An apple is an apple.
The hope is that my ‘master of the obvious’ statement about the apple is appreciated. An apple has many diverse edible possibilities and great culinary delights. An apple can be peeled, puréed, turned into and combined with other ingredients to create some delicious delectable dessert that tantalizes and whets the appetite. An apple can be squeezed to form thirst-quenching libations. On many occasions, put together with fermented and distilled intoxicants, an apple can be quite a delicious treat and rather relaxing. The diverse uses of an apple make its multidimensional edibleness more than just an apple. While this explanation is inspired by a modern-day telecommunications giant, this description of an apple could be quite derivative; but the point is still not lost as derivative as it is, an apple is an apple. But much like the dramatic turns that inform the long-lasting television program with child characters who should be in their thirties by now, and are still quite rambunctious, I present the alternative version of the apple. This discourse is partially about gun violence. In case it is not yet apparent, the apple represents the gun.
There are multiple uses for an apple. The one use that is not intended for an apple is to pick it up and hit someone upside the head with it. That would clearly be the fault of the individual who threw the apple, not the apple.
This would be the argument of those who fight so vigorously for the 2nd Amendment. They would say that the apple (i.e. the gun) is misused. It must be said that their blinders are duplicitous. They are not seeing the inherent danger of guns. Thus, they have blood on their hands.
They are culpable in the deaths of these children – as some Chicagoans grieve for babies so young that they never learned how to walk, some from Sandy Hook never got the chance to cross the street by themselves, some Americans never graduated high school or sat in a college class, or never walked the aisle with their parents on their wedding day. Some who will never again get to eat an apple. The 2nd Amendment advocates still hold on to their ‘rights’ despite the death of these children.
Those staunch defenders of the 2nd Amendment hold tight to their truths as though they are the gospel. This, in many ways, is not a discussion for them. Their gospel truth is something they appear to be willing to take to their grave. So be it.
This is a discussion for those who for some reason have not, as of yet, made up their mind about gun control.
An apple, once misused, certainly the 2nd Amendment people will argue, is not the fault of the apple; it is the fault of the individual who threw the apple and misused the intended purpose of the apple. The flaw in this argument is not readily apparent, but by the end of the discourse, the hope is that this will not continue to be the case.
Quite like the cartoon mentioned earlier in this discourse, and thus, the purpose of this address.
Here, stand warned, another animated course change in this writing happens now.
On December 14, 2012, a deranged young man walks into an elementary school in a culture that unaccustomed to such violence, and assaults 23 small children in one of the world’s most tragic events; an event that frightened an entire society and moved people to fear and to devastating emotions, some of which have consumed the imaginations of those whose families were caught up in the tragedy of this deranged individual. Fortunately, because of the chosen object, not one of those children died. This individual misused the apple. Because his apple was a knife, their families must live with this horrifying memory, but they have their loving children with them. This horrifying event should never be repeated.
Coincidentally, on exactly the same day, halfway around the world, in an entirely different culture where the 2nd Amendment is the rule of society, another deranged individual at the exact same time, walked into a different elementary school and murdered 26 individuals – most of them little children. The latter individual believed in his 2nd Amendment rights, the former individual had no 2nd Amendment rights because China does not give individuals the right to carry a gun. The deranged individual who walked into the elementary school in China only had a knife. As dangerous as a knife is, not one of those children was murdered.
The 2nd Amendment is the rule of the land in the United States and no gun regulations, background checks or mental health regulations are strong enough to have stopped these young people and their teachers from being murdered. The argument by those who put forth the 2nd Amendment is just simply wrong. Guns kill people. Every other civilized, industrialized country in the world has gun regulations and their murder rate is much lower than that in the United States. This is as simple as it gets. The difference between using a powerful instrument like a gun vs. a knife has been given to us in an unfortunate and clear example, but this society continues to ignore that example.
Hitting someone upside the head with an apple is a misuse of the apple, but the odds are that an apple will not kill. Taking the guns out of the hands of deranged individuals, having background checks, getting rid of silencers, and getting rid of semi-automatic weapons is simply common sense.
Here is the final turn in the story. This is not just about the 2nd Amendment, although it leans heavily on it. It is not about politicians, the NRA, or even ‘stand your ground’. It is about gun manufacturers who have poured millions and millions of dollars into the NRA and into politicians’ campaigns. There are those who have argued that politicians truly believe in the 2nd Amendment. The Amendment has nothing to do with the NRA. The importance of the 2nd Amendment is a fallacious assault on society. Had this not been true, why then did politicians give gun manufacturers total immunity from prosecution to gun violence. Those who believe in the 2nd Amendment are being used and manipulated to line the pockets of the gun manufacturers and those companies who support the gun manufacturers and the NRA.
Therefore, there is blood on the hands of those who believe in and fight for the 2nd Amendment; because their driving force is purely about profit, not about legal rights. This violence will not curtail whether it is from the inner city of Chicago or places like Sandy Hook. It will not change unless those from different parts of the country, from different universes, finally set their differences aside and come together to fight and rip off the blinders of the 2nd Amendment people. When middle-class suburban white people come together with inner-city black and Latino people and with the women’s movement, then will the proper use of an apple be the only thing we can say about an apple. This will only happen when suburban white people begin to realize whatever ills impact Black and Hispanic communities will one day impact their community, and that if they do not get up out of their presumably safe communities and communicate with others in society, then one day they might be the ones who will be on television screaming about the injustice of all of this. Society has not learned the lesson about drugs and drug use. Once it was considered the problem for poor inner-city people; now it is a suburban middle-class white female problem as well. The same issue is now happening with gun violence. Hopefully, one day an apple will simply be an apple, and society will finally come together for sensible gun control laws to stop gun manufacturers and their evil empire.