It’s Like Following Someone Around a Store

Gun control.

We already have it in this country (America). People have to take concealed carry classes before they can purchase a handgun. In the state of Iowa, at least, those who have been convicted of a Domestic Assault or a Felony can no longer legally own firearms. If you order certain types of guns online, they must be delivered to a registered gun distributor and picked up following a background check, you can’t just “mail yourself assault weapons” like some people seem to think.

It’s not perfect – nothing is – but a Crime is a Crime. In this country’s legal system, you are (supposed to be) innocent until proven guilty. However, in the wake of so much violence, Australia has made a very clear stance about wanting to pressure the US into reigning their citizen’s rights in even more. Famously, Australia got rid of (allegedly) all their guns. Some people say it was great, other people bemoan lack of personal safety and an increase in burglaries/ muggings – it depends on who you ask. A lot of people who consider themselves “anti-wingnut” are calling for something similar in the US.

Here’s why that is a problem:

Someone walks into a store with deep-pocketed baggy pants on – Tripps, FUBU, pick your poison. The associates immediately notice and make it a point to follow them around. They might steal something, they might purchase all of their items, they might not find what they were looking for and leave without buying or stealing anything, or they might notice they’re being watched when none of the other customers are and be upset enough to cause a scene before they leave.

In this scenario, the person in the Tripps is seen as “guilty until proven innocent” – they are going to be followed until they leave the store, and only then will the associates deem that person someone they didn’t have to bother following. Does this mean every thief who comes into the store will be caught? Hell no… not by a longshot. However, we all know targeting certain individuals – otherwise known as ‘profiling’ – is a gross injustice to those who are profiled.

Yes, there is a reason the profile exists, but, when we’re talking about individual rights, there becomes individual violations of those rights. The right to dress however you want is not protected by the Constitution, as seen by the Tennessee ‘Fashion Police‘ (tl;dr: the women were charged with indecent exposure for wearing booty shorts and not having a change of clothes, a charge usually reserved for people who masturbate in front juveniles or otherwise get some sort of sexual gratification out of exposing their bare genitals to non-consenting parties). However, for the most part, people can choose to wear clothes with as many/ few or as shallow/ deep of pockets as they choose. Not every store they go into is going to treat them like a criminal for it, either.

Not all people calling for ‘better gun control’ are calling for something as drastic as an outright ban – I realize this, and those are not the arguments this article is attempting to address. The argument this article means to address is the argument of guns being inherently evil and needing to be burned in a fire or otherwise not allowed for people to keep or practice with as they see fit, so long as they adhere to certain guidelines, or sarcastically calling people “responsible gun owners” when they have been reported to be quite irresponsible. All you ‘pro-life, but not pro-gun-control’ chanters, listen up:

Accusing gun owners of being criminals simply by associating with guns, for being part of a community where gun safety and handling is taught at a young age, or for using the second amendment as a response to backlash at the fact that our gun laws aren’t tight enough because kids dying in the US is a tragedy while hospitals being blown to smithereens and children playing in the street are gunned down by drones are just collateral damage, shows a small-mindedness about the real issue.

Certain people just DGAF about anyone or anything – call them ‘crazy’, ‘desperate’, ‘psychopaths’, whatever you’d like to make yourself feel superior to “them”. Evil is a part of life, and there’s nothing that can be done to legislate it away. If anything, the more laws we have, the more loopholes we have for people to jump through or use to protect serial predators who happen to have places of authority or been born to/ be in the good graces of people who do.

We look at these gunmen as easy targets to vent our frustration on and, since most of them choose to take their own lives instead of waiting for the cops to take them out to Burger King (which Snopes says is false with a big red X, but, when you read through the text, it says “Dylann Roof was apprehended between 10 and 11 AM on 18 June 2015, and the circumstances under which he was provided with food from Burger King prior to his arraignment were not entirely clear
Roof hadn’t eaten in days, and the Shelby PD didn’t have the facilities to house him and provide him with meals while waiting for federal and Charleston authorities to arrive, so they had to dispatch someone to a nearby business to pick up some food for him…” it’s obvious the man had Burger King – it should be a yellow ‘Kind Of True’)
, we have to have some
way to feel in control of something which is essentially only controlled by a perpetrator.

People want answers, and to dismiss their feelings on the issue as irrelevant is wrong. To dismiss the pain and suffering of the victims and their loved ones is cruel and inhumane. However, using those feelings of pain and suffering to push through legislation à la the Patriot Act is just as disrespectful as invalidation, and not something we should ever repeat. At home or abroad, human life should be valued, honored, and revered by people of all walks of life.

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