Gun control is not the answer to Dylan Roof or the problems of racism and violence

It is incredible to me that people think they can solve the deep, deep human problem of violence by granting a monopoly on guns to the most murderous institution in human history.

I have never met anyone who is truly anti-gun. Unless you are a pacifist (which is an immoral position), you recognize the necessity of the legitimate use of violence. So the gun-control crowd is not for the elimination of guns; they are objectively for state violence. After all, by what other means would they eliminate weapons than via an organized, well-funded, state campaign of terror – executed largely by armed white males. Therefore, I know these people are not actually anti-gun. They are pro state monopoly on guns – a position which is so startlingly ahistorical, unimaginative, cowardly, and reactionary that it ought belong exclusively to the right wing of political discourse and not have become a near unanimous signal of the left.

Prohibiting weapons from the average and comparatively unprivileged adult is a retreating from the very real fact that we must find a way to coexist: by reaching out preemptively to all members of our world and making them feel welcomed, through forgiveness, understanding, and second chances; by eliminating poverty, racism, sexism, ill health, mental illness, xenophobia, bigotry, and their ideological and economic roots. These fundamental and all-too-human flaws can only be eradicated through a legitimate and global human revolution, resulting in the full integration of all human beings into one community and one understanding.

A daunting task, yes. And a much more interesting one. More challenging. More worthy. Perhaps not even possible – and therefore more necessary. To think some piddling law passed by Wall Street oligarchs can solve these problems is sad; and it perhaps reflects a desire, not for freedom, but to be a slave, to volunteer oneself and one’s neighbors, in the name of progress, to the irresponsibility of impotence.

This is not, in other words, a doctrine of empowerment, or the leveling of hierarchy, but one of capitulation to, and enforcement of, existing power relations. It is an acquiescence to misanthropy and elitism and the anti-democratic notion that the average human being is not capable of peaceful cooperation. If successful, it will only ensure they remain incapable. There are human beings working daily to eliminate poverty and privilege and increase our understanding of shared and unshared human experience. I want to join them. I want to be a part of that left, of that tradition. Nothing less than this will get us all to where we need to go, and get us there together.

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