When I wake up in the morning these days it’s like there’s a 10% chance that something awful has happened way too close for comfort. San Bernardino. The stabbing of a cabbie in Spokane. Vegas. You know how you keep up with people on social media but don’t really talk to them? I have such a person on my Facebook friend’s list that I was once pretty fond of.
The world is only stranger when I know that my first crush way back in elementary school was present and evading gunfire in Las Vegas last night, in what is now the largest mass shooting in American history.
These things are happening more often and more closely. My sister worked at the building that the San Bernardino shooting took place, before we moved. Almost every day I wake up and must be unphased by the world being rocked by another event that changes it. When my family became interested in gun culture, I was initially quite hesitant.
My brother started a family and now had much to lose if someone were to break into his home. He had things he wanted to protect. So he got pretty deep into casual gun culture. A couple gun shows here and there. He got his conceal carry license. Still, I thought it was a little much.
After all, in a perfect world, where justice and karma were dispensed evenly and people didn’t get shot in public by the dozens, you wouldn’t need a device that can end a life at the flip of a switch. These events remind me that we do not live in a perfect world.
We’re getting to the point where people nearly HAVE to have these things in order to feel safe. Good guy with a gun versus bad guy with a gun rather than bad guy with a gun versus guy. This is nuclear deterrence at the individual level. To protect from dying you must carry something that can kill. Just carry, filled with regret that the world must persist like this. Not needing to use.
Then after these shootings gun lobbyists on both sides get loud and cloud the actual tragedy. I’m not going to talk about what would and won’t work, but god damn do I understand what I want for myself. Not have to fear.
When I turn 21 I intent to purchase myself such a nuclear deterrent. My dad has one, my brother has one, and the world is increasingly closing in with negativity where people threaten and use theirs every day. Nobody at Vegas would have been able to stop that crazed man, but this is another example of the world changing for the worse.
Domestic America is being scarred by these events more and more. I refuse to be a victim in one of them. So I will get myself a tool of mutually assured destruction. Maybe it’ll help. Maybe it won’t. But I’ll be fucked if I sit down and say I choose to be powerless when I’m on a movie date with my girlfriend and somebody stands up to begin firing into the seats.
I refuse to become a victim as long as I know I have the power to resist the malicious will of a stranger.
Personally, I will resist disarmament. Take a look at any international relation. Nuclear disarmament was a great idea, but every country shakes hands with the others with a knife gripped in the hand behind their back. Must we as a society evolve to this savage character?
I will be savage if it means I will live.
I struggle to find words that don’t make me sound like some absolutely morally superior prick who errs on the side of owning a handgun. The world is not black and white. I hate that I live in a place that is quickly becoming a hazard to exist in. Things are getting more personal, and more proximate. These events are getting more dangerous and the death toll is escalating with every one of them that happens.
But like I said, if the world is a hazard to exist in I will protect myself as if my life depends on it, because it does. Other interpretations will say that means different things. To me it means nuclear deterrence, because I refuse to be afraid.
Apologies if this got more personal to me than you’re used to. It’s been a hell of a weekend and today doesn’t at all feel like a day off. You all will probably tune in to some news source inadvertently and will hear about this event for weeks to come. I might be back with another journal later tonight getting back to writing.
Just thought I’d put my philosophy on it before the politics enter the fray.
Stay safe, everyone. Be safe. Live. Survive. Thrive.