Guns of science fiction

Juvenile Fantasies of Mansplaining Gun Mongers

I didn’t want to write about this topic again, even though I address it in all novels of my Other Worldly series. Yet, there I was, typing this out during Labor Day weekend storms because gun violence, and the inevitable mansplaining on social media by gun mongers, never ceases.

It’s not as if these men are actually posting about gun violence, because that is a subject they avoid like climate change and their own hotheaded, dimwitted hubris. No, their response to yet another mass shooting or accidental gun death is to scribe blowhard social media diatribes on how much they know about firearms. It’s bloodless and technical, and it’s beyond obnoxious.

It’s also quite pathetic. This past week on Twitter there was a guy, an admitted gun owner, reacting to the pointblank shooting death of a four-year-old at the hands of a woman supposedly “teaching” this toddler “gun safety” by engaging in a litany of what he knew of the rules of gun safety. Maybe it made sense in his mind, or was his way of coping with yet another senseless tragedy involving guns, but it came off as tone deaf, clueless, and utterly devoid of relevance due to his active avoidance of reality—and facts.

Fact is, a kid in the US is more likely to die from gun violence than any other reason.

For me, this hapless post triggered memories of instances where I’ve dealt in the past with men who were even less devoid of sensitivity on the subject.

When I was a newspaper columnist in a rural county seat overly populated with gun fetishists and worshippers, I’d get emailed responses to my columns from dudes who’d rant about how much they knew about guns, the text rife with technical details and mansplaining about how they weren’t really called “assault rifles.” They’d boast of not being “afraid of a damn thing,” while they sat in their stockpiled homes terrified of anyone (of color) approaching their door.

Folks like this are never willing to discuss anything about guns other than technicalities and their twisted concept of self-defense. Because they all seem convinced that the boogeyman is coming for them, as if they’re someone important with a target on their back. I’ve known people in challenging professions who might in fact have others aiming for them, and who do own guns, yet most don’t act like this.

And while it’s true that I was not always anti-gun, after living in that aforementioned rural county loaded with dangerous idiots who thought it their right to shoot anyone they pleased, I now exercise the personal choice not to own them. Some of us have good reasons for that.

Unfortunately, my prerogative is often like waving a red flag in front of a bull, or dealing with a religious zealot. Somehow, not wanting loaded firearms around makes these fanatics try to convince me even more of why I should be paranoid like them. As if my choice somehow threatens the legitimacy of theirs.

It is apparently impossible for some to realize that there are those of us don’t think having guns in our homes makes us safer.

But the main reason my derision is directed at mansplaining firearm afficionados is because they seem to believe their technical knowledge also makes them constitutional law experts.

The NRA version of the Second Amendment and NRA interpretation of SCOTUS decisions regarding firearms is based neither in fact nor in law. And isn’t it odd how these Second Amendment “experts” all manage to ignore the term “well-regulated”?

Why do they need to strut around heavily armed to grocery shop if they aren’t afraid of a damn thing? Maybe they’re just juvenile wannabe soldiers of fortune. Or they could be racist as hell, cowardly hiding behind an AR-15. Perhaps they should be embarrassed to admit to being so unskilled as to need an assault rifle to hunt deer.

It’s as if they’re all living out some made-for-TV sci-fi fantasy in their heads. Like they think they’re Captain Kirk out to annihilate aliens—except it’s merely humans who might terrify them by setting foot on their lawns. Plus, they’ve all entirely missed the point of Star Trek’s prime directive.

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