I am a resident of Colorado. Right now Colorado is Hot Stuff for a lot of reasons. One of them is our State Senate debating, for the second time, a Red Flag bill that would restrict guns from certain individuals who commit violent crimes of a certain nature, or who are reported as behaving in certain ways that potentially endanger others. In other words, throwing up certain red flags.
A lot of people HATE this bill. It is labeled as a Gun Grabber bill as an alternative to a Red Flag bill. Even people who use the words “red flag” will use the words “gun grabbing” unironically in the same sentence. Will use BOTH phrases completely unironically together. Without seeing the complete dichotomy in what they are saying. They will absolutely DENY they are denying science when they say “red flag” with complete conviction and belief, yet vociferously shout the bill is grabbing guns pointlessly and unashamedly without basis. And they will argue with seemingly believable logic AROUND the unavoidable and mounting logic and evidence that what they say is unavoidable truth. They will yet demand MORE evidence and the burden of proof on yet something else. It is a terrible shame, because according to THEM, piles of bodies and pools of blood is horrible. If you try to bring up the actual, personal stories of that trauma though, they call you crazy and laugh at you. Keep it all abstract. Not real. Never personal. That is NOT ALLOWED. Unless it is mockery and bullying. Then it’s fair game. Victim blaming and mockery is always permissible among this mindset for some ineffable reason, whether the victim is relatively newly traumatised or reveals trauma that happened months or years or even decades ago (in fact, the longer one waits to reveal trauma, the more the victim is blamed and mocked and degraded; men especially are reviled in our society for revealing that they have been been hurt or harmed in any fashion, whether victims of physical violence or emotional/mental harm).
Yesterday Colorado’s newly-elected Attorney General, Phil Weiser, published the brand-new Colorado Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board’s annual report for 2018. This was completed under his predecessor, Cynthia Hoffman. Ms. Hoffman was a republican and Mr. Weiser is a democrat. They worked together to complete and publish this report. Whenever these to AGs work together, even though they have historically disagreed on huge topics and clashed often, they get down to business and do their jobs during this transition. Especially for really big and important things. I have watched them do this, because it is important to see that it is done right. I know they do not care for each other, and if they mess up I will be angry. So seeing them do their jobs professionally and competently during this transition has made me happy and satisfied. I know I don’t see it all, and I don’t care that I don’t witness all the drama and bullshit. What I care about is that my state function well and efficiently and in their office, that means justice and the law gets done and progress gets made. Having this report available so quickly and the data crunched so efficiently is supergreat. For two different parties to have done it together is even better.
When you parse this report out, you may need some time to get over the disparity. There were more deaths than there were domestic violence incidents that spawned them. And most of those deaths were from guns. This report helped our state legislators submit, again (for the second time), a bill to our state senate, a proposal crafted to limit these deaths…and other deaths in our state…by gun violence. Because Colorado is not only right now exploding with gun violence, we have historically been a serial mass gun violence hot spot (can you say Colombine, or the Aurora Theatre shooting, or about a half dozen other infamous gun crazies? What a shameful claim to fame…I mean…LOOK AT THOSE MOUNTAINS AND INSTEAD WE GET GUN CRAZIES?!?!?!). Since Colombine science has been busy as hell crunching data trying to figure out how and why, and science has figured out a whole lot. In spite of being stymied by bottlenecked funding all over the place, science has figured out we have to restrict access to the guns. Restrict that access in a multitude of ways. One of those ways is a red flag bill. But the loonies who worship the guns ONLY see it as “gun grabbing” and not one of about a hundred different ways science is restricting the access. And it is not just restricting the access to the GUNS, it is restricting the access to the VIOLENCE.
Humans are violent and aggressive beings; it is inherent in our ancestral natures no matter which tribe we genetically derive from. Myself, I genetically derive almost exclusively from Celtic tribal stock. Those Celts are crazy sons of bitches. Ancestrally they like to fight with other tribes over cows and slaves. Celts took cattle raiding to such a high art that they wrote ballads and love songs about it, and each tribe praised the other on the finesse and skill of each other’s cow-stealing ability. They gladly butchered each other, but fuck you if you killed your neighbor’s cow. And at the end of the cow-stealing escapade they got filthy drunk and fucked anything available, maybe even a cow. The slave thing in Celtic society was a sort of genetic gene-swap among the tribes on the down low. Much like the Norse tribes when they went a-Viking and did their slaving, the slaves of the Celts were workers in the familial tribal societies that served very useful purposes and were often absorbed into the tribe that stole them, along with their knowledge and gods and genes and whatever else. As long as they didn’t get too uppity of course. Tribes all over the world, ancestrally, are basically like this. Mileage may vary depending on which area of the world your particular tribe is from. Geography is the ruling development factor. African tribes are wildly different because African geography is wildly different. But it is all still stuck there in our hindbrains, leading us on through genetic grunting and whistling. We just have to guide ourselves through it by not letting our emotional and cultural programming get the best of us.
