have assault style weapons and walk down your street or in your grocery store and you feel perfectly fine and safe? Or are they instantly terrorists? Let’s talk reality.
When you tote that type of weapon around, you scare people. The second amendment does not give you that right. When you are walking around like a bad-ass, intimidating people, you are the terrorist, because you are demanding respect you have not earned by the implied threat of violence. The threat is real because no one else knows if you are sane, rational or responsible. No one knows if something might set you off and you go on a shooting spree. No one knows if you are the would-be hero or the threat. And because of that, it instills fear and discomfort. And where one man is above others, where he instills fear in others, there is no equality. Women aren’t equal, no one is equal if they are forced to be afraid.
We are One Woman, One World.

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Ann Lavendar is an author of Children's books, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction. She lives in Southern California with her family and fur babies and enjoys the mountain views from her writing habitat. She is a Texas Tech Alumni. Guns up! Ann has worked in the industry more than two decades with publications in magazines, newspapers, and textbooks world wide and multiple books available in print and eBook formats. She organized youth writing programs and conferences in West Texas and was the third director of the Write Right Critique Group, located in Lubbock, Texas, an organization recognized by and featured in Writers' Digest. She has also worked as an editor, including presently with LeeLoo Publishing. She has been the Literacy Day featured author for Sam's Club and Walmart and has been an invited speaker and taught workshops at multiple writers' conventions. Ann taught creative writing for adults as part of the community outreach program. Check out her work day blog Daily Write! right here on goodreads! Ann Lavendar also is an avid supporter of equal and civil rights, pushing awareness, calls to action, and encouraging legislative development in the United States and abroad. Her blog, Lavendar Thoughts, tackles issues which have direct impact on the progress of civil and human rights. She believes every person has the right to grow to their full and best potential.

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