Fuck You, Guns
Katie J.M. Baker
This is Fuck You Week, Jezebel’s first annual week of desperate emotional cleansing and unhinged psychic purging. And yeah, considering what happened today, we feel weird about it — but still. It’s relevant.
At least twenty-seven people including twenty little kids were massacred today at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, according to the most recent reports. As of now, it’s the second-deadliest shooting in U.S. history. How could such a thing happen? Easily: Because we refuse to talk about gun control in this country. Actually, fuck the term “gun control”; we refuse to talk about how to prevent fucking massacres from happening over and over again thanks to how fucking simple it is for practically anyone to get their hands on some nifty automated mass murdering weapons. Fuck everyone who says today isn’t the time to politicize gun violence. Most of all, fuck the NRA and all of its political cronies. This is your fault.
Fuck you, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, for saying that “today is not that day” to discuss gun control. The only acceptable explanation for that statement is that you got cut off from saying, “because yesterday was.” Off the top of my head: this year’s Dark Night Rises shooting massacre in Aurora might have been an excellent time to bring up the topic! But, no, we had an election to take care of, and neither candidate wanted to tackle the 2nd Amendment some Americans hold so near and dear; Obama discussed gun control a total of 3 times on the campaign trail. 3 times.
We could’ve talked about it, oh, anytime in the past 13 years since Columbine, because there have been at least 31 school shootings in the U.S. since then. It’s a waste of our time to keep listing all of the times we could’ve talked about it; it’s easier just to say the time was then, the time is tomorrow, and the time is now.
Hey, White House: we know you’re trying to be respectful, but respect doesn’t mean shit to the dozens of families who just lost their little kids and loved ones. Respect them by starting the conversation right now. Start it tonight.
While we’re talking politics: Fuck you, all of the politicians who received money from the NRA last election cycle. Check them out here! Memorize their names and remember that they’re a massive part of the problem.
Fuck you, people who say, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Sorry, assholes, this isn’t the time for semantics. Guns are the tools that enable people who kill people to kill lots and lots of people with ease. And they’re fucking efficient. According to Mother Jones, which has done excellent research on this topic, there’s a clear relationship between the rise in civilian firearms and the rise in mass shootings; they counted two per year on average since 1982, and 24 of the 61 cases they looked at occurred after 2006. This year alone there have been six mass shootings with 110 people injured and killed, a record number. In 1995 there were about 200 million guns in the hands of average Joes and Joannes. Today, there are around 300 million. That’s a 50 percent jump. If you don’t think that guns have anything to do with the rise in mass shootings, you’re a fucking idiot.
Fuck you, people who say, “if only the good guys had guns.” Mother Jones, again bringing the awesome rationality and crucial data, analyzed 61 recent U.S. mass shootings and found that the killing wasn’t stopped by a civilian with a gun in any of those cases. It’s delusional to think that guns can help stop massacres like the one that happened today. Of course, people do think that; yesterday, the Michigan State Senate passed a law allowing concealed weapons in schools and daycares. No no no no no. Let’s stop pretending the “if everyone had a gun, everyone could protect themselves!” argument is worth considering. It’s obvious it doesn’t work, and it’s demonstrably dangerous to suggest otherwise. As in, hundreds of people are dying because we can’t have a real talk about guns.
Why can’t we? Because of the National Rifle Association. FUCK THE NRA. They’ve been having a successful and lucrative year, as this recent Bloomberg Businessweek piece points out; Republican-controlled legislatures in at least four states are considering allowing employees to bring guns to work, Florida will soon be the first state to have issued 1 million permits allowing people to conceal their firearms, and an Illinois law barring citizens from packing heat outside their home or business was struck down by a federal appeals court.
Since Obama got elected, “firearm manufacturers and their vocal ally, the National Rifle Association, have enjoyed an extraordinary boom, based heavily on fear marketing,” Businessweek reports:
The industry pitch: Obama plans to restrict, if not confiscate, your guns. This has sent hundreds of thousands of people to their Main Street gun shop or firearm website, propelled by the notion that they better buy while they can. The twist is that while Obama occasionally murmurs about gun control, he has done nothing to make it more difficult to lawfully acquire or carry firearms. The president and his advisers fear a political backlash (and, on substance, may worry that tinkering with gun laws will not actually affect crime rates in a substantial way).
The upshot: Gun sellers and promoters of gun rights are pushing further and further in an environment of seemingly endless possibilities for their side of the perennial debate over the wisdom and significance of packing heat.