A Few Words About "Thoughts and Prayers", the GOP. the NRA, and Another Mass School Shooting

The color of a person's soul who holds "thoughts and prayers" over the safety of our children

The color of a person's soul who holds "thoughts and prayers" over the safety of our children

Yesterday a Florida high school had a horrific event happen. 17 people lost their lives because of a crazed lunatic. This crazed lunatic somehow found a way to purchase an AR-15 and proceeded to map out a plan to shoot up the school, and the plan went through.

This is a horrific, awful and sad tragedy, that could have been avoided. In fact, all 18 of the gun violence incidents that have occurred since that buffoon took office could have been avoided(ed note: It has been 18 in 2018, over 300 confirmed mass shootings since our glorious leader took office). Yet, when that moron, and the other morons he has surrounded himself with have been asked to comment on these events, they all say the same god damn thing. All of them say that the people who have gone through these terrible events will, "be in our thoughts and prayers".

Before I go any further I need to apologize to anyone reading this, especially my parents, because this piece is going to be filled with bad words.

Back to the whole "thoughts and prayers" bull shit. To them I say, fuck your thoughts and prayers. These people will not get their lives back, their families will never get to see them again, these children won't know the joys and pain of growing up with your god damn thoughts and prayers. That is pure, nonsensical bull shit. That is the cowards way out. That is what you dumbasses have been trained to say. All of you dip shits that use "thoughts and prayers" as your answer, fuck you and your so called Jesus. Your perverted idea of this Jesus person never existed, and if he or she did, wouldn't they have put a stop to this, and you for that matter, a long, long time ago. All of you government people who spew religion in our faces, God or Jesus, or whoever is supposed to be an all loving person. I don't think that an all loving person would allow innocent kids, adults, club goers and live music fans to lose their lives due to some lunatics with guns. That doesn't sound all loving. And before you give me the whole, "it was their time. God only chooses when you go". I say again, FUCK YOU. We are talking about little kids in some of these cases. You mean to tell me that the kids involved with Sandy Hook, it was their time? The kids in these high schools, it was their time? The people at the nightclub in Orlando, it was their time? If that is the case, then when is it Mitch McConnell's time? When is it Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan's time? When is it John McCain's time? When is it that dickhead at the White House time? When is it Steve Bannon and Reince Preibus' time? Why do all these monsters get to continue living, if it is God or Jesus' will, when innocent people get cut down way too young? That doesn't make a lick of sense to me. That is preposterous, and further hammers home the fact that there isn't a God or Jesus or anyone that all these morons and horrible people say they are "praying" to.

I'm literally sick to my stomach today because of what happened yesterday, and what has happened in the past year, and what will continue to happen in the next couple of years while these fascists are trying to run the government. I don't like the feeling of dropping my 6 year old off and school and thinking, I hope nothing horrible happens today. But, due to what the current administration has done, I'm left with that sinking feeling now every morning. It is a relief when I see his smiling face after school now. That is a sad state of affairs. But, do they really care? If they did, why would they only give "thoughts and prayers" to victims of these tragedies. 

Does the lack of care from these cowards have to do with the fact that the majority, if not all of the GOP, have ties to the NRA? I'm sure some Democrats have ties to, which is just as sickening. But, lets not be naive about this. We all know that the GOP loves their guns, and that the NRA is filled with conservative nut jobs. They always seem afraid that a Democrat, or a more popular and super offensive term used now, "libtard", is trying to take away their guns. Well, when a private citizen can get access to an assault rifle, I think that is a bit much. Call me a "libtard" and "snowflake" all you want. But, I want to know why someone who is not in the military or on a SWAT team or in the FBI needs a god damn assault rifle. Why? What do you need that kind of power for? Is your penis that small that you think an automatic rifle will make you feel better about yourself? Is the NRA telling you that you need this gun to "take care of business"? You don't need an assault rifle, you need a hug. You need people around you that want to help. You may even just need to smoke some weed and chill the hell out. But, no. The GOP and NRA want you to have access to that assault rifle you think you desperately need. They want you to get that gun so much that the current fascist administration gutted a bunch of quality laws that Barack Obama put in place so it would be tougher to purchase assault weapons. That is a travesty.

