91 gun deaths a day, and twice as many injured. 12,000 gun murders a year in the United States. A gun for every man, woman and child. An additional 21,000 deaths by firearm suicide, and nearly 600 by accidental discharge.
Guns were designed to take lives. They claim more by the day, mostly in the homes of people with guns. And in Orlando, Florida, when a man with a gun perpetrated the worst shooting in US history, 49 people, LGBTQ individuals and their allies, were gone forever.
Gone, because of who they loved.
Gone, because of what you love.
Guns kill children, men and women, by mistake and on purpose, premeditated or in passion. The list goes on and on; nothing and no one is exempt. More guns equal more death and America is a uniquely atrocious in this regard. These are known facts.
We’ve come to expect this in America as if episodically. We grieve on repeat; our condolences are tweeted and texted out, skipping and reverberating like broken records. What’s broken are the families of the dead. What’s broken is gun policy.
The main culprits are always the shooters, it goes without saying. But it’s more complex than that. Simply put, your right to love guns — and to get them quickly and without scrutiny — has cost others their very existence. The reality of this is more than just numbers and names. You can’t see death, smell or feel it unless you’re close to it. You can’t understand the crushing weight of the grief; it’s reduced to pixels before the bodies are cold.
Your loyalty to your guns, if unwavering, belittles your loyalty to society and humanity. Love is love unless it’s love for your gun, in which case the opposite is true. You’ve prioritized metal over life.
I see you go on day by day without care. You take a selfie with your gun, baby and bible; but you and your baby are both less safe for it. You offer prayers to a people massacred, a people you consistently undermine, a people gunned down by a person you say you despise, but would arm anyway.
I see your elected officials take money from the NRA and block all reasonable gun control policies. And you believe that it’s not about the money, but about your freedom. It’s not. It’s about the gun lobby’s bloody bottom line.
I hear you appreciate the congratulations you invented on what you think is right, when what is left is the countless bloodstains of snuffed souls in Orlando, San Bernardino, Sandy Hook. Dozens more dots pepper the US map, saturating the country in red.
You praise a man whose entire platform is rooted in hatred and fear, without a speck of morality under his garbage spray-tan.
You think all reasonable gun control measures are infringements, that we should not prohibit purchase by domestic abusers, who when equipped with a gun increase their female partners’ risk of death times five. Nor for suspected terrorists or known ISIS sympathizers, sitting pretty the FBI’s watch list. And especially not for assault rifles built for mass fatality and good for little else.
“Modern sporting rifles?” Even guns-rights advocates know this is bullshit. A dear doesn’t need to be taken down by 45 rounds a minute. There’s a reason it’s the mass murderer’s weapon of choice.
No, I cannot sympathize with you. Not when it’s easier to buy an AR-15 to kill than get medicine to live; easier than getting a car, an education or a goddamned kitten. Not when the reckless defense of your hobby is actively destructive.
What is right to the NRA is cold and hard, cash and metal, under the guise of a dead document. 88 guns per 100 people and roughly one mass shooting a day. All the second amendment means now is a second, a third, a fourth chance we’ll witness quiet vigils, broken families, and useless thought pieces a hundred times over. Accomplishing nothing again and again.
You wish to suppress what is different, what scares you, and the sickest pricks out there will do so given the ideology to back it up. The ease of selling military-grade weapons to unfit civilians is disgusting. The crediting of hatred to a convenient God, by word or in flesh, is treacherous. You want to ban all Muslims? All we want is to make it harder for Americans to kill each other: not by ban, but common sense law. And if it could work, if you’re the stand-up responsible gun lover you say you are — if you truly love people more than you love guns — who will a background check harm?
More importantly, who could it save?
Guns are acquired, legally and easily, by weak people pretending to be strong people, preying on innocents in safe spaces. We pray over crime scenes, elementary schools, churches and clubs, but it’s too late this time and every time. Empty platitudes will linger until the next news trend extinguishes them. We procrastinate action, rendering love weightless and hate, armed by default.
Your decrying of all gun control is a tacit support for terror on-demand, a request for tomorrow’s tragedy. Love is love is love, but if it’s a blinding love for your fucking gun, you are complicit.