Nothing beautiful can be done with a gun.
I mean that, too, because I’ve been brainstorming what guns do and time and time again I come back to death and injury. The possibilities keep circling around to atrocity. And so I’m left to feel, achingly, that nothing beautiful can be done with a gun.
Should an argument be made that guns save lives- that I can understand. But what situation necessitates a gun to live? Probably a scenario where a gun was introduced, and thus the reactionary gun was drawn. Guns necessitate other guns, because to get the leg up on your enemy, you need to have more power. Guns are power. They are death creators. They tear abysses into the framework of your soul and pulverize communities and intimate, meaningful bonds.
Listen, if you want to get into the debate of the necessity of guns, I’m not interested. Basically, for my personal perspective in this world, I view them as objects of poison that hurt and they are a danger to ideas I believe in, like love, happiness, and peace. I tend to live in my own little world, and so to find out that many other people feel passionately opposite me is somewhat unsettling. I hear the arguments, I read the rationale, but still I feel that essentially, I perceive guns in a totally different way than a lot of people. I know I may be idealistic at times but if I had my way, there would be no guns, no weapons, no means for people to expedite the killing process-especially the killing process of specific groups of people. I know I don’t have my way though.
My way is different. I hope there are many other people who feel my way, but being a person who feels a lot of compassion and global empathy-as well as a strong connectedness to humanity-living in a society so laden with weapons is unnerving. I and my greatest loved ones in this world are vulnerable to anyone-civilian, criminal, or law enforcement officer-who approaches them at random and tries to start making trouble with a gun.
It makes me angry. It makes me spiteful and aggressively protective. How dare someone fight for the rights of an object of power, of someone’s pathetic whim of hateful metal trash that can effortlessly obliterate the purity, the heavenly wholesomeness of hopeful children, eager to grow and to love more. I ended that with a period instead of a question mark because that was a goddamn statement, not a question. How dare.
And yet my answer is not to turn to guns, to saturate the nation with guns. Guns to save us from the guns. What a complicated, ugly world we have created.
It changes nothing for me to feel like this.
How I feel about this is a part of who I am. I preach cooperation and compassion, not war. Not guns. My friends, it is 2018. We have VR. We do not need guns; he have video games for delightful activities like target practice.
I’m intentionally not proposing any specific political action because that’s not what I want this post to be about. I want this post to challenge how you perceive guns.
This past weekend I attended the March for our Lives protest in Washington, DC. It was the first protest I’d been to, and it was incredible to be surrounded by the palpable energy of a crowd of fellow humans, not to mention the excitement of being gathered for a united purpose. The message was clearly that if we felt so strongly about this, we must utilize our civic rights as a collective group to affect change. “Vote them out!” chanted, echoing down Pennsylvania Avenue from the ripples in the protestors’ cries.
These ideas I offer to you if you would like to listen to them. They are how I feel about guns. Maybe my ideas make sense to you.
Nothing beautiful can be done with a gun. Excuse my poetic, but a gun cannot brush your hair away from your face while smiling tenderly and holding your hand. A gun cannot sit on the couch opposite you belly-laughing so hard that you must ask between teary-eyed snorts if they’re still able to breathe-and then you laugh some more. A gun cannot call you a jerk while playfully sticking its tongue out at you. A gun eradicates those things.
Photograph taken by Brittany Cole, Washington DC