A few days ago I clicked on the profile of a facebook friend I intentionally deleted from my newsfeed because I was tired of them sharing right wing posts and I found a right wing post. It was a picture of priests and Native Americans with large lettering across it :
Sandy Hook the Deadliest Shooting in U.S. History…? I think not. In 1890 the U.S. Government Shot & Killed Over 290 UNARMED Indians at School. Including Over 200 Women and Children. How Quickly We Forget History.
They Gave Up Their Guns Too. Remember That!
I googled “1890 Indian School Shooting” and aside from this meme could find no such school shooting. I did find plenty of information on the Wounded Knee Massacre that year where there was absolutely no mention of a school. I think it’s a reasonable assumption my facebook friend didn’t know that, or that the photo appears to be completely unrelated to the incident. More information on the meme can be found here and here.
I’m actually in favor of the right to own a firearms. I’m typically anti prohibition because, in America at least, making things illegal doesn’t always go very well. But I can’t support most people I see “campaigning” for gun rights when they do things like carry assault weapons to intimidate people under the guise of free speech, or share blatant misinformation about one tragedy to dismiss another more recent one. This is America, no one can realistically ban all fire arms so gun nuts don’t have to be such paranoid assholes about the right to bear arms.
On the line How Quickly We Forget History the person who shared this was I thought well aware of my personal history with guns. When I was fourteen my dad bought some shotguns at Walmart and to my knowledge at least one of them legally belonged to my mom. He had a vague plan to go hunting but the closest thing was shooting a bunch of birds in the orchard by our house and making my sister and me clean up the carcasses. When we were visibly upset at having to do it he threatened to take the shovel away and make us pick up the dead birds with our bare hands if we didn’t “quit our blubbering”.
On at least two occasions he threatened to commit suicide by shooting himself. The first time he was on the side porch while Mom was trying to talk some sense into him and eventually the police were called but he’d taken off by the time they got there. The whole rest of the family slept in the living room that night because Mom wanted to keep us together. I woke up to see a dirty white sneaker by my head and knew Dad was standing right over me so I pretended to still be asleep and wondered if he was going to shoot us all and himself like I’d seen so many news reports of abusive fathers doing. Thankfully he wasn’t THAT crazy. The second time he was in his and Mom’s room and my mom was trying to get him to let my sister come out. The way our house was set up you had to go through our parents room to get to mine and my sisters and during this ordeal she was terrified to open our door.
Another occasion an elderly man drove onto our property to ask directions to the Indian casino a few miles from our house only to met by my likely drunk father walking out of the house brandishing one of the shotguns.
The Thanksgiving after the divorce my brother and his girlfriend and one of my sisters went to Dad’s house and my other sister and I were at my mom and stepdad’s place. The middle of the night my mom and stepdad had to go get my brother because there was a drunken fight between him and my dad. During this fight Dad pointed a gun (whether it was loaded I’m not sure) at my brother, who grabbed it by the barrel and shoved the butt end of the gun into Dad’s face giving him a bloody nose.
At no point during my childhood or teen years did anyone in my family find guns actually useful for anything other than getting their way in an argument or killing animals they had no intention of eating. And even though I’m skeptical that stricter gun laws would necessarily make people any safer I cannot in good conscience support groups that actively deceive people and completely dismiss the suffering violent or irresponsible gun owners cause just to campaign for rights that are not even being infringed upon.