Michael Maiello thinks he knows how to undermine gun culture:
It's been hard for me to imagine that young people might think that equal rights for gay people would ever be the definition of a just society -- but that's how it is for Erudite Partner's undergrads. Sometimes extreme cultural change can precede legal change, and even obviate the need for legal change to some extent. We've all seen it.
Maiello has some practical suggestions re guns:
- Let other parents know you don't want your kids staying over if they have unlocked guns.
- Shun adults who take kids to gun ranges, as apparently the mothers of both the Sandy Hook and Oregon shooter did.
- Remind them of the child who was taken to play with an Uzi and shot her instructor.
- Point out that mature gun owners know when not to wave heat in the middle of a confusing melee -- including one young man at the recent Oregon massacre and another who witnessed the Gabby Giffords shooting. Owning a gun requires that kind of self-restraint.
- Push for trigger locks that prevent unauthorized people from firing and for required liability insurance. Guns are dangerous business, not toys for fantasists. The only people who benefit from resisting safety features are owners of stock in gun manufacturers.
The gentrifying San Francisco Mission District is not immune to this sort of gun problem. We had a young man around our little church last year who was trying to leave the gang life, who was trying to make it by working a job ... and his former mates shot his girl friend dead next to him. It happens.
This kind of gun violence is not what organized gun owners and manufacturers are defending. But we have relatively good gun laws around here. Yet the thugs get the guns because there are all those other jurisdictions where rabid gun absolutists fight to make availability easy. Guns leak to where people want them.
Caging Black and brown people into neighborhoods where kids have to learn to avoid the guns -- that strikes me as the height of uncool.