Hi. I think you're a good person. You have people in your life you care about deeply, and who care dearly about you. No doubt you care about the well-being of the people in your community and humanity as a whole. If you're like me, you just want to keep your head down and navigate the days safely so you can continue to pursue life, liberty, and happiness with the people you love. We're a lot alike.
I'm writing to you today, as you're someone who cares about the well-being of yourself and those around you, to get you to support putting a stop to the gun-owners who make you and other safe and responsible gun-owners look hateful, murderous, and foolish by association. You're probably just as sickened as the rest of us when you hear about mass shootings and the children killed every day in cities by stray bullets or intentional violence. If you're not, my assumption about you being caring and compassionate is wrong, but I don't think that's the case.
The thing is, people who don't own guns often come across as preachy to gun-owners when they talk about gun-control. I'm not a gun-owner. I'm merely someone who has had loved ones die due to gun violence, and I want it to stop. I'm asking your help in convincing your friends who do own guns to support gun control, because I'll probably just come across as annoying to them if I talk to them about it. Change has to come from within, they say. You're in the club, so you can help make a change. But first I have to convince you that gun-control is a good and necessary thing. I'm going to appeal to your humanity, common-sense, and individual freedom and liberty. (Again, all things that you and I have in common).
First, your sense of liberty and freedom…
Gun-control doesn't mean that the government wants to come take your guns away - that's a myth perpetuated by the NRA. The NRA is using fear-mongering to keep you in check, because they want you to continue to be part of the club, because they make money off you and your friends when you're part of the NRA. So, they want to keep their power. Power that you give them. They're controlling you by fear. If you value your individual freedom, why are you letting some rich, old white guys control you?
But OK. Let's say for the sake of argument that they're right: gun-control means the government wants to take away your guns. How long would that take? Well, there are 300,000,000 guns in the country. If there were a task force of 10,000 agents confiscating guns from 10 people/day, every day, that would take them 3,000 days to do so. That's a few years shy of a decade. And that's just plain ridiculous. That won't happen.
Gun control means the government wants to make background checks necessary in order to purchase a tool that is only designed to kill, and maybe someday make it so a gun can only be fired from the hand of the responsible owner. It has nothing to do with taking away your guns. I don't want to take away your guns. I have friends and family I respect dearly who are gun owners, who use their guns responsibly for hunting or safely locked away. Safety is the most important aspect of gun ownership to them, and we went over gun safety for a long time before they showed me how to shoot a gun. Their reverence for safety is and was a beautiful thing.
Second, your common sense.
It used to be that anyone with two feet and hands could drive a car. But then there were a lot of incompetent drivers on the road that killed a lot of responsible, innocent people and drivers. So, over the course of a few decades (yes, change takes a LONG time), the government made it so someone had to pass different tests in order to get this thing called a "driver's license", and continue to show they can responsibly operate a motor vehicle to keep that license, to prevent them from getting themselves or others killed. In doing so, millions of lives have been saved.
We also made things like speed limits and seat belts and air bags to make driving more safe in case drunk or incompetent drivers managed to get behind the wheel of a car, because, you know, you can't stop every idiot who wants to get behind the wheel drunk or text a novel to their friend.
At this point you might be thinking, "WHAT!? Cars aren't designed to kill people. That's apples and oranges!" You're right - I'm comparing two dissimilar things. It's an analogy. But apples and oranges are similar in that they're both fruit. In this case, the "fruit" or the thing they have in common is that driving without any restrictions or safety measures, and using guns in the same way, are both lethal. When we put safety measures in place to make driving less dangerous, countless lives were saved. The same would occur if gun control were enacted. That's just a logical fact.
Lastly, your humanity.
Maybe you haven't had someone you care about die at the hands of a gun. If that's the case, count your blessings. It's brutal and tragic and sad beyond description. It's infuriating because it doesn't need to happen as often as it does. When it happens, and politicians who are often funded by the NRA say, "gun-control advocates are politicizing this tragedy to try to pass an agenda of gun-control. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," I think to myself, "No. I'm saying my friend didn't need to die, and unregulated gun access is a well-documented public health risk, and you care more about your money than you do about saving people's lives, and that's pathetic, you turd."
Life is short. Life is hard. Life is tragic. Life is beautiful. We're all living on borrowed time: every day we get is a bonus, every hour we get to spend with someone we love is a blessing, and every minute we get to smile is the ultimate manifestation of the good. There are a million dangers conspiring against us every day to try to keep us from seeing tomorrow's sunrise, and still we persevere.
Some of these things are out of our control, while others we have the power to change.
We can't stop tornados, but we can build shelters that help save lives when tornados strike. We can't stop the flu, but we can wash our hands to prevent it from spreading, and treat the symptoms of the virus so it's no longer deadly. We may never be able to prevent every single person who is full of murderous rage from killing our loved ones, but we can make it much more difficult for them to do so.
You can help save lives by supporting common-sense gun-control so things like Sandy Hook or Orlando or Aurora or Roseburg or Columbine or stray shots in dozens of cities killing kids daily doesn't happen with a regularity that has made us numb and desensitized. If you stay silent on gun-control, you're complicit and condoning gun-violence by association.
But since we've agreed you care about yourself, your loved ones, and humanity as a whole, and that you have common-sense and freedom, I don't think you'll keep quiet.