I'm lying here on my bed watching Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, hoping the Mavs hold on to at the very least make the Warriors play another game, and I can't help but keep thinking about today's tragedy. I was gonna tweet this, but there's no way to fit this thought into 280 characters, so it's a blog now.
Tonight, I've watched way too much coverage of the shooting at Robb Elementary School and seen soulless right-wing pundits spew about how it's not a gun problem but a mental health problem (even though every country on earth has people with mental health issues, and they somehow manage to go years, maybe even decades without mass shootings). Or to not "politicize" this tragedy.
You'll hear people say how stricter gun laws won't stop these tragedies because the shooter will not follow them. That's the dumbest fucking argument of all time. Why have any laws then if people are still going to commit crimes? People still rob banks and rape; we might as well get rid of those laws since they don't prevent every occurrence. Do murder laws really even prevent murder?
How about this? We have drunk driving laws in all 50 states, but unfortunately, DUIs and vehicular manslaughters still happen. They happen every single day of the year. It doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, black or white, rich or poor, left or right, a drunk driver can kill you. Drunk drivers don't discriminate.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 11,654 people died from alcohol-impaired driving deaths in 2020. Should we get rid of legal limits since nearly 12,000 people still died? Those laws aren't stopping people from drinking and driving. What's the point of the law? Why even try?
Of course, that's fucking lunacy, but decent people will take that point of view when it comes to guns.
The fear of getting a DUI or possibly killing an innocent person deters thousands of people from getting behind the wheel drunk every day. Now, it doesn't stop everybody but imagine how worse things would be with no DUI laws on the books? Imagine if there were no drinking and driving laws because Anheuser-Busch, Jack Daniels, and Tito's Handmade Vodka lobbied Congress to make sure anybody could buy their product, drank it all day and night without worrying about a single consequence as long as the profits continued to soar. How fucking stupid would it be if over 80% of people were like, "maybe it shouldn't be legal to drive after 11 jack and cokes?" then a Senator from Texas or Florida or Alabama or Tennessee or Kentucky or Mississippi or Arkansas threw a hissy fit on tv saying they're trying to take away your glass of wine after dinner! What about the people who drink responsibly!? Why are they getting punished?!
Now, this isn't a perfect analogy because the government did take away your booze from 1920 to 1933, but in another way, it's pretty solid, because we saw how big of a failure that was. If anything, prohibition created more crime. But over time, we've seen that millions of people can responsibly have a few drinks and not beat up their spouse and/or kids or drive directly into a tree or ditch. Unfortunately, some people do terrible things when drunk, like kill people with their car. Nobody's saying adults shouldn't be allowed to drink, but there are plenty of laws that regulate how and when you can. It can be the same with guns.
If we lived in this no DUI world, where instead of 11,654 people died in a year from drinking and driving, now it's 75,000 people, but elected officials worried more about what Miller-Coors said than the people who they represent, heads would roll. Imagine if every time someone died from drunk driving (and it'd happen much more frequently without DUI laws) and a lawmaker suggested maybe it should be harder to get behind the wheel of a car drunk, then another lawmaker said that goes against a law someone wrote before cars even existed, so no we won't do anything about all the drunk driving. Then it happened again, and again, and again....
At the end of the day, like pretty much every single issue in this country and really the entire world, it comes down to money. Lawmakers are paid-off by special interest groups and the companies that profit off this nation's terrible laws. Rinse and repeat, but believe it or not, it doesn't have to be this way. We can stand up to these people and their shady backers and say ENOUGH.
Seriously, at what point do we stand up and say enough already? These senseless murders come down to greed. That may be oversimplifying things, but that's the biggest part. People choose money over the decent thing to do.
Beer and liquor companies are doing just fine financially while dealing with a minimum drinking age and maximum legal limit. Gun manufacturers can figure it out too. I'm all for people having guns to protect their families and possessions, but we don't just let anybody get behind the wheel when they turn 16. You need to have a license. If you want access to a killing machine, you should probably need one too. I needed a background to be a fucking ub** driver, but in some states, you don't need one to own a literal weapon of war. But people who think like me are the radical ones! Oh and by the way, it's up to 19 dead elementary schoolers. Summer break was supposed to start this week.