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Submitted on
July 22, 2012


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This past week our nation witnessed one of the most horrific violations in history. A beast that I refuse to name, planned and then killed 12 people in a theatre in Colorado. I won't go into details of how, why, or who committed this atrocity.
What I WILL address is the idea of our Constitutional "right to bear arms". The misconstrued perception of this "right", saddens and confuses me. The archaic belief that having a gun in our houses will enable us to "defend ourselves" is not only statistically improbable, it is metaphorically AND literally unsettling to those who live with us. A loaded gun in a house says,"I don't trust people", "I am afraid someone will break in and hurt us", and also "I am willing to shoot to kill another human being".
If you have a gun in your house and it is NOT loaded, the statistical probability of you being able to get to it, load it, and confront a home invader AND for the outcome of that confrontation to be positive in ANY way, is insignificantly small.

This is not to say I don't think we should be prepared. It is not to say that I don't think we should defend ourselves and those we love but having a dog and a home alarm system are profoundly more effective. The idea is to not have your home be very appealing to those who would invade it.

What all this brings me to is a conclusion I came to in my teens. There is NO REASON for assault rifles to be in the hands of the public. There is NO REASON for hand guns to be in the possession of the public. Hand guns and assault rifles were invented for ONE single purpose and that is to kill other human beings. SO - what do I say to those who claim they have a "right to collect" weapons? I say,"Get a life and collect ceramic frogs, lawn gnomes, or goldfish". Collect something that adds life to the world, not something that is designed to destroy life. What possible joy can a human being derive out of owning a collection of assault rifles?? What fearful illusional self perception of manhood needs to revel in the ownership of something designed to take away the life of another being? When I see a photo of a guy standing around with his buddies and brandishing their prize AK-47's, I wonder if it makes them feel powerful, macho, and strong? It also makes me wonder where this need for that sense of power came from. Is there a correlation between this behavior and the violent idiotic murderous video games? There are even TV shows dedicated to showing off "powerful weapons". I get nauseous when I pass by these shows on my way to the Discovery Channel.

I come from a long line of poor people in the South and I remember well my Father and my Uncles going out hunting and bringing home rabbit, deer, squirrels, and quail to feed our family. I've personally hunted and helped clean our kill to add to our dinner table. I understand the need to eat and I understand the idea of hunting to sustain loved ones. But I've never seen an AK-47 used in deer hunting and a hand gun is impractical for hunting anything other than humans. Also, I don't think there are very many families who depend on hunting for sustenance any more anyway. Maybe it would be a good idea to get rid of ALL guns! It works in a lot of countries.

So, I am not without understanding when it comes to the "right to bear arms" but the bastardization of this "right" has becomes the mantra of lobbyists with special interests in Washington and it sickens and disheartens me.

12 people are dead and 58 wounded, because of this "right". This monster had the "right" to buy machines made for the purpose of killing human beings. He bought everything LEGALLY on line.

To those who will say to me,"Guns don't kill people, people kill people", I say,"Tell that to the families of those murdered in Colorado. These types of guns ARE what kill people, furthermore, they are singly designed for that purpose. Yes, people kill people and it is these types of guns they use to do it.

I say ban assault rifles and hand guns. It certainly won't stop this kind of thing from happening but it WILL cut down on the number of lives lost and make the whole process more difficult.

Washington MUST do something…. but I've been to Washington, photographed Senators and Congressmen, so I know how it works up on the Hill and I recognize the fact money speaks louder than the voices of grieving family members.

Today I feel powerless. How many innocent people and how many good presidents must die to make these weapons illegal?

To those who will say to me,"Guns don't kill people, people kill people", I say,"Tell that to the families of those murdered in Colorado. These types of guns ARE what kill people, furthermore, they are singly designed for that purpose. Yes, people kill people and it is these types of guns they use to do it.

I say ban assault rifles and hand guns. It certainly won't stop this kind of thing from happening but it WILL cut down on the number of lives lost and make the whole process more difficult.

I hope Washington will do something…. but I've been to Washington, photographed Senators and Congressmen, so I know how it works up on the Hill. I don't have a lot of hope because money speaks louder than the voices of grieving family members.

Today I am heartboken.