Not only do all of these cowards that went out, purchased guns and did these heinous acts have blood on their hands, so does every government official that has taken money from the NRA. You are all complicit. You are all to blame. You are all cowards. You are all the lowest of the low. You are scum and you disgust me. Not only am I embarrassed to be an American, now I am scared. These are dark days that we are living in, and it is all due to the lowlife douchebags that only care about themselves and their bank accounts.

You fuckers sicken me.

I don't know how you sleep at night. I don't know how you show your face in public without being embarrassed. I don't know how you can live with yourselves. You are a bunch of racist, misogynist, narcissistic assholes. If there is a God, and a heaven and hell, I hope all of you cowards realize that you have a one way ticket to hell. You are cowards and bullies and you can take your "thoughts and prayers" and shove them up you asses. I loathe you and I loathe your me first mentality. Go get fucked with the rustiest wrench that you can find. The GOP stinks and they have countless innocent people's blood on their hands. As for the NRA, they are a terrorist organization ranked right up there with Al Qeadea and the Nazis. You are the lowest of the low. The worst of the worst. You deserve nothing but bad things for the rest of your meager, filthy, stupid and pointless lives. I'm sickened by what our country has turned in to.

If you aren't angry and scared now, get there. We have a hard fight ahead of us, and it all starts in November. Lets vote these fascist fuck heads out. Lets turn our country around. Lets make America a safe place again. We can do it. We just have to show up to the polls.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Election Day is November 6th. Get registered.

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Stop Waiting for Congress to Pass Gun Laws

The Congress could not regulate this over 200 years ago. Why trust them now?

The Congress could not regulate this over 200 years ago. Why trust them now?

This week the Democrats in the United States House of Representatives, led by Georgia Congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis, did something amazing. They took a seat for the American people. On Wednesday, June 22nd, Representative Lewis gave a fiery speech lamenting the inaction of Congress on doing anything to help curb the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. After his speech, Lewis was joined by other Democratic party members of the House and they all took a seat. The sat right down on the floor of the US House of Representatives. The Republicans, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, ended the session and cut off the live video feed provided by the cameras of the Cable-Satellite Public Access Network (C-SPAN). The Republican party wanted to block the images of the Democratic sit in from the American people. Unfortunate for Speaker Ryan, 21st century technology allowed the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution to live on. Many House members used Twitter's Periscope live video app and started to stream the images out to the internet. C-SPAN started to air these Periscope streams out through their airwaves. Many more Democrats, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and current Presidential candidate (as of this writing he has not conceded) Bernie Sanders, joined their colleagues on the floor of the House of Representatives. The Democrats were finally fed up with Republican inaction on any meaningful firearm regulation, and all of America was able to see the spectacle going on in the nation's capital. Things were about to change in Washington DC.

Twenty five hours after Representative John Lewis's sit in started, it was over. The US House of Representatives adjourned for an extended break, and the American people were promised by the Democratic party that the fight for gun regulation would resume when everyone got back to Washington DC. Once again America had another gun massacre answered with anger, spectacle, and inaction. Our elected representatives, who make around $174,000 plus expenses paid by the taxpayers each year, left the nation's capitol to take another mandated break. Over the next two weeks there will be no chance of any reasonable firearms legislation. The current batch of firearm regulations will be forgotten. Inaction will once again rule the day.

The next time the nation will see something like the Great Sit-In of June 2016 will be after the next horrible firearm massacre. Unfortunately the next massacre is more likely to occur within the next few months. The bodies will be dead, and the nation will once again cry out for answers to an all too common occurrence. The Republicans, backed by their NRA handlers, will ask for a moment of silence and not want to "politicize" the issue. The Democrats will look at the recent shooting, and try to build conversation about what could have prevented that one singular incident. Once a week has passed, the NRA will have helped sell thousands of more firearms, the Democrats will have forgotten about any meaningful legislation, and the dead will be forgotten. We will be witness to the whole process again once the next firearm massacre occurs. 

