I hate guns

So the title of this rant is just a personal expression – that is why people have blogs, right? So before anyone tries to read too much into my three first words I suggest you wait, read all the words and then express yourself.

I grew up on a farm, my Dad had guns. Some of them we used rabbit shooting, because for farmers rabbits aren’t cute fuzzy things – they are a potential plague and the only good rabbit is a dead one. And in a way it was a rite of passage – you don’t give a 5 year old a gun. But at a certain age, and with due respect and training it becomes possible to use a gun. I remember messing around with an air rifle – fun and mostly harmless. Next I liked the 410 shotgun my Dad had – small bore, not much kick but more powerful. But beyond that I lost interest – it was the same for sports with me. I was big for my age & played the national obsession of rugby. But I remember the day the coach told my Dad: ‘Tims only any good if someone hits him & he gets angry’ – FCK THAT! I never played rugby again, ever. Game over. If a passtime involves aggression, violence & anger then there is something deeply wrong at its core. I have despised the game ever since.

But in my second or third year at secondary school one of the kids didn’t come back from summer holidays. Well he did eventually return, but his arms were all bandaged up. Seems he’d been rabbit shooting (or something similar) and a shot went off without properly firing (I am vague on the exact details because it was 30+ years ago) & he got damaged. Now any gun accident someone lives through is good. He was lucky, and probably so was the rabbit. But what isn’t so good is that really, when you get down to the core of it, we were being taught to kill. With guns. But why? Why the need to kill? To practice killing? Really, why? WTF?

Nothing is worse (other than larger scale weapons) than when guns are used as a weapon, against other humans. While war may historically be deemed a necessary evil, I firmly believe what Edwin Starr put so eloquently:

War is what happens when politics and diplomacy break down. It is the point of no return, and sadly when it happens the worst imaginable outcome occurs every day, every hour, every minute; a life is lost for the sake of politics. The human cost is abstracted for the patriotic good. Now I do not mean to denigrate the incredible, selfless sacrifices individual humans have made time and time again. One can only presume they were necessary for us all to be here, and to be free. So….

1. I hugely admire Charles Maynes gesture of releasing two gun sound libraries with the proviso that “100% of proceeds from the libraries will be perpetually donated to the following charities who respond to the consequences of war violence and social injustice” – it is a great gesture and maybe the NRA could do the same for all these military weapons they so love, for the benefit of the victims families of all of these school shootings? (And as a side note: I sincerely hope SoundDogs have registered this project as a charity, because if not the consequences can deeply effect their basis of ECommerce – this example is something to bear in mind when considering such altruistic gestures)

2. From the outside (and that is where I live i.e. outside America) the current U.S. debate on gun control seems quite simply RIDICULOUS. I cannot speak for anyone else but it seems like the start of a revolution that in hindsight no one will want to own, other than the preppies who will see it is a fait accompli. The external appearance is that: some people/the NRA want the right for everyone to bear arms capable of mass murder. These people are very vocal about why they need that right, but not about why it should also apply to people who are mentally unstable & dangerous to society. The hyperbole is nauseating, not for its own sake but for what it points to: the right to individually wage war in your own country. I can’t be bothered digging up the country-by-country gun/death stats but the evidence isn’t subtle.
FWIW my own country went through a fundamental shift many years ago, where every individual gun and every individual gun owner or user had to be registered. For many people at the time, it must have seemed like the state interferring with things that were none of their business. But it IS their business – these toys or sporting goods or whatever you want to call them, kill people! And they should not be legally available to anyone who cannot prove that they are mentally fit to use them, on a yearly basis. And they must be answerable as to exactly where their registered weapon/s are. You need a license to drive a car so I don’t need to hear any strawman arguments as to why that shouldn’t be the case, its simple: if you are a legit gun user, then front up and go on the record as such. Is it really that hard? What do you have to hide? As far as coverage of this issue, The Daily Show this year has started to resemble The Onion when they show some of the pro gun extremists point of view. I can only hope all of the people who are responsible recreational gun users in the USA make sure their voice is heard, and encourage strict and rigourous gun control. Because where does the other choice lead? No one was chanting ‘freedom’ when those poor cowering kids were being shot with military assault weapons.

3. I aspire to never record a single gunshot or release a gun library. Not because it wouldn’t sell – it would. But because I never want to hear a single gun shot with my own ears ever again, in my lifetime. If I can achieve that goal I will be happy. Many of our ancestors died in wars, and the last sound they heard were gunshots. But even worse, the same applies to many innocent people – god/jah/buddha forbid: kids in schools! What the world needs now is not more guns, that was never the answer! What it need it needs is strict gun control.

4. I hate guns and I hate those video games where people spend all day killing other people. And I hate movies where human life isn’t treated as it is in real life. We suspend our disbelief when participating in these forms of art and entertainment. Do not abuse that disbelief by denigrating the value of human life, without very good reason.

UDPATE: a good read: the riddle of the gun

15 Responses to I hate guns

  1. Andreas says:

    Wow ! Tim, thanks for this article. It definetly says it ! You’re abolutely right in all points. People spent theyr lives with the dead. Killing people in games. Killing people in film, killing people in real life. The should be more respect for the individual human beeing. We all have to respect live should not spent so much time with death and killing each other. Lets go out and record nice things or just be nice to someone else. It doesn’t hurt πŸ˜‰

  2. Wow Tim, well said. I agree 100% with everything you’ve said. I wouldn’t turn down work that included designing weapons, but I would hope they are intelligent and thoughtful about their context.

