(Note: This essay originally ran in AltDaily. I wrote it in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.)
I want to talk about guns. Why should be obvious.
Let’s begin with this basic observation: Guns are unique enablers. They give people the means to commit violence in a much less personal, detached manner than any other weapon (OK - maybe a bow and arrow). They efficiently create large amounts of tissue damage quickly and easily. They generate a false sense of power that can encourage violence in an individual already prone to act that way. Their purpose as designed is to kill. We shouldn't be surprised that the unregulated and unscrutinized proliferation of firearms in America is leading to such extreme death and carnage.
I believe that beyond the usual boilerplate platitudes that emanate from both sides of the debate, there are complexities to the issue of gun violence in America that are being drowned out and need to be part of the discussion. So with a degree of acquiescence that what I’ve written here will make many folks unhappy and angry, here we go.