Why do we look to Washington DC to solve our gun violence problem? As more people die needlessly, the inept process never changes. Twelve dead at Columbine High School, no action. Thirty two dead at Virginia Tech, no action. Nine dead in Charleston South Carolina, no action. Twelve killed at the Navy yard in Washington DC, no action. Thirteen dead at Ft. Hood, no action. Three dead at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, no action. Twelve dead in Aurora Colorado, no action. Nine dead at Umpqua Community College, no action. Fourteen dead in San Bernardino California, no action. Twenty-six dead, twenty of them children, at Sandy Hook Elementary, no action. Forty-nine people dead in Orlando, no action. (ed note: these are the shootings I remembered off the top of my head. There are many, many more Here is an excellent look at the recent history of US mass shootings from the LA Times.) The killings continue, and the government does nothing.

In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting we are experiencing one of the rare instances when the national government does try to pass meaningful gun regulations. The law being proposed is so flawed it would be better if it never passed. The Great Sit-In was centered on two laws the Democrats were championing. One was to make all gun sales subject to a background check. There is currently no requirement to perform a back ground check on a private gun sale. That  type of law has never passed in the history of the United States. The other law would ban the sale of guns to anyone on the United States government's no fly list. This bit of new gun regulations was first brought to the nation's attention by presumptive Republican Party Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. The NRA at first seemed to be behind the law. A bill was introduced in the US Senate, one written by Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine, that would ban people on the no fly list from purchasing firearms. The bill received 52 votes in the Senate, but since every controversial bill is threatened with a filibuster, the bill needed sixty to pass. The US House had yet to take up debate, or voted, on the no fly no buy bill. The Great Sit-In happened, and ended. Representative John Lewis has vowed that the House will take up the legislation when Congress gets back from their well deserved vacation.

The No Fly No Buy Bill has the best chance at being the first meaningfully firearm regulation to be enacted into law in over twenty years. Unfortunately it is a very bad law. Many Democrats just want a political victory, and they have rallied behind a bill that at best is ineffective and at worst is racist. The bill is one of the few laws in history to be opposed by both the NRA and the ACLU. The NRA just wants to sell guns, the ACLU is worried about people's actual freedom. The No Fly list is a secret list administered by unknown persons. The list became part of US policy after the attacks of September 11th, 2001. Many non-terrorists, like children, former Senator Ted Kennedy, and sit-in leader Representative John Lewis, have had their names appear on the federal no fly list. No reason is given if one's name appears on the list, and there are no standards in place to have your name removed. The government claims that over 98% of the names on the no fly list are not American citizens. If you are a non-citizen, you cannot buy a guy already. Legal visa holders with proof of state residence (i.e. students) can purchase a firearm, with a background check. The No Fly No Buy bill is not only potentially racial profiling, it is utterly useless. There is no possibility for preventing any future massacre with the No Fly No Buy law. It is political theater being used to try and convince the American people that Congress is compassionate. It is worse than doing nothing.

The United States government has proven absolutely incapable, and unwilling, of protecting the American people from firearm massacres. Decades of inaction has led to political stunts being carried out for the passage of ineffective and racist laws. We must accept that there will not be the passage of any meaningful gun laws by the US government. The faith of the American citizen needs to be put elsewhere. Congress is filled with failure, America should not continue to look towards failure. There needs to be a new way.

The state of Hawaii just recently became the first state to have gun owners registered in a federal database. The Aloha state is doing something to keep its 1.4 million residents a bit safer. The rest of the country does not have politicians with a will to protect their citizens like Hawaii does. What can be done by the American who is not represented by the thoughtful politicians of the Hawaiian Islands?

