Writing About Gun Control is Annoying (Please Forgive My Small Rant)
Language is One Barrier
I’ve been writing a series on guns and gun control. The last part seems to be vexing me to no end. This article is inspired by the agitation involved in trying to succinctly define a complex idea amid the insanity of life.
I apologize for such a convoluted sentence.
It’s still on it’s way, just slower than intended.
The problem with writing anything is that words mean what we think they mean, and they don’t mean what we think they mean.
“Oh, dear. This article will be quite convoluted, won’t it?” A man says as he pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
I guess so, Glasses. What is a rant without a little subjective irritation?
“Boring statements, I suppose.”
I suppose so.
In any communication there’s a degree of miscommunication that’s inevitable. While our language has specific definitions, all definitions are subjective (meaning each person understands them differently). Furthermore, if we never study definitions, we only understand words from the context we hear and use them in. This is why “literally” is so often used to mean “figuratively,” despite their meanings being opposites.
I’m getting off topic. If you want to read that language rant, my article here, goes into more detail.
The way language is problematic in this case is because it’s harder to be clear when the topic is emotionally charged and divisive. Clearly, this subject is both.
What’s Making it So Hard to Finish?
Why is it so hard for me to finish the last installment of this series?
Mostly, the more research I do, the harder it is to keep the frame of mind that gun control is good in any way.
“I’m not talking about a confiscation. What I’m saying is we should invest in a buyback,” “…and criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it by keeping their weapons.” — Eric Swalwell
So, arrest anyone who doesn’t willingly turn over their guns. Not to put to fine a point on it — THAT IS CONFISCATION!
The extreme push to vilify anyone who doesn’t agree, is off-putting. This attitude coming from those who are supposed to be “progressive, diversity loving, and tolerant” people is disturbing. This is the mindset of a religious zealot. The kind who suicide bombs others to get a point across. (Though in this particular case, it’s about using “nukes” on those who don’t agree. See below.)
What’s most disturbing about it to me is that those calling for seizure of guns seem to have no problem with killing those who own guns. Which is the very reason we have the second amendment.
This narrative is literally pushing for a civil war. No, I’m not being over dramatic. “Give them what they want. Pry guns from their cold dead fingers.” Is a call to action. That action being to take guns by force, killing if necessary.
How can we not see that as a call to war?
It feels shallow to offer any middle ground, when it seems the end game of gun control is to push until our rights are taken away completely. I’m feeling more and more that what I thought was an extreme view may be the only safe one. No military weaponry should be barred from public ownership.
So how do I propose a middle ground?
Swalwell is Calling for Confiscation Pretending it's Not Confiscation
"Swalwell Going Nuclear”
To Swalwell’s original op-ed, someone responded that it would lead to war. Swalwell went on to say, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes.”
The exchange is getting a lot of flak. I do think the point isn’t that the government will nuke the citizens. I think he meant the superior firepower of our military outclasses guns in the hands of citizens. An idea I still disagree with, but it’s not as blatantly stupid as the idea of using nukes. I’ll have to make an article on that idea eventually.
Is there a point to all this?
I know. Rants. I don’t often enjoy rants. The negativity spewed forth from a rant isn’t often constructive. At least, not beyond the expression of it. Expression is healthy, but dwelling on it is not. So the point I hope to bring across is this:
We are social creatures.
Having a community to connect with is important. Having others we relate to is critical to our sanity. It’s critical to our happiness. It’s critical to our identity.
Your enemy, your opponent, the ignorant monster who doesn’t care about you, is trying to survive in their tribe the way you are in yours. Their community may make them blind, just as your community may make you blind.
That gun owner is trying to keep their loved ones safe. That gun control proponent is trying to keep their loved ones safe. Don’t let the fact that your opinions differ get in the way of that critical similarity.
Please, please remember to empathize.
Don’t let the tribe you’re part of, separate you from the tribes you’re not part of.
I’ll leave you with an absolutely beautiful TED talk by a guy who lived in hate. He shares how easy it is to forget to be open minded when we find a community to embrace us.
“Find somebody that you think is undeserving of your compassion and give it to them; because I guarantee you they’re the ones who need it the most.” — Christian Picciolini
“Find somebody that you think is undeserving of your compassion and give it to them; because I guarantee you they’re the ones who need it the most.” — Christian
© 2018 kwade tweeling