Gun Safety Is An Oxymoron

For everyone’s safety, we must rid the world of firearms.

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

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Yesterday, I read yet another news article about yet another school shooting in the United States. These horrific incidents have become so routine that the details have begun to blur together.

What stood out in this case was the age of the shooter: Six. Six. A six-year-old child deliberately shot his teacher, Abby Zwerner, with a handgun.

When I read the age of this shooter, I immediately recalled another horrific image. On May 16, 2022, the arms manufacturer Daniel Defense tweeted a photo of a toddler cradling a rifle, accompanied by a Bible verse. The company soon pulled this post down in response to outrage, as they were the manufacturer of the gun used in the Uvalde, Texas school shooting just days later. But their original tweet is preserved in the Internet Archive.

Screenshot from the Internet Archive of a tweet by Daniel Defense, showing a toddler sitting on the floor holding a rifle. The text reads “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it”, with an emoji of hands together in prayer.

The suggestion that training a young child in the use of modern firearms is justified by the Bible seared this image into my brain with red-hot anger. The NRA and the Christian evangelicals who support them are promoting a religious worldview based not on love and kindness, but on fear and bloodshed.

Even without that Biblical message, I hope most sane people would agree that a young child or other person who is not mentally competent should not be anywhere near firearms. The problem is, as long as guns exist, people who are not properly trained in their use will get a hold of them and cause grievous injuries and death.

But the other problem is, as long as firearms exist, people who are mentally competent and are properly trained in their use will also cause grievous injuries and death. This is because guns are made specifically to wound and kill people. Wounding and killing are not incidental or accidental results of gun usage. These deaths and injuries are the direct and intended results of properly aiming and firing a weapon at another human being.

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Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, pacifist. Pronouns: they/them/their. funcrunch.org, patreon.com/funcrunch