Only 1/3 of American households and 1/4 of individuals even own guns. Regardless of what the NRA, or the government says, gun ownership is not very popular in the United States. The number of smokers in the US is close to the number of gun owners. The large majority of non-smokers were able to make smoking an anomaly. The same can happen to gun ownership. Privately the nation sees owning a gun as an odd thing, publicly we can do the same. Having a firearm is not a normal thing, and gun owners should know that. If we want gun owners to responsible, the non-gun owners should demand it. There are plenty of non-smoking areas, there should be areas where we do not accept guns. Many public places have designated spots for the smokers to gather and poison each other. The same should happen for guns. Let all the gun owners gather in the spots designated for guns, and our society will know who these gun lovers are. Hunters are already well known as gun owners due to the season and attire required for their hobby. If one has a gun that is an antique, is unusable, and has no ammunition, they do not have to gather in the designated live gun zone. The professionals who require guns for their employment, i.e. police officers and military personal, they are already known by society as carrying a live firearm. A non-government registry of gun owners would quickly be created when everyone in their neighborhood knows whose house has all the guns. Knowing that one's guns are acknowledged by the public will make these gun owners a lot more responsible. It may even cause these gun owners to give up their mythical need to protect themselves with weapons designed for mass killing. The very small minority of gun owners would shrink to a much smaller, and manageable number. Owning firearms designed for killing a whole lot of people would not be an NRA marketing campaign, it would be a source of shame.

The Democrats who sat down this week deserve our admiration. They were trying to bring attention to the inaction that has plagued our nation for decades. Their intentions were good, their law is bad. The NRA has used the government to create a sense of gun ownership being vital and normal. It is not. Since the NRA has used money to buy most of Congress, the American people can not rely on the elected representatives to protect us. We must rely on ourselves. Stop waiting for Congress to act, they will not. Start creating a safer world in your neighborhood. Our actions will be stronger than the money, and ineptness, of Washington DC. We can stop gun violence today. Yes we can.

RD

RD Kulik is the Head Editor for SeedSing and the host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.He wants to hear the counter opinion on owning guns. Write for us.  

Once Again Let's Talk about how Guns Kill People

Guns kill people

Guns kill people

ed note: These are the thoughts of the head editor and do not reflect all of SeedSing. We believe in giving everyone a voice and welcome any respectful dissent.

It is hard to come up with a coherent thought about the latest mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Instead of reacting in the moment I decided to sit back a few days and digest all of the news coming out of this latest tragic mass killing. We immediately learned the name of the killer, and then a few days later we started to get the names of the victims. Motives for the killer were immediately identified, even if these motives did not have a lot of facts to back them up. Many in the professional media, and non-professional social media universe, grabbed onto any excuse to describe why the United States once again had to deal with another horrible mass shooting. Since the tragic event, we all keep yelling about why this keeps happening. Do you want to know the number one reason this keeps happening? The answer is right in front of us after each mass killing. These horrible events keep happening in the United States because it is ridiculously easy for nearly anyone to get deadly firearms in this country. The express purpose of these easily obtained weapons is to kill. Guns kill people.

The right wing, the incompetent professional media, and the cowardly national government all want to find some other excuse for firearm deaths. These groups want to shift the blame away from the obvious culprit each and every time. Everyone is so afraid of hurting the feelings of a vocal, uninformed, and greedy group of people who worship the false idol that is the NRA. This is not about gun owners, it is about keeping a small group of rich white men in a position of influence. I am pretty damn tired of talking about the monsters in the NRA. These evil people will continue to use the deaths of innocents in order to push their dangerous agenda, and that will never change. What I am frustrated with is how as a society we constantly fall into the NRA's trap of defending guns over the lives of innocent Americans. We keep forgetting that guns kill people.

We have been conditioned to react to any horrible shooting by not talking about guns. This is the NRA's greatest victory. The media, and our elected officials, always look for another boogeyman.

The people were killed with a gun because of video games.

The people were killed with a gun because of social isolation.

The people were killed with a gun because of racism.

The people were killed with a gun because of mental illness.

The people were killed with a gun because of gun free zones.

Do you see the only common factor in these shootings? The reason to kill changes, the tool to kill is always the same. Yet somehow guns are the one thing that is off limits in our conversation. Monsters all have their own, largely unique, reasons to kill. All of the monsters use easily obtained firearms to do these killings. Why will we not talk about how guns kill people?

