I’m over 40 so I still think Facebook is cool. It’s a 24/7 high school reunion. I get Likes from my mom’s cousin twice removed. I can creep on that guy I dated who became surprisingly Christian. The perfect humble bragging time wasting platform. Sure, it’s dismantling democracy, but hey, nothing’s free.
I’m snug in a liberal bubble so it’s not often I get a good debate going on my wall. After El Paso and then Dayton, I shouted my progressive prayers into the void. A former co-worker of mine took the bait and responded to an article I posted.
It was great to hear from him. He’s a heck of a good guy. It had been years and I’d forgotten we were connected. (Thanks Facebook!) We often had light hearted, civil, political banter. Him red and me blue but always ending the chat with a “see, the other side isn’t all that bad” vibe.
I’ll spare you the rehash of the comments. It didn’t get ugly nor was it particularly juicy. No hearts or minds were swayed.
However, when we got to the mandatory portion of the debate: assault rifles, it got interesting.
My old friend, who I assumed had some polished pistol locked up in his man cave, shared an affinity for mass shooters’ weapons of choice. He owned several and invited me to go to the gun range with him. It would be fun!
I considered it. I like this guy and I’d be lying if I said I never wanted to shoot some guns. Here’s my chance to see the big boys up close and personal. It would be fun!
In the spirit of productive discourse, shouldn’t I become more acquainted with the thing I so vehemently oppose? I’ve never touched or seen a real gun. I shot a BB gun once. It was exhilarating. I was Agent Scully and Fox Mulder was on his way for an epic make out session.
What am I talking about?
The truth is out there, and maybe it’s that I like guns.
As an extreme abortion rights supporter, I understand the fear of having personal rights chipped away.
I’m terrified of getting murdered. My anxiety could be cured if I switched from Zoloft to conceal and carry.
What if I’m good at it? This could be my thing and I don’t even know it.
Since I’m a dickhead, I of course thought of the Instagram pics and click bait titles. Here’s my literal shot at becoming a viral sensation.
And if I did like it, would that be so terrible? What a relief to be on the winning team.
I pictured myself hilariously handling that hunk of metal. Is this the trigger? Oops! In Looney Tunes fashion I spray us with a halo of bullets.
So funny. Except we’re dead.
There isn’t anything cute about guns. Nothing funny. Nothing interesting. Nothing sexy. The sole purpose is to inflict harm. To dominate, intimidate, and eradicate entire populations.
Guns shape our inner cities and disproportionately impact the poor, black, and brown.
Guns have changed our children’s level of safety and security. Guns mean walking through metal detectors in elementary school, locked doors, and code red drills. Schools are anxious places. Our children are maturing within incubators of stress and fear.
Guns now mean we look over our shoulders in movie theaters and concerts.
As many people die a year from gun violence as they do car accidents. We are constantly trying to make cars safer, yet we can’t get behind laws that will make running our errands safer?
I shouldn’t be worried about being shot when I go out for a drink with friends. I shouldn’t fear going to church, yoga, or a Garlic Festival.
I’m a teacher. My work place should not be hazardous.
When a classroom of first graders were executed, I thought surely we would wake up.
Kids being gun downed isn’t shocking anymore. Remember much about Santa Fe? Me neither. We are sacrificing our children for the second amendment.
I stopped commenting and let some of my liberal pals keep up the debate. I’d like to think our virtual inneraction was as pleasant as our face to face chats. But maybe it shouldn’t be.
With each tragedy life becomes a little harder and a little worse. It’s also harder to accept those that treat weapons as toys as good guys, cool dudes who just have a different opinion.