In the last couple of years I’ve changed my stance on gun control.
I don’t like guns. They scare the hell out of me, and I see nothing “sporting” about attacking unarmed animals with them in the woods. I don’t own one and I’ve never been comfortable with the notion of having one in my house, despite the fact that my ex-husband had a hunting rifle and a boyfriend had a pistol.
I’ve represented kids with criminal charges involving guns. I’ve seen bullet holes in children’s bedroom walls from drive-by shootings. I’ve represented women who were threatened with guns by their husbands, boyfriends, and even their sons. I’ve been to funerals of people killed by guns. I’ve held and hugged a weeping grandmother when a stray bullet in a gang shooting left her favorite grandson, a good boy with an “A” average and college-bound, dead on a dark street in a small town in southeast Arkansas.
I don’t like the attitude of the NRA. It comes across as arrogant, shrill, and combative – not the kind of attitude a responsible gun owner/handler should display, especially around guns.
This is going to sound stupid, probably, but one of the things that tipped the scales for me against gun control was a movie. It wasn’t just any movie. It was a movie based on a comic book. Bear with me. I’ve watched V for Vendetta, a film by the incomparable Wachowski Brothers, multiple times, and I find no fault with its future history philosophy.
Perhaps the helium in my brain is showing, but the point that disarming a populace oppresses the citizens makes sense to me.
One of the very best quotes from the movie is, “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Why? Because the power to change government, to oversee government, and to demand that government be accountable lies with the people.
There is a poignant scene in this movie in which thousands of unarmed citizens in Guy Fawkes masks confront the well-armed military. As they pour into the open areas on this auspicious night, the astonished military doesn’t open fire. Perhaps it is the sheer numbers of people; perhaps it is the eerie, surreal fact that they are costumed like that seditionist of the past, but for whatever reason, the armed forces of the government holds its fire and allows itself to be overrun. Perhaps it is because the members of the armed forces are citizens, too, and the whole point of the movie is that citizens must require and compel change in the government.
And then there’s this quote, the source of which I’m desperately seeking:
“An armed society is a polite society.
An unarmed society is a police state.
A disarmed society is a tyranny.”