so after the tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard, we once again have the president on the news lecturing us about how “we’re going to have to change.” to be honest, aside from some events that have been bright spots here and there, 2013 has been a pretty disheartening year for myself, what with gun rights being SO near and dear to me, simply because it’s been nothing but an exhausting series of lectures about what an awful person i am. i don’t care how confident you are in your self-image, that’s just exhausting.
fuck you, Alexis, fuck you. now i have to get lectured AGAIN because i own a couple of guns
now, i remember back in 2008 when Obama was running for office: many pro-gun people i know were going to vote for him because they didn’t like McCain, they REALLY didn’t like Palin (i’m with them on that one) and frankly, they thought that Obama was going to be so centrist and pragmatic that he wouldn’t act on guns. you could certainly make that case after his first term, when he really didn’t say ANYTHING on the matter, even thought that term included the shooting at Aurora. i have never trusted the guy on the topic since he always had an anti-gun pedigree and frankly, as long as the Democrats keep the call for an assault weapon ban (and more) in their national platform, i will never trust ANYONE they run on this issue. but i saw the case.
…until Newtown and this term, when you could argue he’s feeling safe in his second term and ready to act on guns. this failed (unless you count it buoying movements in states like mine that managed to fuck over gun owners on a state level when they couldn’t do it on a federal one), but it still resulted in a combination of lectures and tantrums, the latter coming most spectacularly when the Senate rejected Obama’s gun control desires. i still maintain there’s something funny about a president who says that a poll claiming 90% support for universal background checks (a conveniently vague phrasing) means senators should vote for whatever Obama wants, while a poll claiming 90% did not approve of his Syria schemes means senators should ignore the poll and vote for whatever Obama wants, but it’s also “funny” in a way where it doesn’t make me laugh.
anyway, the lectures boil down to the same basic concept: if you don’t support whatever Obama wants on gun control –however vague or ineffective that might be– you’re a bad person. i’m not actually sure if he’s more trying to browbeat moderates who didn’t bend his way earlier into FINALLY doing so or trying to shame people who flat-out disagree with him on this issue into feeling bad, and maybe it’s even a little of both. but what i DO know is that he wants to make the point that if you if don’t agree with him on gun control, that:
#01. you’re the problem;
#02. you don’t have compassion for victims, consideration for society, etc;
#03. you should feel bad.
because really, when the shooting at Newtown happened, we talked about mental health… but we’ve really said nothing more about that, although we DID get lectures about how awful gun owners are. or when we see a big shooting in Chicago, we don’t talk about poverty or the drug war… but we DO get lectures about how awful gun owners are. sure, there’s some lip service about “a common-sense way to preserve our traditions including our basic Second Amendment freedoms and the rights of law-abiding gun owners” mashed into every lecture, but i always ask myself the same question: what do these guns actually DO that promotes preserving those freedoms and rights? because all i hear is stuff about banning guns, confiscating guns (if we could, anyway), and so on.
perhaps what it boils down to is this: i’ve owned guns for many years and never used them to commit a crime. but i DO get a lecture every time someone else does something awful with a gun, no matter what gun it is, no matter why they did it, no matter what other factors may have played a role. i get to listen to people who are paid by the Brady Campaign act as simple outspoken victims while anyone remotely affiliated with the pro-gun side is deemed corrupted by the NRA. or listen to NRA money being seen as buying elections, despite the fact that it’s a national organization with millions of donating members, while a billionaire like Bloomberg dropping even MORE money is seen as, well, nothing of consequence.
here’s an example: we always talk about having a “conversation” on these issues. so when Maryland pushed for a huge gun ban, pro-gun guys basically tried to take people who they feared would vote for the ban to firing ranges and explain what various guns really WERE, what the features did, etc, etc. and when this looked like it would result in the bill being watered down –by which i simply mean the ban would have been less severe– our anti-gun governor threw a tantrum and demanded a blanket ban on AR-15s because he wanted it. they’re not used in crime in MD, but he wanted it.
often in the last year or so, i’ll say things like, “one day, i’d like to live in a country where i feel the president gives a shit about me.” i’m NOT claiming that outlook started with Obama’s election, because it didn’t. but he’s definitely proven that’s the way i’ll feel for all eight years of his time in office.
fundamentally i know this is me being salty about being lectured and i understand that other people don’t feel the same. some probably ENJOY getting lectured by the president when he’s unhappy. i just want anti-gun people to remember this when they’re wondering why we’re so unwilling to compromise.
side note: while commenting on the fact that Colin Goddard presents himself as an “outspoken survivor” of the shooting at Virgina Tech when he should REALLY be identified as a paid employee of the Brady Campaign, i learned that remark is apparently over the line for the Washington Post comment section. live and learn, i suppose. but we should be clear that that is, in fact, what he is.