Ignorance is Liz: Right to bear harm?

So, this has caused quite a stir. And, I’m kind of glad it has..guns are an important issue, yesterday, today and tomorrow. However, before you read it, I just want to clarify something. I am not calling for a ban on guns. I am just asking for a more common sense approach to something so powerful as a gun. I should have probably elaborated more on this, but of course, it somehow escaped my mind. There are people who can be responsible with guns, licensed or unlicensed, the same way I believe a person underage or of age can drink responsibly.

Guns, however, pose a different challenge than alcohol and so many other objects that kill or cause deaths (cars, matches, knives, physicians, etc). It must be noted that it’s not the object that kills, but the person who is handling the object. But what is a gun ultimately for? For killing, for destroying (a life, a piece of clay). That is why I’m against them, and that’s what motivated me to write the column for The Brown and White.

One more thing. Someone says I come off as arrogant–maybe I do, but I was trying to make a statement. It’s the “what the hell were these lawmakers thinking about when they proposed this bill” type of statement. Like I said in the column, aside from hunting, people own guns because other people own guns. It’s a vicious cycle of fear. It has to stop. Even people who were involved in college massacres or who lost a loved one in a college shooting have vehemently criticized the bill, which proves that the approach of the bill does not get to the root of the problem.

If the bill passes, then my suggestion is this: everyone who is carrying a concealed weapon on campus should carry a badge of some sort saying “I’m carrying a concealed weapon.” If you’re allowing them to be armed, then at least enforce transparency. But I can already see the dangers posed by this.

Here are some  reactions to the bill:

Texas Tribune video

Gun Safety, Texas-style editorial from LA Times

and my column

Right to Bear Harm?



2 thoughts on “Ignorance is Liz: Right to bear harm?

  1. Hi Liz,

    sorry to hear about the column drama. I skimmed through your column. You didn’t come off as arrogant. I think it is a touchy subject so it might’ve helped if you had brought up in the column that not everyone who bears arms is a power-hungry maverick and so assuming those folks have a normal IQ, there has got to be some sort of logical reason for them to want a gun, but you shouldn’t be surprised that people call you names as an automatic reaction to your viewpoint being different than theirs. That comes with the territory.

    Often people who do that try to hurt you at an emotional level so you don’t want to fall into their trap. They’ll attack your stats, they’ll attack you, etc. They might make threats using the anonymity of the Internet, but usually people who comment on an article comment on a lot of them (serial commenters) so they’ll probably be thinking about something else tomorrow. Again, you didn’t come off as arrogant, and it’s normal to be idealistic when you’re in your early 20s.

    Anyway, about the column: I used to find it really weird that guns were allowed in the US (in Europe, gun laws are much stricter), but I came to understand that if you live in an isolated area and your house is broken into, you might want to have something to defend yourself with. Now, is it a good idea? Does the average person have the mental toughness to shoot a gun and shoot it correctly (not killing his spouse in the process by mistake, for instance) if they’re getting burglarized or mugged? I’m not sure. This is even more an issue if you think of shootings in public places, including campus shootings. Even police officers with years of training can shoot innocent bystanders by mistake sometimes, so I feel the odds of someone poorly trained trying to neutralize a shooter and ending up killing an innocent person nearby instead are rather high. I also worry about people who get road rage and start waving a gun at you because they feel slighted for some reason.

    I think the main problem in the case of public shootings in the workforce etc is that some people who buy guns are people who want to feel in control and, at some point, snap and decide to exert that control actively by taking someone else’s life (instead of only having a gun to defend themselves), maybe because they feel unfairly treated in their mind. Key is to stop the fantasy that we’ll be able to play Supermen when faced with such an unhinged individual, take out our own gun, prevent a massacre all by ourselves. I don’t know what would really help – maybe we should try to intervene through counseling before a person reacts to feeling aggravated by snapping and getting a gun. Maybe try to befriend the loners too. (Easier said than done, though.)

    As for whether guns should be banned… I think people who want to bring about change should start an inch at a time. Lack of progress gets disheartening really fast otherwise.

    Again, sorry for the drama. I guess it’s good training for a career in journalism!

  2. Being forced to wear a badge/label saying that you’re carrying a concealed weapon defeats the purpose of the weapon being, you know, concealed.

    I have no reason to use a gun and I’ve never fired one, but if we make having guns illegal then the only people left with guns will be criminals, and is that what we want?

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