That may draw the wrath of the gun rights interweb down upon my head, but so be it.
Now, I wasn’t always anti-gun. I’ve never really been pro-gun, but in the past I was more neutral. For much of my life, my attitude was, “not for me, but whatever.” In was only the last few years that I’ve drifted away from that neutrality. While my reasons … have … been … many and varied, my personal tipping point came on December 11, 2012.
In response to the horrors of Newtown, Aurora, and so many others, gun advocates have also evolved. Here I use the word “evolved” loosely. Too many have recklessly ratcheted up their rhetoric, but not only their rhetoric. More troubling, many turn to intimidation and threats. As advocacy for so-called “gun rights” (scare quotes intentional), such efforts only strengthen my own resolve. Seriously, if you show up at a Mothers Against Gun Violence rally with an assault rifle, you’re a walking example of why we need more gun control, not less.
Suggested solutions to the problem of gun violence are many, but Robert Cooperman’s The NRA’s Modest Proposal, a poem which is a rhetorical descendent of Swift’s A Modest Proposal, caught my attention less for the way it exaggerates so much gun advocacy today than for the way it doesn’t. Cooperman himself notes the preposterous extremism of gun rights “solutions,” (scare quotes intentional) which essentially boils down to “There’s a gun-related problem? Then moar guns!” I worry many gun advocates will miss the irony and satire in Cooperman’s poem.
Maslow famously noted, “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” Well, if you only have a gun, the solution to every problem is three to the center mass, one to the head.
I’d like to think there are other options.