The misinformed believe what better way to exhibit strength than to walk around with the most threatening weapons available as a metaphor for their manhood.
Such thinking has always been dangerous however when coupled with the movement of fascist nationalist ideology currently sweeping large swaths of America today must serve as a warning sign that if this movement is allowed to continue unabated eventually everyone becomes fodder for the hunting game whether they be elderly people in church, concert goers on a warm summer evening, people picking up groceries on their way home for work, college students, high school students or elementary-aged kids in red states or blue state, no matter race, creed or color. No one will be safe and many will seek refuge not unlike those we turn away from our borders today.
I know people own weapons for different reasons and although such possession runs contrary to my personal and spiritual beliefs I do not judge others who chose them. What I question however is the “wild west” mentality displayed by too many gun owners.
The nonprofit Gun Violence Archive that tracks gun-related deaths and injuries in near time reported 23,282 gun deaths and 20,188 gun related injuries in the U.S. as of July 11, 2022 and the numbers continue rising year over year.
Gun laws are important and do help mitigate gun violence to a point but until something can be done to pull this nation from the brink of fascism, gun laws alone will not be enough. I hate to sound cliché but sometimes when reason does not work clichés are all we are left with. We must continue looking for ways to build bridges, to talk with those who fear and/or despise us because of how we worship, our race, our ethnicity, our sexuality, our age, our profession, and the list goes on.
Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” And for those who don’t subscribe to this theory because they believe in the power of their weapons I would refer you to another exalted purveyor of non violence, the man who inspired King, Mahatma Gandhi who once wrote, “The strength to kill is not essential for self-defense; one ought to have the strength to die.” It is quite obvious these purveyors of hate are cowards in this regard.
— Stephanie Williams in Nobody Safe in a Nation Obsessed With Guns