The latest mass killing in Oregon showed how the right wingers create victims out of guns. Almost immediately after the news broke, the right wing decided it was a war on Christians. Once again they screamed out about poor white christian victim-hood. When that story was still being debated, the right wingers took to social media and blamed the deaths on the fact the school was a gun free zone. This was once again proven as being a lie (guns are allowed on campus in Oregon, there was even a concealed carry holder on campus). This does not stop the right wing from perpetuating their gun free zone lie. Go ahead and google "Oregon shooting gun free zone" and you will see a long list of conservative commentators still pushing this lie. The national press was negligent in correcting this flat out lie, and the gunners got the misdirection they wanted. Like the many other shootings before, the Umpqua tragedy was being hijacked by flat out lies. The truth always destroy's the gunners narrative. Why can we not accept the truth? The lies have once again stopped us in talking about how guns kill people.

Why do we allow these lies? Why do we sacrifice our own safety so these rich white men can get even richer? Why do we choose to accept their lies and embrace our fear? Do we blame all the usual suspects? The press is a broken institution that only cares about wealth. The idea of journalism is long gone. In order to be fair and balanced, the professional media has decided that their wealth is more important than their integrity. They will not talk about how guns kill people.  Our government has no interest in representing the nation. Democrats and Republicans alike only care about the money. The Republicans will never do anything to address gun violence, and the Democrats use these black swan events to look good at a press conference. Why did Nancy Pelosi not convene a special committee on gun violence when she was Speaker of the House? Cowardice, that is why. They will never talk about how guns kill people.

My biggest question is once again why do we as Americans accept the lies of the pro gun community? Sandy Hook is an elementary school, Columbine is a high school, Virginia Tech is a university, and Umpqua is a  community college. These are not war zones, they are places every single one of us has been to. Our children are at these institutions right now. We cannot accept that places of education are dangerous. We cannot send our loved ones into harms way. Our institutions of education are off limits, our public gatherings are off limits, our military bases are off limits, our newscasts are off limits, our livelihoods are off limits. Guns make our lives more dangerous, we can not accept them in places we all live our regular lives. I want to be safe, I want my family to be safe. We can not accept the lies that a world of more guns makes us safe. I will not accept it. Guns kill people.

I myself rushed to judgement on this tragedy. The line of thinking present after all mass shootings is that "it is too early to politicize the event". Once President Obama says anything about gun control, self serving amoral beings like Mike Huckabee are quick to use this tired line. The right wing was giddy on twitter about the religious story of the shooting. Many people were already blaming islam. I started a little twitter conversation based on the idea that the right wing was allowing a discussion to be had, because they started the discussion. At one point I posted this tweet

 

Do you know what is wrong with that tweet? The response to the tweets inaccuracy was quite swift. I had many many people immediately correct me to say that the killer was mixed race. My part of the debate was invalid because I made a mistake, I did not tell the truth. That was the problem, I was wrong about the race of the killer. I was not wrong about the guns. The right wing used my mistake to once again redirect the conversation away from the guns. The one truth in my tweet was buried because the pro-gunners need to use others mistakes to redirect the conversation away from the gun.  I accept my mistake, when will we accept that the problem is not race. The problem is that guns kill people.

Lucero Alcarez deserves the truth. Quinn Glen Cooper deserves the truth. Kim Saltmarsh Dietz deserves the truth. Lucas Eibel deserves the truth. Jason Dale Johnson deserves the truth. Lawerence Levine deserves the truth. Sarena Dawn Moore deserves the truth. Treven Taylor Anspach deserves the truth. Rebecka Ann Carnes deserves the truth. The injured deserve the truth. Stop accepting the lies and embrace the truth.

Guns kill people.

RD Kulik

RD is the founder and head editor at SeedSing. 

Let's talk about how guns kill people

ed note: These are the thoughts of the head editor and do not reflect all of SeedSing. We believe in giving everyone a voice and welcome any respectful dissent.

Let me find the words.

There was another senseless killing of two innocent people by a person with a gun. Allison Parker and Adam Ward were doing their jobs. Their particular television jobs at Virginia station WDBJ did not cause anyone undo harm. They were not out destroying people's lives. Allison Parker and Adam Ward were living their lives, going to work, and looking forward to good life ahead of them. A gun ended those dreams.

