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An open letter from me to gun freaks



Some of us got into a bit of a kerfluffle at a Facebook page I won’t identify, to protect the owner’s privacy. S/he had written approvingly about the new “smart gun” technology that the New York Times recently editorialized about, urging that they at least be given a chance, if for no other reason than “protecting children with smart-gun barriers.” I, myself, don’t claim that this has been high up on my radar of major issues, but really, you can count me among the 55% of Americans who “want laws covering the sale of firearms to be stricter than they are now,” according to the Gallup Poll, which added that it is “independents and Democrats who are fueling the trend for stricter gun control laws.”

Well, on that Facebook page, the pro-gun fanatics came out, with one in particular taking an extremist and offensive stance. This person let his rage dictate his punctuation, using CAPS as if he were shouting, and resorting to insulting ad hominem attacks on people (“your twisted, alternative reality liberal world”) who disagreed with him. But his most illogical tendency was to use his personal experiences (growing up in “a very bad neighborhood,” “strolling in a dangerous hood like Newark at 2AM”) from which he generalized about gun policy.

Well, I’d like to address this pro-gun person, and all people like him. Look: I have no problem with the Second Amendment. Nobody I know does. Democrats don’t. Hillary Clinton doesn’t. You have your right to own a gun, provided that you do so according to the law, and nobody is proposing to take that right away from you, despite the lies told by the National Rifle Association, which preys upon the fears of credulous individuals.

I also want to say to this person: I know who you are. Oh, I don’t mean you, personally. We’ve never met and probably never will. But I know your kind. You’re the kid who bullied me when I was little and scrawny. You’re the one who teased the queer kids, the nerds, and probably the colored kids as well. You’re the one who shot slingshots at birds and cats, who muscled his way to the front of the line, who stole lunch cookies from those smaller and weaker than you. And you’re also probably the kind that’s screaming bloody murder about Mexican rapists and Syrian terrorists coming in droves into this country illegally. You’re probably in favor of more drilling for oil, and no doubt you don’t believe a word about climate change, including that it is manmade.

You’re probably the kind of person who snickers at Trans people, who thinks that the Dakota Pipeline protesters should be thrown in jail, who gets into arguments in bars when you’re drunk. And you are, by definition, the classic N.R.A. stooge. You don’t want any restrictions at all on weapon ownership. Even this Smart Gun technology—which people would be free to buy or not—offends your Second Amendment sensibilities. I don’t know how far you’re analyzed your position, but if pressed, you’d probably say that people should be allowed to stockpile rocket-propelled grenade launchers. And I have no doubt at all that you voted happily for Donald Trump.

So I just wanted to make myself clear, Mr. Pro-Gun fanatic. And even if you’re not all of the things I listed above, you choose to associate yourself with people who are. I don’t consider you a very good citizen of the U.S.A. I think you’re angry, and mean, and you masquerade your personality defects under the guise of Patriotism. You’re no patriot, sir. If you can’t even support Smart Guns, you don’t give a damn about Americans getting shot to death by gun freaks.

  1. I try not to get involved in discussions on regular media where gun issues are involved. It brings out all the crazies in droves. You can’t even say anything moderate w/o being attacked. I tried to do so in our local paper on the run-up to our state referendum on a gun control restriction (which failed), and I was constantly attacked.

  2. I kind of love you, Steve. Keep fighting the good fight. You’re not alone.

  3. Bob R, if they attack you, defend yourself. Counter-attack. Rehearse your lines: have some good ones ready. Turn their arguments against them. If they call you a delusional liberal or a Second Amendment hater, call them rightwing gun nuts. Remind them of the company they travel with: militia types, racists, xenophobes, white supremacists, creationists, the KKK. They hate to be reminded of these facts and you can throw them off guard. It’s a good fight to have and we will ultimately win.

  4. Thank you Goddess. We are all in this together.

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