In the wake of yet another senseless act of mass violence, this time in New Zealand, at two mosques, humanity is put face to face with the startling reality that guns are everywhere, and newer, smarter solutions to reduce gun violence are needed. Interestingly, New Zealand’s prime minister had no problem stating that his country’s gun laws would have to change, including a ban on the sales of semi-automatic rifles. But every time we have a mass shooting event in America, or anywhere else, there are people who insist, breathlessly, that the answer to the problem isn’t finding ways to reduce the number of guns we have out in the wild, but rather to increase them.
Since we have more guns in our country than at any other point in history, and more guns always makes us safer — the NRA says it so it has to be true — then why are there still shootings in America?
In response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the right-wing of American political thought proposed putting more guns in schools, not less. Arm the teachers, arm the principles, arm the lunch ladies. I am sure arm the students is coming next. In their mind, conservatives truly believe that solving gun violence involves also putting more guns into every situation where the existence of guns causes problems. They say that when you do that, it reduces shootings…but we have so many guns in this country it’s impossible to count them, and we know for a fact there are more guns than people here.
For perspective — we currently boast a population of just north of 330 million people. That’s AT LEAST how many guns we have. And yet, shootings haven’t stopped. Why?
I’ve been writing about politics since right around 2011. In that time, there have been a few subjects that seem to be on a merry-go-round of consciousness among the American people. One is healthcare, another is racism, and gun violence fits right into the same list quite easily. Every day people are killed by guns in this country. The day-to-day gun violence is what numbs us all to the idea of someone losing their life at the business end of a firearm, but in what has become a routine dance we do, eventually a shooting happens that rocks us back on our heels for a little while.
Columbine was one such shooting. Sandy Hook somehow managed to outdo Columbine, probably because most of the victims were so very young. But since Sandy Hook over five years ago, there have been more school shootings, and more shootings in general. And I have to ask, again, why that is happening. Guns make everyone safer. We have more guns than ever before, so why are people getting shot still?
I know! It must be that we just haven’t hit that peak gun level yet. We’re approaching, but haven’t quite met the firearm possession horizon where the number of shootings and mass shootings starts plummeting, and it’s still just stubbornly going up. Don’t those mass shootings know that guns don’t kill people, people do? How dare they still happen in a country with so many guns?! It’s just ludicrous, isn’t it, that we have so many, many, many, many guns and yet shootings still happen. It’s so bizarre!
It’s like when you put out a fire with blow torch. It’s like when you quench your thirst with sand! These are things we all get and understand — more guns means we’re safer, and more saturated fat makes you skinnier. Duh-doy, libtards!
Still, though…something just doesn’t quite seem right to me, know what I mean? It’s like, if the NRA, the National RIFLE Association, tells us that guns are going to make environments and situations safer, then they certainly must be telling the truth. It’s not as if they have some kind of motivating factors that would compel them to lie. It’s not like they’re only concerned with gun sales because gun sales means gun manufacturers can give them more money to lobby on their behalf, right? Right.
So, again, if more guns makes everyone safer, why haven’t we seen mass shootings go down instead of up?
Part of me wonders what the point of arming teachers is, if in fact more guns don’t make the problem of gun violence go away. Part of me wants to question the wisdom of putting a gun in a classroom or on a school campus that can be stolen or otherwise compromised. Part of me thinks that making someone who already has one of the most stressful, pressure-packed jobs you can get to play Classroom Rambo is stupid as fuck and on its face a dumb proposition, especially considering that just last week a teacher lost his shit and barricaded himself in a classroom before he fired his gun…but still…the NRA wouldn’t just outright lie to us, would they?
I know! Let’s not take anyone’s word for it, and let’s just do some research! Cold, hard data can win the day, I bet! All we have to do is get Congress to set aside some funds so that the CDC can study gun violence, figure out what its real causes and exacerbating factors are, and then we take real ameliorative steps on the issue of gun violence! Man that was easy…!!!
…Wait. What? The NRA lobbied Congress to make it illegal to study gun violence? We literally can’t study it? It’s actually, honest-to-Jebus illegal for the CDC to just gather data?
Well. Fuck. Okay, back to taking the NRA’s word for it. More guns make every situation safer. Got it.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.