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