My child’s safety is more important than your guns

There. I’ve said it, I’ve opened myself up to the bombardment of messages, comments, texts, saying “but my second amendment rights!” and “But what about the responsible gun owners?” Well, what about your second amendment rights? What about the responsible gun owners? Because I don’t see any of you, you who care so much about your guns, doing anything to ensure the safety of people dying at the hands of those guns by the thousands, by the literal thousands, not yearly but monthly.

If you care so much about your gun ownership, your right to bear arms, then why are you not outraged?

As a safe gun owner, how are you not in favor of reducing those number of deaths?

Because right now everyone still arguing against the legislation, against any kind of increased background check, education, or regulation, is terrifying, right now you look bad.

You look bad when the first thing you say in the wake of a mass shooting is “Don’t blame responsible gun owners.”

You look bad when you regurgitate overused rhetoric with no actual meaning behind it “But guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

You look bad when you say, “A few bad gun owners don’t reflect on the rest of us” but the same logic didn’t apply to ‘a few bad hombres’ or ‘a few bad refuges’.

You look bad when you defend your guns before all else when you continue to fight against any kind of legislation, while people are dying daily.

You look bad when you care more about the future of your gun ownership than you do about the lives of the children fallen at the hands of mass shooters, the lives of children that will be taken in tomorrow’s mass shooting, in next week’s mass shooting, in next month’s mass shooting.

When you care more about your guns than you do about their child’s safety, about my child’s safety. What about when it’s your child? Will you care then? Because I think you’d be singing a different tune.

The time for being passive is over. Time of bowing your head in prayer for the fallen, then simply moving on, is over. Children’s lives are over, and that’s just today. What about tomorrow? What about the day after that? Can any responsible, reasonable citizen genuinely turn their nose up at the issue and pretend there is no problem? Can they genuinely say we need no new legislation, no new safety regulations in homes, no new training, no new mental health checks, that there is simply nothing to be done?

Don’t feed me the rhetoric about knives, when knives wrack up the yearly mass killing toll that guns have, we’ll talk.

Don’t think you’re clever comparing gun deaths to cars. Cars are one of the most heavily regulated things in this country, something not designed to kill, something you need a license to operate, registration to hold.

Don’t give me the illogical “but criminals don’t follow laws!” line. By that logic, why have laws about anything, criminals don’t follow them - what’s the point? The point is that a reduction of lives lost is still a reduction of lives lost, less crime is still less crime.

Don’t say ‘it’s not a gun problem, it’s a mental health problem’ because that’s a refusal to acknowledge the part of the equation that you don’t like. Is mental health involved? Yes, and I am all for better mental health care, more affordable care, treatment, and screening for mental health. Mental health should be heavily screened and taken very seriously - just like guns should be. Because guns are still the common denominator here.

Will criminals who should not have access to guns still get guns, even with more regulation? I know that’s a favorite argument. Maybe they will, I’m sure there will always be a black market for guns, but a reduction of lives lost is still a reduction of lives lost. It isn’t all or nothing, and many, many shootings have been conducted with legally owned weaponry. Let me say it again, any reduction of lives lost is a reduction of lives lost. Why would anyone be opposed to trying?

We start small, we regulate, we require more extensive background checks. We require licensing and training programs, we require guns be kept safely in homes. And of course, we require extensive mental health checks in order to buy weapons. “But this won’t do anything,” so many people say, but you haven’t even tried.

You actually don't have the data to back your statement up (the CDC currently blocks that data from being studied) that further regulation won't do anything. You're just making a random guess because you want to be right, you want to be able to keep your guns at all costs. And if you are not willing to try then you are willing to let more people die while you sit idly, head bowed in prayer at this week’s mass shooting.

Refusing to try anything, to try any sort of regulation, background check, or safety measure shows that you value your guns over the safety of our children.

And what about your Second Amendment rights? Because I know it’s coming. No matter what politicians and the NRA may have fed you - regulation does not infringe upon your Second Amendment rights any more than not being allowed to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theatre infringes on your First Amendment rights. Constitutionally granted rights are not limitless, and have limits when they pose a danger to other people and guess what? 11,000 deaths and climbing is a danger to other people, officially.

My child’s safety is more important than your guns.