Every time a mass shooting happens in the USA, our elected representatives offer the same predictable responses. Assuming the shooter was a white man, which is the usual case, Republicans call for “thoughts and prayers” and more awareness of mental health. Democrats call for “sensible gun control”. Nearly all emphasize their support of the Second Amendment, which granted US-Americans the right to bear arms.
Aside from questioning whether the drafters of the Second Amendment actually intended to create a right of individual gun ownership, I’m not interested in slavishly adhering to a Constitution and Bill of Rights that was written over two hundred years ago, by and for the benefit of straight white cisgender male landowners. But as long as Congress members are in the pocket of the NRA — an organization whose leader issued the infantile mantra “To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun” — true reform is unlikely to occur.
Regardless, from my perspective as a pacifist, reforming gun laws is not enough. I don’t want guns “controlled”, I want them gone. All of them. Not just semi-automatic or “assault weapons” (an ambiguous term), but every single firearm that was designed for the express purpose of killing another human being.
I don’t want guns taken just from the hands of civilians, but from the police and military as well. As a queer black trans person I don’t trust the police, and detest violent imperialist acts by the USA (or any other country). While gun violence is a particularly acute problem in the USA, I do not support the moral right of gun ownership anywhere. I want a total end to gun manufacturing, and I want to see every firearm on Earth melted down and recycled into a useful tool. Swords to plowshares, people.
I speak of moral rather than legal rights because universal disarmament will not happen through legal means. We must come together as a species to agree to stop murdering each other. While people can and do kill without guns — even using their bare hands in some cases— guns are particularly efficient at this task. We have the intelligence to develop effective non-lethal means of restraint, for those who pose a true threat to the lives of others.