Some stats.
People killed by guns/year

USA: 11,127

Italy: 483
Germany: 381
France: 255
Spain: 113
UK: 68

483+381+255+113+68=1300. There are about 9 times more gun-related deaths in USA than in these countries combined. Even though their combined population is about the same, even a bit bigger than USA's. about this??
  • Listening to: the hum of the G5
  • Drinking: Heineken
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hotwiar Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
I want to move to England... northern England or Scotland. Just need the job that will enable this to happen...yep.
EvilTarte Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012
Well stated. I myself think that if we start becoming better human beings then things will start to change. People that resort to actions such as the shooter in Colorado have mental problems. It's not always possible to notice and try to help such a person, but maybe if someone had tried, the outcome would've been different.
lauriek Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012
Here in Australia, we had a similar incident happen in 1996 when Martin Bryant went on a rampage killing many innocent people.
Our government went against the masses and declared semi automatic weapons illegal and tightened gun laws considerably.
One of the best moves ever, IMHO.
Azyiu Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks Mr. Helms for the journal, and I pretty much agreed with your views there. And sadly, you are right about many things won't get done when politics come into play.
ryo257ma Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Banning guns will do nothing to stop the violence. It will enable criminals because they already have the guns. ILLEGALLY. Tell me about how criminals follow laws, especially the ones about guns. Automatic weapons, sawed off shot guns. All that stuff is illegal. I don't know any law abiding citizen that owns automatic weapons or sawed off shot guns. You're talking about two very different things here. The right to bear arms and the right to collect guns. I totally agree that there is no need for anyone to own an assault rifle or automatic weapon. Hand guns are a different story. Yes, they are designed to kill, created to wage war, but they purpose of a hand gun, even in war, is self defense in confined quarters, like, say a home. Maybe owning a gun says "I don't trust people," but the fact is you CAN'T trust people. People can be selfish, and inhuman creatures. They will take what they want and harm whoever gets in their way. There are absolutely too many psychopaths in this world today. And by that I don't mean crazy people. I mean people who won't flinch at taking someone's life. People who feel no emotion and are willing to do anything as long as it helps them satisfy their hunger for more of whatever they want. Fact is a dog won't scare someone who really wants your stuff because they WILL have a gun. And alarm systems are incredibly unreliable, always giving false alarms, costing the public millions of dollars because the police HAS to respond to an alarm no matter what. ADT and those companies don't want you to know that. Those companies don't respond and they don't pay the police to respond. They pocket the exorbitant amounts of money they charge and let the public flip the bill for the police. Which brings me to another point. Seeing that most of our country is poor owning a gun is cheaper than a dog and definitely cheaper than an alarm system. Fact is banning guns will do nothing but enable criminals.

Also, you have some of those paragraphs up there twice which makes me thing you just copied and pasted something from somewhere without even really thinking about what it says. And people do kill people. They've been doing it for thousands of years. For that, any weapon will do.
The-last-black-rose Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Student Writer
I completely agree.
Living in the UK, it is terrifying to think that this kind of thing is allowed to happen in other countries.
I agree that the mentality of the person is a huge aspect in cases such as these, but had this person not been able to access guns so easily this may not have had such a fatal outcome.
This leaves me slightly put out at the pathetic nature of the human race.

However, there is hope in those who can see past this horror. You for instance. I would put my trust in you. You should become involved in politics, make changes. You are very influential and wise beyond anything i could wish to be. :) x
JSHelms Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
I'm sure someone else has already said something along these lines, but declaring that guns kill people is akin to declaring that spoons make people fat. Guns don't pull their own triggers.

As far as our right to bear arms is concerned, our founding fathers did not necessarily foresee the invention of the assault rifle, and for the sake of this information assault rifles and their capabilities are unimportant, but their intention with the Second Amendment was to ensure that we citizens would have the capabilities to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government in case the government they founded became corrupt (excellent foresight on their part if you ask me). As long as our government's watchdogs/enforcers/soldiers, etc. have assault rifles and handguns, we, the people of the United States of America, should retain the right to own equivalent weapons in case the government officials decide to try to take us down a notch or two when the country begins to fall.