I am not going to go over the crime. I will not mention the name of the person who killed Allison Parker and Adam Ward. I will not speculate why the crimes were committed. You can find that information out there on the internet. The only thing I want to talk about to prevent more senseless deaths like Allison Parker and Adam Ward is how they were killed by a gun. Guns kill people, guns have killed a lot of people this year alone. That is the purpose of a gun, to kill. I love when people use the concept of a swimming pool is less safe for your home than a firearm. So every time I jump in the pool, I am less safe than every time my untrained self handles a loaded firearm? Swimming pools are for swimming, guns are for killing. The gun is way more effective at killing someone than a swimming pool is.

The pro gun argument is filled with false statistical comparisons. I get tired of hearing about how we have more guns and less crime. Crime is down for a large number of reasons, the amount of guns is not one of them. There is no credible information that can link drops in violent crime with increased gun ownership. If this was the case, our urban areas would be virtual crime free utopias. The increase in gun ownership has added to the number of accidents and suicides. Every pro gunner leaves those statistics out of their arguments. More guns means more effective ways to kill and be killed.

The weapon used to cruelly kill Allison Parker and Adam Ward was a handgun. This is another incident of a handgun being used to kill a person. I have rarely seen stories about responsible hunters going out and using a handgun for sport. Yet the NRA makes damn sure that anyone, even people who cannot pass a background check, can get their hands on a handgun. People that want to kill can easily go out today, purchase a handgun, and then complete their task of killing a person with a bright future. We can thank the rich old white men at the NRA for the privileged of living in this society. 

I am tired of these killings. Crime has existed since we climbed out of primordial sludge, that is not what tires me out. I am tired because we can do something about these senseless killings. Allison Parker and Adam Ward were killed because a madman could get a handgun thanks to the NRA and their bought politicians in Washington DC. We have the ability to stop these killings. The cowards in our federal government will wait out the initial public sadness, and then they will talk about how our gun laws need to be relaxed. This happens every time, and I am pissed off about it. I want to live in a society where random crime is not enhanced by guns. Guns kill people.

I am sad for the people who know and love Allison Parker and Adam Ward. They will never be given comfort by the idiots in DC and the NRA because of greed. We are supposed to be the greatest society in the history of mankind, we can do better. The NRA wants a world where we are less safe. The cowards and DC have no care for the American people. I have one thing to say to the both of them.

Guns kill people.

RD Kulik

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing. Do you disagree - tell us.

 

The Problem is Gun Culture

(Ed. note: Seed Sing is a community of voices. The author is expressing his opinion and invites any questions and criticisms. Write for Seed Sing.)

It saddens me to think about the number of times President Obama has had to address the nation after a mass shooting or a race related death. We have nine people dead because in the killers eyes they were a problem. This killer was a racist, a terrorist, and a monster. His motivation was hatred, his tool was a handgun. The same motivation and tool can be attributed to the majority of mass killings in the United States. A large part of my sadness stems from the actual violence and loss of life, but there is another part to my sadness related to modern American gun culture. 

I spent a few years working as an advocate to stem gun violence, or in other words I was a lobbyist working against the NRA. I was somewhat unique in the gun violence prevention movement, I did not have a gun violence victim profile and I was not very interested in banning guns. The primary reason I worked on the issue was the allure of the challenge. I am very socially liberal, but libertarian in my view of personal responsibility. The gun issue stood on the intersection of personal responsibility and social consequence.  I approached the guns as a public relations problem. People either were yes or no on guns. I wanted to make people on the no side become yes on something reasonable. It is always better to argue an issue from the yes perspective. The particular issue I was brought in to manipulate was carrying a concealed weapon (CCW). I would use polls, business testimonies, and advertising to convince the legislators that CCW is not wanted. Never was there a mention of guns, death, or violence. There was some success, and some failure, but the narrative of gun violence prevention was changing.

