________ ________ ________
2019-01-25 / \/ \/ / \
/ __/ /_ _/
There are a few basic rules of gun / _/ / /
ownership, or tenets or commandments if you \_______/_\___/____/\___/____/_
like. The list and number of them differs / \/ \/ / \
from person to person, club to club but they / _/ /_ _/
all essentially boil down to the same /- / _/ /
concepts of safety and discipline. \________/\________/\___/____/
I first heard them a few years ago, I'm not a gun owner so just learned
about them in passing while reading about something else, and two in
particular resonated with me:
"Never let the muzzle cover anything that you are not willing to destroy."
"Be sure of your target and what is behind it."
Strongly worded, simple common sense but somehow often forgotten. Guns are
dangerous, they exist to damage, destroy or kill. No matter how familiar you
are with them or how confident you are in handling them, that is always what
they will be for. You could argue that a gun on display, a framed showpiece or
something serves a different purpose and I suppose that's technically correct
but either the gun is disabled, in which case it's a gun-shaped sculpture or
it's not in which case if it ever were to be used as a gun again the purpose
above still applies.
Anyway, I bring all this up because I think about those two rules in
particular quite a bit and how they apply to anything with the potential to
damage, destroy or kill. Including words.
Unlike a gun though, that requires licensing, purchasing and some skill to
use, we all have words and they take very little skill to use. Everyone is
essentially armed all the time and because of this, beyond the destruction you
have to be prepared to level on your target you have to also be prepared to in
turn be destroyed by it and likewise you also have to be sure of what behind
you that could also potentially be destroyed.
Words have always been a weapon, that's nothing new, but lately people's
recklessness with them really feels like it's getting out of control. People
soapbox in the hopes someone will disagree and provide a target for their
words, people seek out things to get offended by as an excuse to assault other
people with their words. In the last few months I've seen people savage each
other over phantom slights that literally never happened, I've been passive-
aggressively accused of some fabricated offense or other by people I thought
were friends and have seen other, long-time friends recklessly endanger
strangers over a rude word, including going as far as suggesting contacting
their employer over hurt feelings online.
In my case I'm lucky to have my shit together enough that this kind of
toxicity, at least when levelled at me doesn't bother me too much and I just
walk away from it, but it's so alien to me seeing people level their weapons
at strangers, or at friends with such savagery and without a single thought
given to the harm their words are doing or the collateral harm their words
could do to others around them, without a single thought given to retaliatory
harm that could be levelled at themselves and those around them. It's
incredibly hateful and poisonous behaviour, regardless of how right you think
you are and how wrong you think the other is.
I'm not the type to argue for licensing or anything stupid like that but
it's pretty clear that as is the case with guns, some people are responsible
enough to have access and some people get by because their gun is a showpiece
or similar, but some people, a surprisingly large amount of them, need their
access to guns restricted or taken away from them for their own safety and the
safety of others. At the very least until they can learn the basic tenets to
keep themselves and others safe:
Never let hateful or harmful words cover someone you are not willing to
destroy or be destroyed by.
Always be sure of what is behind your target and always be sure of what's