Debate on Gun Control? Not Yet.

by Mickey Weems
Friday Jan 18, 2013

So many people in the USA are under the mistaken belief that there is a national debate over gun regulation. No, there is not, at least not yet.

I spend an inordinate time online calling for a ban on assault weapons and magazines (also called clips) holding more than 10 rounds. Those who disagree with me make the error of assuming that that we are debating the issue. I'm not debating them. My purpose for talking with them is simple: I am teaching people how to handle those who have lost the ability to think for themselves in their paranoid quest for safety through excessive firepower.

Every argument presented against an assault weapons and large-capacity clips ban, every one, is easily proven false with a minimum of effort. Most of the claims in support of current NRA policies are designed to entice the gullible. Time and time again, I have investigated those claims and found them misleading, outright lies, or evidence that the ban should indeed be the law of the land, most within a half hour of research on the 'net.

Without exception, everyone who defended their right to buy more assault weapons only managed to convince me further, by their very words, they should not own assault weapons at all. I am certain that I am not alone.

I favor blunt confrontation. "Hammers are more dangerous than assault weapons?" I ask. "Why don't your tell that to the parents of kids massacred in Newtown? Let them know it could have been worse. No doubt they'll feel much better, knowing that the madman only had a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle and not a fully-loaded carpenter's belt."

Stating facts helps, but they must be stated repeatedly: "Switzerland has an assault weapon in every home? Well, you left out the fact that it is illegal to keep ammo at home. Yup, look it up for yourself. All bullets must stay on the firing range, and there are limits as to what kinds of firearms and how many you can own. Do you know why? Switzerland had its own massacre, as did Australia, Scotland, and Hawai'i. Sensible gun control was the response in these places, and their gun violence dropped dramatically."

And I just pray those who oppose me bring up Israel.

Don't get me started on a session I had with some women who questioned whether the families of victims in Newton, Connecticut were sufficiently grief-stricken on camera. One of them accused me of being rude. I told them what I said here: this is not a debate.

I do not debate creationists either, or those who deny climate change, or those who say homosexuality is a perversion. I teach them, preferably with reason. But I keep ridicule close at hand. As Gay people, we possess verbal dexterity unmatched in the Straight world, and I take full advantage of it since opponents of gun control are overwhelmingly Straight men. Campy, stinging humor makes them see just how bad they look in a public forum, or at least makes their buffoonery perfectly clear to onlookers.

And it really burns their asses when a queer calls them out.

When confronted with facts, some of them consider the possibility that they just might not be as informed as they thought. Others get angry. Twice I've encountered men who refused to believe I'm a Marine (and therefore, I was trained to shoot an assault rifle) - it totally freaked them out when they learned from mutual friends I was not lying. Another said he had the right to own any kind of rifle and ammo available to the police and the military, and that he would use his firepower on anyone who sought to take away his weapons, never mind the weapons' function or how he got them. I told him to keep talking - he'll end up on multiple watch lists before the day is through.

His response? He hopes I get aids. I think he meant "AIDS." For my part, I hope he gets professional help before he kills somebody, or a whole passel of somebodies. This man, and thousands of others like him, are excellent reasons why civilians should not own assault weapons. I am not against a national campaign to have such weapons removed, by force if need be, from those of his whacked mindset. Call it proactive massacre prevention.

The NRA has raised an army of bullies to shout down and intimidate anyone who dares call for gun control. I hate bullies. It is my duty to call them out whenever I see them - my strategy for nonviolent disarmament. I educate them when I can, and humiliate them when I must.

This does not mean, however, that there is no reasonable debate at all concerning gun control. Here is the real debate: whether to limit ourselves to only regulating sales and ownership plus a ban on assault weapons/large capacity magazines on one side, or to ban all private ownership of firearms. There is room for negotiation between the two.

The NRA is right about one thing: the President's gun control agenda represents an extreme. It is the minimum, the bare minimum of what should be done.

Dr. Mickey Weems is a folklorist, anthropologist and scholar of religion/sexuality studies. He has just published The Fierce Tribe, a book combining intellectual insight about Circuit parties with pictures of Circuit hotties. Mickey and his husband Kevin Mason are coordinators for Qualia, a not-for-profit conference and festival dedicated to Gay folklife. Dr. Weems may be reached at


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