It’s been a little over a year since I first heard Susan Orfanos tell people to keep their prayers and actually do something about gun control. You see, she had just lost her son in a shooting at a country bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He was one of a dozen people mowed down at the bar that day.
Her words have stayed with me every single day, especially in the aftermath of still more gun violence, whether it be in Pensacola, Pearl Harbor, El Paso, Dayton or anywhere else. I think of Susan Orfanos’s words when some well-meaning person offers “thoughts and prayers” to family and friends of the victims and what might be a more comforting and meaningful promise.
Thoughts are nice. Prayers are fine. Go ahead, think, pray. But may I suggest doing something else in conjunction with thinking. I’ve decided that if I’m in a position to express support I’m going to change my promise from “thoughts and prayers,” to “thoughts and ACTIONS.” Actions can be almost anything that addresses the issue. Actions can include having frank discussions with your kids about being watchful and non-violent ways to handle circumstances that may lead to anger, sadness, feelings of isolation. Actions could include writing to our representatives imploring them to have the courage to stand up to the NRA and to gun companies and pass the type of legislation that might make a difference in reducing crimes involving firearms, snuffing out the ability to buy assault weapons and closing the egregious gun show loophole that makes it easy to pick up a weapon without a background check. Personalize each communication with the name or names of victims of gun violence and maybe a photo so their once-alive eyes will stare down the cowards, if they even bother to read what we’ve sent. Work to toss the spineless saps out of office–replaced by those who are committed and brave enough enough to pass legislation with high enough caliber to make a difference.
Everyone has different levels of what actions might be comfortable for them. Any action is positive action. No one is trying to take firearms appropriate for hunting or self and home defense out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. But actions must be taken to remove them from those with a history of violence. Actions must be taken to eliminate the availability to the general public assault weapons and those designed for the military. They have no other purpose than to kill people.
Really, action can be anything that helps make our world just a little bit safer. It’s the least we can do for all the victims and their survivors like Susan Orfanos.
There are five types of rifle actions: bolt action, level action, pump action, semi-automatic action and break action. There must be at least that many versions of positive action to reduce gun violence. If not, then we don’t have a prayer. Think… and pray about that. Amen.
After reading a combination of serious, ridiculous, paranoid, well-intentioned, sensible and idiotic commentary on gun control, I’d like to offer an aspect regarding an unknown number of those who oppose such legislation. This segment of society would be those who desire guns for neither self-defense, sporting nor murderous purpose. These are people who are so simple, they just want guns to make a big bang, possibly in place of the lack of ability to do so naturally.
When we were kids in the 60’s it was quite acceptable to play “War” or “Cowboys and Indians” with Daisy air rifles. They were cool. You racked the gun and when you fired it made a small boom. If we wanted to actually shoot something we stuck the muzzle of the gun in the ground and when you fired a little clod of dirt spilled out. If you didn’t have a Daisy you could buy a roll of caps for your other toy guns so you could at least make a little “pop.” Either way, our need to pull a trigger and make a noise was fulfilled.
That was childhood during a more innocent time. Now there are individuals who want a bigger bang AND a lethal projectile to substitute for actual sex they can’t have anyway. A common term is to “jack a shell in the chamber.” For these idiots I would create ordnance that makes a noise but fires only Tic Tacs. I would then change the term to “E-jacking a shell in the chamber” since that’s what the whole exercise is designed as a substitute for. These morons could keep their guns, harm no one, satisfy their inadequacies and the world’s a safer place because no one is being shot and they’re not on the street practicing their other hobby, sexual deviancy.
There’s probably enough of these of these cretins to account for a good number of votes and if the firearms industry would simply serve their very specialized needs and thereby reducing the amount of lethal force in the hands of those who shouldn’t have it, the world might be just a little safer place.
Worth a shot.