Merriam-Webster defines the word “essential” as:
Of the utmost importance: BASIC, INDISPENSABLE, NECESSARY
When I think about things that qualify under that definition, I think first of air, food, water, and shelter. In truth, with only those we can survive. Our lifestyles have, by necessity, added certain other things to the list, such as clothing, soap, medications, electricity, etc. Now, I could expand the list even more, in light of 21st century living, to include companionship, the internet, a certain level of income – enough to pay for the other ‘essentials’ only, and maybe I would even include pets.
However, under no circumstances can I consider guns to be essential … not by the broadest stretch of the imagination. And yet, that is exactly what the buffoon in the Oval Office, coerced by one of the nation’s largest lobbying groups, has decided. Guns are an essential part of everyday living. Hmmmm … makes me wonder just how I have survived all these 68 years without a gun?
In recent weeks, governors stepped up to the plate where the federal government dropped the ball, and ordered the closing of all non-essential businesses, including gun shops. Well, never let it be said that the National Rifle Association (NRA) took that lying down! They contacted former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, incoming Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and a former NRA employee who is now a White House staffer. At the end of the day, the Department of Homeland Security added the gun industry to its “critical infrastructure” list, prompting governors around the country to declare them “essential businesses” that can operate during the pandemic, just as critical as grocery stores, hospitals and pharmacies.
The FBI conducted 3.7 million background checks in March, a new single-month record. More than 1% of the entire population of this country bought guns in a single month! What the hell? Do they think they can kill the coronavirus by shooting it?
There is so much wrong with this that I don’t know where to begin!
First off, consider this … people are confined to their homes more with their families. In some cases, this is probably a good thing – families will bond in new ways (although I dread the new ‘baby boom’ that is sure to emerge around Christmas time, for the world is already over-populated). But, in many cases, families will begin to get on one another’s nerves and I fully expect the incidence of domestic violence to increase significantly. Bad enough that papa is smacking mama and the kiddies around, but if papa has that brand-new gun in the drawer of his nightstand …Now think about this one … people are getting frustrated by the lack of such ‘essentials’ as toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, and often even an onion or an apple are in short supply at the grocery. What about that guy with a bit of a temper, who has a list of ten things and can only find one when he’s at the grocery, but he sees another customer with two carts overflowing with … yep, you got it … toilet paper. He doesn’t think, but reaches for that gun in his pocket …I’ve said more than once that the suicide rate in this country will double or more this year, due to the depression that is inevitable for some of us in this state of isolation. So, John Doe has lost his job, cannot pay his rent, his lousy $1,200 government subsidy is long gone, and his family refuses to visit or allow him to visit for … who knows how long? He might take an overdose and might survive that, but if he has a gun …If you had any doubts … if you had so much as a shred of doubt that the government of this country is bought and paid for by the NRA, those doubts should be erased by now. We the People, our lives, our well-being, do not matter one bit to the likes of Trump and his cronies. Yes, we need the grocery stores to stay open, for without food we die, and in this nation, few are self-sufficient in growing their own food. Yes, we need the hospitals, medical centers and pharmacies to remain open, for without them, some people will die. But, if the gun shops close, lives may actually be saved!
At the end of 2017, there were 393 million guns in civilian hands … in a nation of 330 million people! Think on that one … why do we even need gun shops, if there are already more guns than people in this country??? They for damn certain are NOT essential!
The average person in this country is already in fear of picking up some germ at the grocery store, and now … in addition … we better be looking for suspicious bulges in men’s pants pockets (no, not those). In recent years, I have been known to walk out of a store if I saw somebody carrying a gun, but in today’s mentality of fear, it’s likely that every Tom, Dick and Harry will be “packing heat”. And I’m willing to bet that the majority of those 3.7 million who bought guns last month don’t have a clue how to use them! Just last week in Michigan, a man accidentally shot himself in the leg with a gun he bought to defend himself against “pandemic-related chaos”.
The United States is the only country on the entire globe with such a gun culture that guns are considered more important than books, education, clothing, or even dentists. This nation needs to do some serious thinking about its priorities. Personally, if I have to have a gun to feel safe, then this is not a life worth living, and I feel more threatened by a gun than I do any virus.