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The BIG Reason

Music, opinions, and portfolio of Mark Eagleton, musician and web developer in Northern CA.

On Having Guns

I don’t believe citizens should be allowed to have guns. Not to buy, not to inherit, not to have in any capacity. Because efforts to sufficiently regulate them in the United States have been unsuccessful, I think applying a severe social stigma to having one might be the most effective option at this point.

A few months back, I was at a gathering where someone timidly mentioned they were going to spend some time off from work taking their new gun to the shooting range. It was obviously done in a way to test for the crowd’s approval (likely due to the latest school shooting catastrophe at the time). This was a gathering of polite, mostly progressive, sociable people, and no one outwardly took offense to these vacation plans.

This person went on to talk about their intention to obtain a conceal carry permit, and my wife began to ask questions in that way she does that nudges people into thinking about why they justify things she doesn’t approve of—secretly planting seeds of doubt under the guise of being genuinely interested. This is usually a delightful thing to watch.

With each mass shooting, I become more galvanized in my opposition of guns—more so when children are involved. I decided it was best that I walk away from the conversation. Without excusing myself, I found a table out of earshot and sat alone for a while. I don’t believe anyone noticed my silent protest, but that’s fine. If I wasn’t a guest at this gathering, I may have voiced my disapproval first, but I still feel the prescient needs to be set to stigmatize possessing guns, subtle or otherwise.

I’m not going to cite any of the thousands of sources that overwhelmingly demonstrate the efficacy of common-sense gun regulations. We have beaten that to death all over the internet for decades. Those who choose not to believe the data aren’t going to change their minds. The bottom line for me is that guns are machines designed for the purpose of causing injury and death, and I do not believe it is ethical to take anyone’s life without their consent. For any reason. Not even for self defense.

Every year, thousands of dead children prove that we aren’t responsible enough to handle them. Thousands of dead children is too severe a consequence to even allow recreational gun use to continue. We are not responsible enough to hunt. We are not responsible enough to have shooting ranges. You having access to a gun is threat to my safety that I don’t appreciate. It may currently be your right to have one, but it is my right to keep you at a safe distance.

I am a hard no on guns. No exceptions.