[This has been co-written by Blake Stevens and Steve Shipley as both had similar views and rage when discussed over breakfast this morning and in an attempt to reach the largest group possible will be posted in each of our blogs.]
off, we apologize for this being a long post, but it deserves the
space. Secondly, we apologize for writing this while consumed with
anger, but expect that will make the article more poignant, if less
coherent. And third, we apologize to those who find it controversial
and will disagree with it when in fact we are making the effort to be
balanced and put the focus where the focus should be - more on love,
relationships and mental health, and less on gun law.
are by no means pro-gun. In fact, we are anti-gun and believe in
stronger gun control, tougher screening, more training, more testing and
more enforcement, similar to what we do to get a driving license. We
need to be old enough, we need to take training, we need to pass a test
and consistently be monitored for eye sight and other disabilities which
could impair our driving and make it potentially dangerous for others.
We take away the license from those who are caught drunk-driving and we
jail those who are repeat offenders. We should have similar stronger
mechanisms in place for purchasing and allowing people to use guns.
those strong controls for obtaining and keeping a driver's license
certainly does not stop a still large number of people from driving
under-age and driving under the influence. Enforcement for repeat
offenders has gone even further and requires they only drive cars that
will not start before passing a breathalyzer test, but even then I have
heard stories of drunks having friends or paying others to breathe for
them. Drunks drive without licenses all the time, and drunks will steal
a different car or find a way to start their car while impaired. And
they will continue to go on killing people through their recklessness.
think we should have similar mechanisms in place for gun control and
can do a lot more, but it will not stop people from using guns to kill.
And if they did not have guns they would use other devices such as
baseball bats, frying pans, kitchen knives, etc. Trying to keep guns
out of people's hands will not work, and certainly the lame-ass
petitions we now see going around to put more guns in classrooms and
teachers hands will not either! What insanity!
not want to take the focus away from gun control, but accept it
certainly will not work to stop a majority of the potential killing and
killers out there. There has been a string a nasty, disgusting maniacal killings this year.
The people who killed had severe mental health problems, were victims
of emotional or physical abuse, felt (rightly or wrongly) that grave
injustices had been committed against them, or were just unloved,
hormonally imbalanced, or down-right fucking crazy.
believe we need to love more, pray for people more and help people to
identify and deal with pressure and growing mental health issues more.
Damn it, we are not some pansy-ass liberals who believes everyone is
troubled and should be pardoned or excused for their behavior. Quite
the opposite, we both would support the death penalty for certain people
in certain situations.
But we see so many people
daily, and have recognized in ourselves over the years, the amount of
stress we have been under and how our jobs, our relationships and our
situations have helped us to deal better with things or to the contrary,
make them worse. But as guys in the corporate world, we have not been
allowed and certainly not encouraged to admit to any weakness or stress
and if we did, were often considered incapable to perform. What a
The world has become too fast paced and too
highly leveraged and things are breaking around us which breaks all of
us to some degree Some of us can deal with it, and others cannot. We
see so many on the roads and trains in the morning going to work who are
clearly not happy with life, are in need of a kind word or some
stronger support. We have found in life that relationships are
everything (and why we needed to get together this morning to be with
each other, discuss it and ultimately get it out by writing it down).
We are all broken, some of us terribly so, but with the right
relationships can be so much better at dealing with things. Our
relationship and faith in God (regardless of your religion) or even a
belief in a higher order of karma or morality provides a foundation to
deal with things better. The support of our friends and co-workers is
critical to our mental well-being. And our ability to admit brokenness
and seek the help of others, informally or professionally also is
critical to our well being.
Sorry to say it but these
killers are fucking crazy. Through their own delusions or helped along
the way by others not being there for them, they have found the need to
kill, the need for revenge and nothing about gun control is going to
stop them. They will build explosives or use chemical warfare from
instructions found on the Internet, or find other ways to make their
Yes - continue to improve gun control, and
really - it should be so fucking easy! Better screening, certifiable
training and testing, and some simple ongoing enforcement is all it
takes. If we can do it for driving (or restricting driving) a car, we
should be able to do it with guns. So we say to the governments around
the world, and the politicians who we vote into office, "just fucking do
it!" Fuck the NRA and fuck other lobbies who support freedom of all to
own weapons. Their power and support must be eroding quickly and be
close to zero.
But let's not forget to love, to be
responsible and to be supportive of those we see falling off, going down
a dark hole, or acting out of character in a world where maintaining
good mental and emotional health continues to become harder and harder.
We all have a responsibility on a personal level to help and support
others and to seek others help and support for ourselves (assuming we
can see we need it and can admit to it).
I (Blake) used to say I was anti-gun and then I saw the below post:
realized how true and rational this was and it was a double standard if
I blamed guns for killing, but blamed cars for drunk drivers. By that,
I mean within the conditions we have outlined above for screening,
training, and testing. While bad spelling may not kill people, cars
with drunk drivers certainly do, every bit so as much as guns do, and
some of us have even eaten ourselves to death, but please do not take
our spoons away!
We do not want our rights to own a
frying pan and a chef's knife to be taken away because in the wrong
hands they could potentially be instruments of death. We do want
reasonably good screening, training and testing for things like gun
control and driving though. But most importantly, we need to focus on
achieving faith, loving each other and being there for each other, and
stepping up when we think others need our help and our support.
is not about guns as much as it is about the state of the collective
population's mental health. Crazy fucking people mass murder people and
they will find multiple instruments of choice to do so. We have
already had one tragedy today, we don't want another by having people
focus only on gun control and not on the other even bigger factors
Mentally and emotionally healthier and more
stable people in the population reduce senseless killings far more than
gun control on its own ever will. Let's deal with stress and mental
health issues also. We owe it to ourselves and our fellow members in
the human race.
Blake Stevens, author of Still Stupid at Sixty
Steve Shipley, author of SAZ in the Cellar