Updated: Jan 4
What I’m about to tell you shouldn’t (in a perfect world) trigger any overly emotional responses.
If it does it’s only because the problem that I’m trying to describe is real.
Nevertheless if you are a sensible gun owner, you might find it refreshing if not enjoyable.
Why Are Guns So Important?
As someone who didn’t grow up in the United States I’ve been more than a little bit puzzled by the relationship many of my fellow Americans have with guns. Forgive me but I don’t think that even the most avid gun enthusiasts should expect me to suddenly come around the idea of private gun ownership as one of the defining characteristics of who I am. There is no doubt that the Second Amendment is a valid measure to secure the citizens’ independence but only if it’s 1700’s and the available weaponry doesn’t go beyond a musket or a cannon and the militias really are well organized. Please note: the hypothetical situation for which the Second Amendment was devised never occurred afterwards and very likely never will. Today the best way to secure independence is voting but sadly less and less people exercises this right.
To me exercising the Second Amendment comes across as a ritual to commemorate the dramatic historical events of the past in the same way reenactments do but the relationship people have with guns in America reaches far beyond that solemn observance. It isn’t merely a cosplay. This “reenactment” affects our daily lives in ways we never thought it should.
Good Guys With Guns
It seems that a lot of credit is given to a little device comprising of a metal tube, a handle and a trigger mechanism when it comes to defining the virtues of a nation. It’s almost as if owning an object could make us more complete as citizens and as humans. Could it be because we look at it backwards: from the side of the tool instead of the side of the person who holds it? Would you let a hammer or a screwdriver define you as a person?
It’s not owning a fire arm that should uphold the spirit of rebellion against tyranny and it’s not the Glock that can change even the most cowardly snowflake into a courageous defender of "all that is good". Owning the tool itself doesn’t cut it. Knowing how to use it and when to use it is where we can prove what we are capable of. It’s not the right to own a gun that makes us who we are but the intrinsic content of our character. Many ordinary people from countries other than the US still remember having to pick up the gun and fight their oppressors. But it was when the question of the weapons' legality didn't mean squat. They just got weapons through underground channels and fought.
A right to own guns is not a basic human right but a luxury. If the government indeed became tyrannical, all rights would be suspended and the gun ownership would reveal itself for what it rally is: an expensive cosplay pitted against the full military arsenal.
Only in context of personal defense in persistently threatening situations owning a gun is, in my opinion, plausible. Living in a persistently threatening situation however shouldn't be a default for anyone.
By All Means Be a Rebel
We are who we are regardless of the tools we use. If the circumstances call for owning a gun then, by all means, get one but for crying out loud, don’t make such a big deal about it! Some of us might be tired of gun barrels being waved in our faces at every turn. It's unsolicited and rude! It's creepy!
The Revolutionary War rebels owned their guns in the same way one owns a toothbrush. They certainly didn’t seem to want to bless their weapons in churches or collect more of them than they can ever hold up.
If we think we would feel vulnerable and hopeless without a gun, then it might be time to rethink our approach to life and accept that this might be our mental baseline to start with: being vulnerable and hopeless. From there we would have to start to work towards being the strongest person we can be, towards acquiring the best tools to help that person transpire without becoming DEPENDENT on them.
The rebellious spirit doesn’t begin with the gun. A tool is easy enough to get if needed, as it is often argued in favor of owning guns with no regulations. Strangely it doesn't apply to driving. Since a drunk with no license could drive over pedestrians, why not just make DUI totally legal?
The rebels of the Warsaw Uprising in the 40’s didn’t have guns until they woke their spirit of rebellion and organized themselves to acquire the arsenal to beat the occupying forces with. A little hint: it wasn't just guns. They obviously didn't have a right to own these weapons but that's the very thing: when you are oppressed by a regime, such luxuries are out of the question so you just GET THE DAMN GUN or make a Molotov cocktail.
One More Thing
No one EVER said that the private gun ownership should be banned in the US just as
no one ever called for banning fishing rods, kayaks, tennis balls and toothbrushes.
We just have to work towards sensible solutions to make gun practice enjoyable for gun owners but at the same time we must fix our approach to mental health and create programs that could save lives.