There have never been a lot of people reading CMC, and when I go nearly a year without posting, there are fewer. But I am not quite ready to attach my name to this post. I'm still a little fragile. So I'm writing it here for now. If it disappears in the next few days, it's because I got brave enough to share it on my personal Facebook page.
I cannot believe I'm saying this after years of outrageous inaction around guns in this country, but... I think we might be moving too fast.
I get the impulse to get guns out of the hands of "bad guys," or whatever, but. But.
It sounds like what's being proposed is that people on "terrorist watchlists" can't buy guns anymore, while the rest of us can still buy as many or as few guns as we were buying before. That seems to be the compromise that people think they can get behind. And I think that seems kind of scary and possibly racist.
If we're really committed to this idea that gun ownership is a right in America – I don't think it's all right to deny that right to people who have not been convicted of anything because they are suspected of a crime or potential future crime. I don't go to Tom Cruise movies so I didn't see this one, but isn't that the premise of Minority Report?
America's done that a lot, historically and currently, and it's done that wildly disproportionately to already marginalized folks, mostly black and brown ones, but also queer ones, poor ones, immigrant ones, mad ones.
There are people imprisoned without charges for maybe having been involved in some act of terrorism, who have been imprisoned for many years. Not without a conviction — without charges.
I personally know one African-American man who was jailed for a long time before he was charged. Once he was, he was not convicted, because he did not do the thing with which he was charged, but after a long time in jail, his life was still very different than it would have been otherwise.
There are cities across the good ol' U.S. of A. who routinely deprive people of their legally held property (cars and cash and whatnot) under the auspices that they were used in the commission of a crime. There are police departments who have to build their budgets around those seizures. Without probable cause.
I don't like any of that. And if we think a second amendment is a good idea at all, if part of our American deal is that people get to have guns — I don't think we should plan to deprive people — mostly brown people — that right.
You want to talk about whether that right is a good idea at all? I'll have that conversation, when I'm a little more over my grief about the hundred of my family members who were shot a few days ago. I might be open to ditching that right entirely. But I don't think I'm OK with ditching it for just some (already marginalized) people.
Right? There have to be some lawyers and libertarians out there, as well as some passionate gun-control types. Do you all have thoughts?