THE BIG UNDO

DAILY PROMPT — Undo: If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions, or a possible alternative.


Undo gunpowder. TNT. And guns. Oh, and nuclear power. All the stuff that makes guns and modern weapons, and modern warfare possible. No landmines, howitzers, or automatic weapons. You can keep your knives, swords, maces, bludgeons, ropes, and other weapons of personal, intimate destruction. I’ll just take away everything that blows up, shoots, explodes, or kills from a distance … or en mass.

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If you want to kill someone, you’ll have to do it face-to-face, up close and personal. No mass destruction. You want to kill someone, stand up and fight. Beat him up. Have a cozy knife fight.

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But you can’t kill him from a distance, can’t site him with a sniper rifle from a rooftop. No sniper rifles exist, not even a pistol. Since I have this power to undo what has been done (I’m sure there’s time travel involved here, somewhere), if you try to work around this, I’ll take away your bows-and-arrows too.

So behave yourself. Don’t run with scissors, but it’s okay to stab your neighbor with a pair … because hey, we’re humans. Killing is us.

Why? A question with no answer.

My husband wants to know why a kindergarten teacher in a quiet Connecticut suburb owned two 9-mm hand guns and a semi-automatic rifle. He wants to know why are there no checks for mental stability for gun owners or background checks in most states to make sure that the purchaser is not an outright criminal.

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I want to know how come a relatively small number of gun nuts are able to hold our entire nation hostage. I’m pretty sure the majority of Americans don’t believe that anyone who wants one should be allowed to own an arsenal. Most people have more sense that.

I don’t think people who hunt are the problem, either. I don’t hunt, but I don’t feel I can consume meat while simultaneously objecting to someone else shooting a deer. I am not sufficiently hypocritical for that. In any case, hunters usually respect weapons, were often raised in homes where hunting is a tradition and guns are not considered toys … and they don’t use semi-automatic rifles or assault weapons for deer hunting. Or any other kind of hunting.

So who are these people who have so much more power than their numbers or any commonsense, logic, or reason suggests? Why do they seem to own us? My gut tells me to follow the money because beneath and supporting every evil, somewhere  there’s money involved. Usually a lot of money.

Why do we allow private people to buy these weapons? Why are they not held liable for the damage their weapons do, regardless of who is pulling the trigger?

GUNS-1-popupWhy do we have less oversight of guns than of motorcycles? The odds of a motorcycle killing anyone but its owner are small compared to what a gun — any gun — can do.

Why? Anyone have an answer? Because my husband and I are pretty smart people, well-educated and reasonably sophisticated. He was a reporter for a lifetime and has seen more of these massacres than anyone should ever have to see. I read, research, and spend a lot of  time looking for answers.

But neither one of us has answers this time. We just have questions. There are a lot of questions going around. Maybe it’s time to start formulating a few answers.