The ridiculous idea that red flag bills will grab the guns from anyone and everyone is tunnel vision at it’s finest. Any law or legislation can be abused by anyone. Any system can be abused by anyone. If we all sat around and refused to adapt and adopt new things, we would still all be those tribal cow-stealing slave owners who thought fucking the occasional livestock was a great time. I really don’t think anyone here today fancies themselves that kind of tribal fuckwad no matter how “in touch” with their tribal ancestors they are or want to be. Seriously. I am a hella proud Celtic witch. I have a genetic composition of 53.9% British and Irish, 24.8% French and German. I am so fascinated with my Celtic ancestry I have read a ton of tomes on the subject, and studied the evolution of the languages in conjunction with the migration of the tribes from their points of origin. Too bad I don’t actually speak any of those languages. I suck at languages other than English and some Italian. Go figure. I think I just haven’t traveled enough. It would be a blast to go to Normandy and learn Breton, because my maternal haplogroup is the Celtic one that speaks that particular language. I could get some really great salt right from the source. The point is, the people who are focusing so intently on the idea that they need to hold on to the GUNS just need to LET GO. Open up and expand their perspectives. Broaden their minds, and ideas. Think outside the box.
It is difficult to explain the mere concept of anti-tunnel vision to someone stuck there. Someone stuck there will get overloaded with data very quickly and not be able to process information well. They get the feeling they are drinking from a fire hose. Have you ever seen an actual fire hose in operation? A fire hose is not like a regular hose, as I am sure you realise. They are really big, and they are really thick hoses, because they have to hold a lot of water under really high pressure. And the nozzles are solid brass, and huge, with really clunky valves so you can switch them with your gloves on. When you are operating the nozzle, you are the nozzleman. Holding and waving that thing around is no small job. It takes a lot of strength and control because the hose and nozzle is gods-almighty heavy and clunky and alive with it’s own strength, and pretty much uncontrollable because of the pressure of the water. See here for a wild hose, which is what happens when the nozzleman loses control of the hose. These days the nozzleman has a backup most times. On Navy ships, fire teams go in in at least groups of four. So imagine trying to drink out of one of those hoses. On my ship while I was in the Navy, I had to man one of these huge hoses when Greenpeace protested our subs being repaired in the Med. We were authorised to use nonlethal force to keep them away from the subs, which meant plastering their zodiacs with the fire hoses. It was the middle of summer, so a bath in the gorgeous azure Med would have been fine. The Caribinieri however, cruised relentlessly around them in their own and much finer zodiacs, and the Caribinieri carried machine guns. Greenpeace putzed around for about two hours and waved their banner from a safe distance and then went back to the archipelago and it’s marvelous bars and restaurants and cafes, and the clubs the sailors would be at later that night. The sailors who had no guns, and just wanted to drink and dance after eating a marvelous Italian meal. That was the weekend my husband and I first danced at an Italian club together, on a tiny island where a James Bond movie was once filmed. The floor was mirrored and we laughed at each other.
A quarter of a century later we have two adult children, and we have a gun in the house. It’s our son’s gun, and we don’t care that he has it, because he has been raised around gun safety and proper gun responsibility. He has been raised around a person with a history of gun violence and knows how to handle people with trauma. He knows red flags. And he is not blind to the reality of our world, or what to do if he sees danger signs. Tunnel-vision people do not realise that when we put legislation like this in place, the changes we expect are not going to happen right away. They will take time. Probably twenty years will go by before we see any real effectual change, and that is the way of all things. Until then we as a society and a culture will have to weather the bumps and the bruises and suffer the growing pains. Because that is the way of all things. The more people who continue to persist with tunnel vision and only focus on one aspect of a widespread social issue (such as cultural violence as a whole, domestic violence in particular, and gun violence in specific), the more stymied society will continue to be.
There are ample gun owners who support common sense gun laws. Our family is one of them. The ONLY reason I do not own a gun myself is because I ethically already follow a red flag gun law. I consider myself red flagged. My mental health condition puts me out of the running for owning a gun, because from time to time I fear if I had access to it I would choose the easy way out of the pain and the overwhelming despair. But I refuse to take the easy way out, because fighting through that shit is so much more worth it. Fighting through that darkness is worth every inch and every pit. So red flag me. Do it. Do it for me, do it for my family, do it for everyone I love. My friends. For you, the strangers I have no inkling of. For the people I inspire, for the people who outright hate me, because hatred is a kind of inspiration. For anyone who needs me in any way. For someone who needs a sober friend, because working the steps sucks and it is hard. For someone who needs an ally and is afraid to come out: I have been that ally since I was 15, holding sick and dying people when AIDS was still called GERD and sperm donor was telling me I was going to get it from a mosquito who just bit an African butt monkey. Screw the darkness and despair, red flag me because I have already done it to myself. And my son, who has a gun, knows it and keeps his gun secure and his bullets secure because he respects me and he loves me, and so he as a responsible gun owner has been following the red flag law for years already also.
This is not the only thing that my Attorney General Phil Weiser has been doing since he took office to help the people of Colorado. Together with our governor I can see how he is helping direct the state in an innovative direction, away from a lot of waste and inefficiency. I am very hopeful that this direction away from major corporate interests and back toward the people will be helpful for me and my family, because that is why we picked Colorado to settle in a generation ago. And it’s why my son wants to build his business here, and why my daughter wants to start her innovative dental practice here. It’s why I started my own business here and I work so hard to keep it going even though it is really hard. But we can’t do any of it if we end up crushed and dead, literally dead, before we can get them started.
We do not raise children to be adults and then dump them into a gladiator arena of death. I did not raise my daughter into a woman to let her be murdered by a man with a gun, or even pistol whipped by one. I did not raise my son into a man to let him be murdered by another man over a parking space. We NEED a red flag law.