Thursday, June 16, 2016

Just a Second

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?


bzzzzgrrrl said...

My Rock Star Friend steers me to this article, which also seems worth taking a look at, although I disagree with Cathy Gellis that we are unaccustomed to letting the government just take away some of our rights with no good reason. Aside from what I mentioned above, try getting an abortion in Texas. Or, you know, a lot of the U.S.

Calvin Rey said...

When I hear talk of "gun control," it always means less access to guns by "criminals" (black people?) and the "mentally ill" (more likely to be the victim of violence than the perpetrator). The Orlando shooter would still have had access to his gun under liberal gun control proposals. It's just scapegoating.

Disarm everyone including cops.

(I am none of who you asked to comment, sorry.)

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Calvin reminds me that I should be clearer. All those people I explicitly invited to comment should comment. All people with something to say should also comment, regardless of whether they're in one of those groups or not. Calvin Rey should particularly comment, always.

Carrie said...

I am completely anti gun. I feel the constitution has been amended before and should be amended again. However, I am aware that removing all guns from private citizens is not likely to happen soon. If guns are going to continue to be part of our lives then they need control. ALL guns should be registered and ALL gun owners should be held accountable for their use. Also some kinds of guns should be banned, including assault rifles and extended magazines.

bzzzzgrrrl said...

I think I'm on board with both Cal and Carrie, in that I think Cal's got my preferred endgame, and Carrie's nailed some potentially helpful steps along the path. This thing where we just disarm some of us seems very cosmetic, as well as other kinds of troubling. Who's safer if we take those (currently proposed) measures? I'm open to hearing other arguments, though. I really want to try to understand what folks who support those measures are thinking.