The Agent On Guns (or “I Don’t Want To Ban Them; I Just Don’t Want The Wrong People To Have Them”)

I have no jokes here – this article hurt me to write.
Source: The New York Times

Field Operatives… I am SO sorry to drag you into this.

I know there are tons of people that are fatigued by gun control debate to the point that the discussion offends them, but that’s kind of the reason we need to keep talking about it. It’s a serious issue and ignoring it just because it makes you angry or uncomfortable is just plain childish. In fact, the reason I didn’t immediately jump on this topic is because I was so shocked by the recent Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando that, in a disgustingly uncharacteristic move for me, I was actively trying to NOT think because it made me physically ill to do so.

But, I’m beyond that now. I’ve taken to long to say what’s on my mind as it is and I need to say it.

Here’s the simple fact that we need to understand; a man who was on an FBI watchlist on two separate occasions, had a long history of violent behavior dating back to 3rd grade, and came from a religious background known for its intolerance towards a group of people that he personally identified with (Omar Mateen was revealed to be a closet gay man) was given access to tools designed SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of killing.

I can’t help but feel like SOMEONE should have been able to predict something like this would happen.

Now, as I’m sure you gathered from the title of this little rant, I’m not one of those people who are staunchly anti-gun. I believe that we all have the right to defend ourselves from the cruel, the psychotic, and the tyrannical. If it came down to killing a madman or watching him kill the people I love, I would take up arms against him every time.

But, I’m also the kind of person that doesn’t want to fight in the first place if it can be helped. That pressure that I feel on my finger and wrist as I pull the trigger; to me, that’s the weight of someone’s life barring down on me.

I try to think of it in terms of if I was a police officer. As an officer, my duty would be, “to protect and serve.” That protection covers EVERYONE – even the most lost souls among us. That’s why the best officers try to end a standoff as peacefully as possible; if someone – absolutely anyone – dies, then they’ve failed their duty.

Basically, I’m trying to get you to understand my thinking in why I support, not the banning of guns, but the introduction of stricter gun laws. We have enough people looking for better ways to win a fight; it’s time to find better ways to avoid having to fight.

I understand that stricter laws and lengthy background checks can be a nuisance to gun owners, but you have to think about it in terms of every other safety procedure. We have to take tests in order to pilot speedy vehicles. We need approval from doctors for medications with dangerous side effects. We need training in order to operate heavy industrial equipment. Doesn’t it make sense that something designed with the intent to destroy whatever it’s aimed at should have a screening process just as, if not more rigorous than any of those potential killers?

And yes, people who want to kill will find a way to kill; I get that. But the goal here isn’t to prevent murder (that’s practically impossible), it’s to keep the emotionally unstable from killing more efficiently. If you were a homicidal person that was denied a gun due to having a history of violent behavior, do you think you could get similar results with, for example, a knife? Unless you have the speed of The Flash, then of course not.

All I’m saying is that if it weren’t easier for me to get a gun than it was to get approved for my new car loan, then clearly disturbed people like Omar Mateen would be far less likely to ruin as many innocent lives as they do.

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