  3. rene says:

    Interesting post.

    From my perspective I don’t own any guns (because they’re dangerous) and I certainly do worry about nosing around in rural areas of Texas because its kind of the wild west out here – but I don’t share the visceral hatred of the weapons themselves that you do.

    Regarding the gun conversation in the US, be careful of your sources. Watching the Washington based media is just watching the power brokers struggle against each other. Check the polls of the actual people of this country and you’ll find wide support for a big stack of reasonable gun restrictions including background checks, low capacity clips, etc. The NRA is 4 million people, but the USA is a country of 311 million, so they’re a small fraction of us despite their outsized media presence.

    Guns are dangerous the way that certain poisons are dangerous. If they’re mishandled by people they can cause mass causalties, and they’re generally designed for warfare and death.

    With that said, they’re more dramatic than poisons because they can be waved around and make loud noises and concussive blasts. These characteristics are attractive to the creators and consumers of drama both in films and video games.

    millions of rounds of ammo are expended every day in which no one and nothing dies. millions of people and things die every day without the sound of gunfire in anyone’s ears. Given that, I think to equate the two is at minimum inaccurate.

    I’ve personally had to come to peace with the fact that I live in a gun culture, and while I’m not shy about asking my friends to fire their weapons so that I can record them, I’ll certainly never have on in my home.

    nice post!

  4. 4. A very sad truth.And a very complex field of discussion!There are obvious reasons why violence and the human life have so little value compared to reality.It can’t even “impress” or “shock” anymore when overused so much.I, personally, love video games as well as watching movies/series but they are commercial products after all.They will always use subtle or in the case of violence, “in your face” ways to inject wrong and anti-human beliefs in our minds .. The same goes for the gun laws!

  5. Jon Clark says:

    Tim,

    Thanks for the well stated position. I grew up in a very similar manner, using guns for occasional rabbit and pheasant hunting but when a neighbor died (he was 14 and a couple of years older than I at the time) of a bullet to the head during a boy scout rabbit hunting outing, I lost interest in guns.

    The endless diatribe in the media here in the states is maddening and I’m sorry that you have to endure it so far away.

    I fear the only way meaningful legislation will pass in the U.S. is if our congress grows balls overnight and stops listening to the NRA’s money.

    In the long term I think appropriate limits will be set but I fear it will come at the same pace as equal rights; over many years and after many more deaths.

    Regards

  6. jigen says:

    Tim sama, respect ! i 100 % agree with you even though during my stupid army time i had to shoot alot and the sound of each shoot in those beautiful Dolomite mountain gave goose bums, gambate and a late happy new year!

  7. Guy says:

    No worries, the state is here to protect you against these crazy people. Recept for the 1,706,886 law enforcement officers, 5,034,983 convicted felons, or 286,436,642 active military that could potentially go crazy at any moment.

    I mean with odds like that, you should be pretty safe. And if you don’t feel that way, no worries. You can instead of carry a gun, just carry a police officer on your back. Unless of course the police officer goes crazy. At that point I have no idea what you should do because you have no way to actually defend yourself.

    If another evil tyranny rises again such as Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, or Hitler come enslave and kill millions of people. No worries, luckly you can predict the future so it won’t happen. And don’t worry about the universal law of science. Every living organism on this planet got to this point from being weak and defenceless.

    • tim says:

      right….. what was your point again?

      • Guy says:

        The point is, evil exists and always will. America’s right to bear arms is not about hunting. Our second amendment of our Constitution is about defending our country from tyranny both foreign and domestic.

        To quote the late Commander-in-Chief Isoroku Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War Two. “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass”.

        Our “Military Assault Guns” prevented a massive ground invasion that would have killed millions of people. What was the one thing all the people that lived under Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, or Hitler had in common? They were all disarmed.

        Pol Pot’s Cambodia (1975–1979) β€” 2,035,000 people killed.

        Japan (1936–1945) β€” 5,964,000 people killed.

        China PRC (1949–1987) β€” 76,702,000 people killed.

        USSR (1917–1987) β€” 61,911,000 people killed.

        Hitler’s Germany (1933–1945) β€” 20,946,000 people killed, including their own population.

        As you can see, the death percentages of those who did not own firearms are much higher than those who do. Bans on firearm possession left the majority of guns in the hands of a state who then turned its weapons against its own people. Inevitably it will happen again, since evil will never cease to exist.

        • tim says:

          thats all well & good, but it has no bearing whatsoever on the need for gun control – every firearm should be licensed, every user should be registered with regular sanity checks

          (& wow, i can’t imagine what it is like to live with such paranoia… are you a preppy?)

          • Guy says:

            The number of people from each country I sited prove that government is the number one cause of death in the history of the planet. This is not paranoia, it is fact.

            After the events that have been repeated throughout history, no sane person would ever elect for such a thing to determine wheather or not you or I can have the ability to defend ourselves and our country.

            Furthermore, everyone is a prepper in one form or another. Being prepared is part of life. Like now, you are preparing to read the next sentence.

            “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace”. -George Washington

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