Make no mistake. This country will fall just like every one has before it and every one will after it. Nations are not permanent. Changes come. The government will have to deal with unrest and discontent on a massive scale and, when the only tool the government has is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. You think they're not going to use their own guns against us if we are unarmed? Look up some U.S. History and find out about the massacres that our own government has already perpetuated on unarmed protesters and the like. You might be shocked. You might be appalled. You might not care at all.

I guarantee you that gun control will not stop violent murders. It will only change the means by which they are carried out. Criminals will use knives, sticks, stones and whatever else they can get their hands on to carry out their crimes. The problem with crimes in America isn't the specific tool used, but the person using the tool. We will still have the same number of criminals carrying out the same number of crimes. It's a social problem, not an issue of tools. Guns are simply tools. Many thousands of tools can be used to murder a person. Shall we outlaw everything that can be used to take a life? Well, I guess we'll have to cut off our own hands eventually.

I appreciate your art and your heart, but just because *you* and some others like you don't understand what other people get out of something like collecting guns doesn't mean that those persons who collect them are maladjusted or trying to make up for a small penis. You are making small-minded assumptions and I thought you were better than that. If your logic in this case were to be applied in cases such as gay rights, well, we would just make legislation that bans homosexuality outright. I certainly don't want to have sex with another man and I know others who think it's an abomination, so we should just outlaw it outright, yes?

No. Absolutely not. I am not sexually attracted to other men, but I want homosexuals to have the exact same rights and freedoms that I enjoy. And, if any of my homosexual friends were being brutally beaten by a group of homophobic thugs, you can rest assured that I would pull out my .38 Special and make those thugs think twice about continuing their actions. Guns are not only tools of action, but they also can be tools of prevention. You never hear the statistics of crimes that were not completed because, for example, a home invader heard the distinctive "Click-Clack" of a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun chambering a shell.

Anyway, you're entitled to your own opinion, but I seriously doubt that it's a good idea to try to take away the rights of persons who collect guns or who own just one or two guns because they're usually of the mind that people who want to take away their guns are the enemy. If you try to disarm me and prevent me from being able to protect my family from criminals (including the government), your are my enemy.

The end.
Stereoblind Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Professional Photographer
It's easier and cheaper to get a gun than access to proper mental health care and affordable medication.

I can set up a shell corporation hiding millions from being taxed in a few days with no ID but I need a note from my Doctor to see a nutritional specialist. Most places won't even consider a cash patient. Without insurance, no care. Please add the PPACA to my wish list.

I can watch a full length movie where people are butchered and stitched together into a human caterpillar-like creation of torture and brutality. That movie is rated R. I can even take my kids.

One act of love and nudity and it's rated X, taking my kids can land me in jail.

I would much rather face someone with a knife at 10 paces than a gun. If there wasn't so much money to be made by alcohol and guns they'd be illegal. The reason pot isn't legalized in most places here is because it's too easy for a regular person to grow it and use it - it can't be taxed or controlled for profit.

I've never even held a real gun in my hands and I don't want to. Knowing how to use one will never save my life because even if a loved one was in danger I can't kill another person. I've never killed an animal for food (not even a fish) because I live in a country where meat isn't a necessary item.

I tried killing a mouse once and got violently ill. Bugs I have no problem with as long as they are less than 2 inches in size.

I'll never need a gun. I do need neighbors that I can trust whose first solution to intolerance and prejudice isn't reaching for a gun.

The numbers for managed health care and a no guns policy speak for themselves. Sadly, those who benefit from those concerns NOT being managed have more money to lobby for their rampant disregard for the value of human life.

If our votes were actually counted in a Presidential Election I'd be the first in line to keep things on the right path. As it is, I just have to pick the country with the least path of resistance to tolerance and peace. Unfortunately I'm used to living in the USA and finding a better place to live is outside of my realm of expertise. So here I stay, under the radar, out of my neighbors line of fire and finding beauty where I can.

One person at a time.
Pelicanh Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Professional Photographer
when I wrote this - it seemed so "OBVIOUS" and "clear" to me. THEN I started reading all the responses and I got even MORE heartbroken. I agree with you.
People love their guns. ugh
ryo257ma Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I totally understand the thing about not being able to take a life. The sad thing is that those who threaten you or your family won't even think twice about squeezing that trigger. So for me, I can't willingly go out and just take someone's life, but if it's kill or be killed (or watch my loved ones be killed) I'll do what I need to to survive.
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