It’s An Addiction

Our nation has a health issue that has gone on long enough without being addressed. It’s an addiction that many have, and it isn’t healthy. The addiction isn’t to a narcotic or alcohol or even a religion… well, maybe some people might think it’s a religion. The addiction is to guns.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the signs of addiction. First up, an inability to stop using the substance. So, quick, show me a gun owner who doesn’t like to NOT shoot their gun. I know I said quick, but I’ll wait. Can’t find one? That’s because of the addiction. There’s adreneline in them there veins. Shootin’ guns is America’s favorite pasttime! Screw baseball and football. It’s GUNS! Consider this box checked.

Next, continued use despite health problems. This one is odd for addiction in that the health problems are usually not attributed to the user, but the target. Have you heard of Sandy Hook? Virginia Tech? Marjory Stoneman Douglas High? All of these were school shootings. One is too many, but there’s a list longer than I could list here where a gun has killed multiple CHILDREN. That’s a health problem if I ever hear of one. Even accidental shootings such as when a Grambling State University student was injured after an accidental discharge in a dorm by a friend’s gun caused damage. And yet, they persisted. Box: checked.

It’s said that a person may become obsessed with a substance, spending more and more time and energy finding ways of getting their substance, and in some cases how they can use it. Gun shows. Pawn shops. Street corners and alleyways. Guns are everywhere. And gun owners always seem to want more. Perhaps it’s a capatilism thing. People with tattoos want more tattoos. Baseball cards. Drugs. They’re all addictions to one extent or another, but guns hurt other people than just the person “collecting.” Box: checked.

Then there’s the Obsession phase. “A person may become obsessed with a substance, spending more and more time and energy finding ways of getting their substance, and in some cases how they can use it.” Behold, the gun range. Whether it’s in someone’s backyard or an actual “official” setting. Indoor or outdoor – it doesn’t matter. Must shoot guns. Must shoot guns. Target? Doesn’t matter. Must shoot guns. Check.

Finally, the taking risks stage. Someone with an addiction with a substance may engage in risky activities. Sounds like backyard shooting. Or wandering the street with a gun looking for targets. Think I’m kidding? How about that shooting in Atlanta recently where two people shot up a moving car just for fun… killing an 8-year-old girl whose only crime was sitting in the back seat while mom or dad tried to drive them home. Damnit. This box is checked, too.

There’s social symptoms too. Sacrificing children and loved ones? Check. Kids are shot all the damn time. Obsession with hobbies? That’s what the gun is. Maintaining a good supply? Must buy more. Always. Protecting your supply? I apologize for the stereotyping here but what else in your mobile home would you get a SAFE for? Maintaining secrecy and solitude? Some people do. This leads to paranoia, of course, and the thoughts that “the government is out to get you.” They’re not.

About that bit though. I want you gun owners to think this through. If the government wanted to come get you, which they don’t, they would – and you couldn’t stop them. You can live in a compound with all the guns and ammo you want. Baracade yourself into a bunker, if you like. Won’t do you any good. Want to know why? The government has a few things you don’t. Let’s start with tanks. Your AR-15 might be able to kill 30 preschoolers a minute, but it won’t do a damn thing against a tank. The tank, meanwhile, will run over your house, truck, shed, car, you… whatever you put in it’s way. It’s a tank. That’s what it does. In your bunker? They have missles called bunker busters for that. They don’t even have to come to your house.

Back to the addiction parts. Having a stash is almost essential for the addict. And what else is an arsanal, than a stash? Legal issues arise for addicts. Behold, the second amendment, which, frankly, is a bit vague and outdated. (Our forefathers didn’t envision the AR-15 or cars or airplanes or the internet.) And, finally, denial. There isn’t a gun problem. After all, guns don’t kill people. People kill people. But let’s follow that through. Nukes don’t kill people so who cares if Kim Jong-un gets a nuke. People kill people. Same concept. Slightly larger scale, but the point stands.

Guns are used to damage or kill, period. There is no other use. Paper targets, bottles, animals, people – doesn’t matter. They all fall when shot. Usually with several holes in them. Then why don’t we ban other things that kill, like cars or hammers? Well, cars REQUIRE a license and testing before use. So do fishing poles, airplanes and libraries, for that matter. Hammers? They have another use – their primary use. Guns? Nope. When was the last time you ever heard someone say, “I’m going to hang that new picture up in the hall. Hand me my AR-15.”

So, what do we do about it? The battle cry of the addictied so far has been that if it’s immediately after a shooting, it’s too soon to talk about it. But then another one happens before “the sufficient time period has elapsed.” Nope. That doesn’t wash anymore. There’s too much blood on that one. Walmart pulled some violent video games that used guns but kept the actual guns. That isn’t a solution. Video games aren’t the problem.

Look, if you add all the mass shootings globally and compare that to the United States, you’ll find it’s just like the World Series – the United States, through the beginning of August 2019, hold a massive lead. World 7 – United States 249 – So why the difference? Do they not pray? They do. Do they not have violent TV and video games and movies? Actually, per capita, they have more. Do they not have schools that teach gun safety? THEY do – WE don’t. But I think the big difference is that we still have guns… and they don’t. Now are you really sure that “thoughts and prayers” are the answer? By the way, lately mass shooters aren’t quoting violent video games or telelvision or even movies, they’re quoting Trump. Meanwhile I’ll quote this meme I saw last week, If you think society can’t handle violent video games, why would you let it have real guns?

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