So I thought. My career did not last long in the gun violence prevention movement. Many of the primary players have been there for years, and the majority were victims of gun violence. More states were passing laws that loosened restrictions on gun ownership. The old guard went back to their old methods. New gun violence prevention groups would rise up after the latest shooting and come up with "new" ideas on curbing the violence. The debate resorted back to yes and no. The media would treat any gun violence news as a debate between an old white guy from the NRA (or the US Congress) and some non-media savvy victim of gun violence. The idea of working to stop gun violence was the most pure Sisyphean task one could image.

My ambivalence to guns changed on December 12th, 2012. The deaths of twenty children and six school staff members at the hands of a person wielding legal weapons caused me to take a side in the gun debate. I started to firmly believe something needed to be done by our government to regulate and ban most firearms. With my professional experience I set out to have a discussion with people on the dangers of firearms.  What I received in return was mostly anger from the pro gun people. The debate quickly turned into why these 26 (28 including the killer and his mother) died and evolved into a discussion about not limiting guns. 

On Wednesday nine people, who were in church, were killed in Charleston South Carolina by a monster with a gun.  It is now Friday and I have heard little about the victims and more about why guns need less regulation. I am confused and pissed off about the society I live in.

The pro gunner's arguments have not changed in the ten years since I left the gun violence prevention movement. Here are some examples of their arguments followed by my hypothetical responses. 

GUNNERS: Guns don't kill people, people do.

ME: The famous comedian Eddie Izzard famously said "Well I think the gun helps". 

GUNNERS: If someone in the church had a gun, this would not have been as bad.

ME: How many times have you heard about a "good" CCW license holder stopping any mass shooting, zero? 

GUNNERS: You are using this tragedy to push your liberal agenda.

ME: I am sorry, tell me once again when we had any kind of reasonable gun control legislation in the last twenty years.  Also when should we talk about gun violence? When everyone has been killed?

GUNNERS: FREEDOM!!!!!!

ME: ???????

There is no way to have a rational discussion with people who use innocent deaths to protect their beliefs. I will admit that guns may not be the problem, gun culture is the problem. Why do we give the gunners a rational position in our society. What is a gun used for. I will give the gunners credit for the hunting argument. Their are a lot of hunters who use rifles.  What about assault rifles and handguns? Those weapons are not used by serious hunters. What in the world are people using assault rifles and handguns for? The answer I normally get is that those guns are for sport shooting and protection. First, you do not need to have those weapons in your home if they are used for sport shooting. Second, what do you need protecting from. Statistics are numbers and have no political motivation.  The incident of accidental death and suicide is a lot larger than the number of people who have successfully used these weapons for protection. We have trained police who can protect you from the "bad guys". I lived in the urban core for most of my twenties and thirties. I know of more people in the suburbs with handguns and assault rifles than I ever knew in the city. 

The best way to approach the problem of gun violence is to marginalize the gun culture. People who make guns a religion need to be treated as non-rational beings. I love Star Wars, yet I do not demean people who do not like it (I privately judge them).  You can love guns, but you do not need to be obnoxious about it. Many people love expensive sports cars, even if they cannot afford them.  One does not need to own a gun to enjoy them. Do you really love guns. Go to a regulated shooting range, play a first person shooter. You do not need to have the extra ability to kill someone with your hobby.

Once the gun culture is marginalized in society, spineless politicians will stop bending over backward for the NRA. Gun manufacturers depend on the NRA to continue a campaign of misdirection, lying, and fear mongering. The fact that the media does not marginalize the NRA makes our congress even more ineffectual. The gun violence prevention movement is way too emotional and fractured in their beliefs to be an effective counterbalance to the NRA. Bringing the gun violence prevention movement together as one voice is a non-starter. Pushing the same boulder up the same hill is going to give you the same results.

The best way to honor the people killed by guns is to do whatever possible to not add new gun violence victims. Forget about the guns and focus on the culture. Once everyone truly sees that the narrative states we honor the dead by demanding more guns, people will wake up and see the insanity. We will demand real discussion, from rational people. Change will start to happen.

Be kind to each other.

RD Kulik 

RD Kulik is the founder and Head Editor for Seed Sing