Content note: article contains some descriptions of violence. It also doesn’t come down on one side or the other of gun control arguments.
In June 2016, someone who doesn’t deserve to be remembered by name shot up a gay club in Orlando. A lot of people shouted for gun control, but myself, I suddenly wanted a gun. In February 2017, two months after I came out as trans, I watched a video of Dandara dos Santos, a trans woman from Brazil, begging for her life before she was beaten to death with a 2×4.
All I could think was: if I carried a gun, no one could beat me to death with a 2×4.
Now, in February 2018, after another mass shooting at another high school, gun control is on everyone’s minds. Students around the country are organizing, because they don’t want to live in a country where every Tom, Dick, and Nikolas has an AR-15.
As an anarchist, I don’t tend to believe in legislative solutions to problems. As a trans woman, I desire to own the means by which to defend myself with lethal force. As a human, though, I don’t like when people shoot people and that people are going to bat so hard to defend people’s right to own the things that shoot people.
In the wake of the most recent shooting, I think it’s important to remember that mass shootings are not just created by access to guns. Mass shootings are the result of the toxic aspects in contemporary masculinity. Mass shootings are the result of homophobia, misogyny, and white supremacy. Mass shootings are the result of a cultural meme — that is, a self-replicating idea that has taken on a life of its own — currently embedded into America.
Yet… mass shootings might also be the result of access to guns. Guns are power. Power — unevenly distributed — is always the problem.
Continue reading Only Some Power Comes from the Barrel of a Gun