Fixing the problem.

I’m going to take a moment from my usual snide tomfoolery to talk about a sensitive subject. If you disagree with me and my reasonable viewpoints then let me know why. But please use a viable argument, using Mexico as an example of strict gun regulation will discount any argument you make based on common sense. I wrote this late last year, but didn’t post it at the time to see if when my head cooled if my opinions would change… they have not.

Giving up on Guns

I do not possess the words to adequately express my feelings from the past year. How do you describe feeling utter anguish for parents and family who lost loved ones, absolute unrelenting anger at one cowardly creature who preyed upon the most innocent and vulnerable among us, pride for the stories of bravery during and after the shooting, and the fear that sits in the pit of your stomach moving forward.

Say what you will about guns, there’s no reason for people to own assault rifles or be able to buy enough bullets to single handedly take over Finland… Why are those who are so fast to defend guns so quick to attack public healthcare? Shouldn’t it be easier to get healthcare (mental healthcare) included than it is to buy rifles at Walmart? Why does anyone need 3-5x more ammunition than a policeman carries with him?

I’m not calling for a ban on guns. I think it’s stupid though that our priorities don’t make sense. We need to become a better country, more educated, and more practical. Guns were very important for settlers as we needed them for food, defense against bears, and to steal the Native American’s land away from them.

But bear populations are in decline, refrigeration tech has made hunting far less important, and the Native population has been conquered and confined to casinos. Why are our laws not evolving with our technological innovations and sociological advancements? An assault rifle and hundreds of bullets is not the same as a musket that takes 8 minutes to reload…

We need to reduce the amount of guns in circulation. That’ll take a long long long time, but if we don’t start we won’t get better. We need more incentive programs for turning in unused weapons, stricter license regulations for people who want to own guns, and we need to change the mindset that where it makes to sense to treat guns like a “tool.”

People need to stop comparing guns to hammers saying that they’re both tools capable of killing. Unless you’re talking about a war hammer that can cast lightning bolts, saying assault rifles and hammers are both tools is like saying a tank and a Prius are both cars. Guns are designed to kill. They’re designed to make killing easier. You don’t rob a bank with a hammer when a gun is easy to get your hands on…

Be realistic. We need to reduce the amount of guns in America, but that won’t stop tragedies from happening. It won’t even reduce the incidents of violent gun crimes for a very long time probably. A lot of these shootings are with legally own guns that are stolen. But if we can make a shift as a country, from one where guns are considered common tools, to a country where guns are considered to be weapons designed to kill then it will eventually get better. At least I believe so.

It’s pretty fucking depressing when I hear people say teachers need to be armed to keep the schools safe… ignore how stupid it sounds to solve gun violence by giving guns to more people, just realize that you need to root out the issue at… well… the root. Treating the symptom and ignoring the cause is irresponsible.

Summary:

*less guns in circulation
*stricter licenses and regulations
*no assault rifles
*lower bullet sales
*nation wide education and commitment that a 1st world country shouldn’t have these sort of 3rd world issues
*better mental healthcare, that is affordable and publicly available

It’s not a simple issue and there’s no simple solution. But I don’t see how what we’re doing right now is making things better.

One time I was helping shingle a house in Arkansas. We took of one layer of shingles only to find a second layer of singles. We took off that layer, only to find a 3rd layer… by the end of the day we took 5 layers of singles off that house. They kept re-shingling the house one on top of another. The roof was in bad repair. Tons of soggy rotten wood, entire sections that needed to be replaced. What we thought would be a simple job turned into a nightmare project with several tons of old shingle that had to be hauled to the dump, a roof that had to be rebuilt, and my friends having to persuade me from writing “FREE METH” on the roof for fun.

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Japan, guns, & love

I come from America and more specifically the southern area of the United States. I grew up in Florida, West Virginia, and Kentucky primarily. I spent the last three years of high school and all four years of college in Kansas, which always seemed like they were trying their hardest to either emulate Texans or convince me how much better they were from Nebraskans and Iowans. But to me that was like saying the ‘eggshell white’ is better than ‘white satin’ or ‘ivory tusk’… while there’s a difference who actually gives shit?

Oh my GOD it’s Ethan Hawke!

Aside from the easy Charlton Heston jokes, guns played an important point in American history. They helped conquer the indigenous people, win independence from the British monarchy, they helped us kill each other when we battled for states rights and wether a black man could or couldn’t be sold like livestock. Guns let Germany try to conquer Europe twice, they also helped the world stop Germany twice. And guns are just a phase. They replaced swords, bows, and sticks and stones. Guns themselves get replaced and will get replaced. I’m still waiting for a light saber…

Episode IV: A New Hope

Gun laws in Japan are strict. As I was never an “official” or “legal” gun owner in America, not having a gun or being able to quickly get my hands on a firearm is unsettling.

Wait did I say unsettling? No, sorry, the longer I’m out of America the more my personal lexicon shrinks. Soon I’m gonna sound like I’m from Georgia or Kansas… What I meant to say is it’s relaxing.

I notice a direct correlation between racism and stupidity…

People don’t own guns here. It’s kind of a weight off my mind. Occasionally you hear of someone going crazy on a slashing rampage with a kitchen knife, but compare a kitchen-knife-rampager to a pysochotic maniac able to get his hands on weapons easily and readily and which is going to make you more nervous? Even if you carry your own gun for protection, which makes you less nervous:  fighting a guy with a knife barehanded or a full out gun battle where you have a handgun and your opponent looks like he’s ready to hunt graboids?

Which scares you more???

Guns in Japan are viewed more like movie props and samurai swords in comics. If someone walked around with a gun on the street people would probably think it’s a toy, because seeing an actual firearm capable of killing is so rare here.

Now Japan has these things called ‘Love Hotels’. You can rent rooms by the hour or even overnight for affordable prices. It’s a place away from home where married couples can reaffirm their marital duties, prostitutes can ply their trade, married men and women can get some alone time with their boyfriends/girlfriends, and high schoolers can experiment with their brand new bodies; you can rent outfits for cosplaying/roleplaying, order food and drinks, rent movies, and even play video games.

Seriously… I didn’t bring you here for this…

Japan doesn’t have gun violence. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why… but oddly enough they do have problems with their citizens not having enough colitis… Before I came to Japan I assumed that the Japanese were busily performing kinky sex acts that included gymnastics, bondage, and school girl skirts, but in reality the country is dying off simple because Japanese people are becoming more and more like pandas, not even willing to screw to save their own species. This phenomenon is well documented and studied.

Procreation=FAIL… Being a Bear=FAIL

So strange. And I don’t have any words of wisdom or anything. I like that the probability of me dying by gunshot is significantly lower in Japan than America. But I’m befuddled by  the so called the ‘herbivores‘ of Japan. And from my view point it’s not for lack of trying.

Common guys… you’re skipping several steps here…

Are the Japanese slowly devolving?

I bring all of this up because of one of my favorite bars in Fukuoka called The Shooting Bar. Located just south of the major shopping areas, it’s a snazzy little drinking spot where you can shoot airsoft guns at paper targets shooting range style. You have a menu with guns, ranging from James Bond’s PPK to the US army’s M4 rifle, and prices are fairly reasonable, a few dollars gets you the cheapest go around.

ザ・シューティングバー

This bar is situated in a Love Hotel area oddly enough, but it’s kind of genius. Shoot some targets, impress the ladies, then take them over to the love hotel for bon bons and Wii…