Dear Responsible Gun Owner
Trill or Not Trill?
The shooting at Umpqua Community College was heartbreaking, as were the 133 other mass shootings between they years 2000-2014. I’m not placing direct blame on anyone in particular but my friends, colleagues guns supporters have been getting the most flack and have also been the loudest to respond. I’ve written a few letters to some of the responsible gun owners out there.
Dear Responsible Gun Owner who Doesn’t Want Their Fun Regulated,
Sometimes you have to just take an L (loss) for the team. At a point you have to sacrifice your fun for the sake of potential lives being lost. After those babies were killed in Sandy Hook, how long did it take for you to say, gee I can’t wait to go shoot at the range. To put on my student affairs hat for a second, I remember a colleague worked at a school who opened its parties to anyone and it was those anyone’s who kept causing trouble. They’d be fighting and harassing students at the highest rates. What followed, was a ban of all outside guests to parties. Of course this didn’t end all the nonsense but there was certainly a drop in trouble. Were there some respectfully, well behaved outsiders? Absolutely, but you know what, they had to take the L for the sake of the bigger cause. The message to their students was, learn to have fun without those outside folks. Students who desperately wanted to party with guests were taught to find an alternative. That school cared more about its students than the outsiders. I know this isn’t the message you’re trying to convey but these sentiments of yours, responsible gun owner who doesn’t want their fun regulated, feels as if you care more about the guns than the human lives lost. I also know your saddened by these tragedies every time like I am but, hey could you learn to have some fun without guns.
Dear Responsible Gun Owner Who Thinks Mental Health is the Issue,
You’re right mental illness is an important issue and it’s something we as a nation must pay more attention to. It might be in fact the bigger concern but also know that according to a report, less than 5 percent of the 120,000 gun related killings in the US were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental disorders (American Journal of Public Health, February 2015). This says two things to me. Mental disorders might be less of a problem or they are not being detected effectively. I’ll tell you what we can detect; how easy it is for people to obtain semiautomatic and automatic assault rifles. If it’s about home protection, there are simply other ways. My friend Ben hit me with this analogy. “People don’t need a tank to get to work, like they don’t need an assault rifle to protect their homes. It’s much easier to limit gun use than mental illness, end of story.” I couldn’t agree more. According to another report a large majority of people with mental disorders are nonviolent (Annals of Epidemiology, May 2015). Which again leads me to believe that we need to look deeper into this issue. So my dear Responsible Gun Owner Who thinks Mental Health is the Issue, don’t bring up mental health after a shooting if you’re not going to bring up the rest of the year.
Dear Responsible Gun Owner Who’s Afraid of Losing their Rights,
I know it’s you’re right. It’s your God given right. Moving forward though, let’s do a quick history check on when those rights were written.The Bill of Rights was created on September 25, 1789. In addition, that year black people were slaves and women had little to no rights. Also, mass murderers or anyone for that matter really only had three weapons of choice. If you wanted to inflict pain you could go with the single barrel loaded musket. That would get you about 1 person per 1 minute. To inflict some real pain, you could go with swords or sword-like devices and get to slicing. Lastly, you could use sticks and stones because of course, words will never hurt you. So when the 2nd amendment talks about militias assembling and bearing arms, times were a bit different.
Also as a sidenote, I’m convinced the 2nd amendment was written so that the rich white men in the room could protect themselves from a British retaliation and rebellious slaves.
Dear Responsible Gun Owner who Defends Gun Free Zones,
Just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you are trained or have the gumption to shoot and kill. It’s not as if we’re all James Macavoy out here curving bullets. This idea that having less gun free zones would create less mass killings is confusing to me. I hear the argument often, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” To believe that a responsible gun owner as yourself who uses your weapon for recreational sports or to protect your home, could or would kill a person yielding a semiauto seems far fetched no? Could you imagine a teacher yielding a rifle while teaching the common core? Maybe they’re the answer.
I don’t have all the answers but we have to do something. These shooting have to stop.
Stay trill, folks.
MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 4 books of poetry, including his latest, Deconstructing Ratchet. With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. For booking information, contact MrJeffDess at firstname.lastname@example.org